A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Robert B. Conley to be sworn in as Supreme Court Justice ‘virtually’ today; succeeds Samuel Wright

Justice-Elect Robert B. Conley will become the newest member of the Supreme Court of Kentucky when he is sworn into office today at 1 p.m. ET. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the ceremony will take place on Zoom with Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. administering the oath of office. The public and media are invited to watch the investiture on the Kentucky Court of Justice YouTube channel....

Kentucky Court of Justice launches updated website on Jan. 5; new design, features at kycourts.gov

The Kentucky Court of Justice is launching an updated website on Jan. 5. “The state court system’s new site has a modern design, improved navigation and advanced functions,” Administrative Office of the Courts Director Laurie K. Dudgeon said. “Providing a better web and mobile presence is another way we’re using technology to make it easier to do business with the courts.” The redesigned...

Kentucky sees bump in voter registration; new registrations double year-over-year

Secretary of State Michael Adams has announced a bump in voter registration, with 10,534 net new voters registering between Oct. 1-5 and Nov. 4-30. By law, the voter registration books close the four weeks before an election, through election day. In comparison, only 4,115 net new voters registered in October and November of 2019. Michael Adams “We’ve seen, particularly after election day, a bump...

New COVID-19 safety requirements in effect for child care providers, including masking policy updates

New requirements that help ensure child, family and staff safety during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency are in effect for Kentucky child care providers. The new regulation, which was filed by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), on Dec. 10 and took effect immediately, enhances other requirements for all regulated...

KYTC Regional Driver Licensing Office in Bowling Green moves to larger, permanent space

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Regional Driver Licensing Office in Bowling Green has moved into larger, permanent quarters that will accommodate customers while maintaining social distance and all necessary COVID-19 public health protocols. It is one of 12 permanent regional offices the cabinet currently has established in a network that eventually will number about two dozen offices...

Kentucky auditor’s annual financial report finds large backlog of unemployment claims remain unresolved

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State Auditor Mike Harmon’s office has completed its annual audit of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, or CAFR, and found some serious issues with the Unemployment Insurance fund. Specifically, Harmon’s office issued a “qualified opinion” on the Unemployment Insurance, or UI Fund, also known as the Unemployment Compensation Fund,...

As pandemic rages on, Cameron says virtual swearing-in ceremonies OK for local governments

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron has given his official blessing to local governments who want to hold their swearing in ceremonies virtually on Jan. 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an Attorney General’s opinion issued by his office in response to a request from the Kentucky League of Cities, they noted that while the Kentucky Constitution and state law require oaths...

Federal funding, construction progress mark 2020 milestones for expansion of Mountain Parkway

2020 was a year of great success for the Mountain Parkway Expansion project. In June, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) was awarded a $55 Million federal INFRA grant that will help to fund what will be the fifth segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion to go under construction—the Wolfe County segment. In doing so, the Mountain Parkway Expansion continued their mission to reduce state costs...

Kentucky Department of Libraries awards grants to 20 libraries for laptop lending programs

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) has awarded grants to 20 Kentucky public libraries for laptop and hotspot lending programs focused on helping Kentucky residents with workforce and educational activities. KDLA’s Workforce Grants will provide for kits consisting of a computer laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as funding for up to two years of hotspot service for each library....

Kentucky unemployment rate drops 1.7 percent in November; jobless rate now at 5.6 percent

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary November 2020 unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary November 2020 jobless rate was down 1.7 percentage points from October 2020 and up 1.3 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state one year ago. The...

Kentucky League of Women Voters advocates fair redistricting of legislative districts, offers examples

By Christina Conover Forward Kentucky The Kentucky League of Women Voters is currently working to get the word out to citizens across the state about the League’s effort to assure the creation of fair maps in the upcoming redistricting process. As part of that effort, the League released example maps based on 2010 census data. Redistricting is the process occurring every ten years to change legislative...

Transportation Secretary Jim Gray says repairs to Brent Spence Bridge on schedule, under budget

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Repairs to the Brent Spence Bridge remain on schedule and are expected to come in under budget, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said on Wednesday. “We are still on schedule for re-opening the Brent Spence Bridge, next week,” he announced during a Zoom press conference in Covington. “The original schedule was set for December 23, and we are still on that...

Lexington, Louisville band together against proposed rate hike by Kentucky Utilities, LG&E,

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The state’s two largest cities are joining together to intervene before the Kentucky Public Service Commission in a rate hike request sought by Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric. KU, which serves 77 counties across Kentucky including Lexington, is seeking an increase of 10.7 percent for Lexington consumers. Kentucky’s two largest cities are saying...

Kentucky electoral college members gather at state Capitol to cast votes for Donald Trump, Mike Pence

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Just like every other state in America, Kentucky’s members of the electoral college met to cast their votes for President and Vice-President on Monday. Kentucky had eight electoral votes in the November General Election, one for the two U.S. Senators and one for each of the six Congressional seats in the state, as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Kentucky’s members...

Senate Republican leadership begins to set agenda for upcoming session, expects two pro-life measures

Kentucky Senate Republicans began formulating their agenda for the upcoming General Assembly last week that included introducing at least two pro-life measures. Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said one of the pro-life measures will be similar to a bill Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed earlier this year and aimed at protecting “born-alive infants after a botched abortion.” “Because of the...

DOCJT announces 38 law enforcement officers from across Kentucky graduate basic training academy

The Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) announced that 38 law enforcement officers from agencies across the state have graduated the basic training academy. “We congratulate these officers on their accomplishment and send our support of the essential and life-saving work they will do in the communities they serve,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. The graduates of Class 513 received...

General Fund receipts fall 3.8 percent in November from last year; Road Fund receipts up 3.3 percent

State Budget Director John Hicks reported Thursday that General Fund receipts fell 3.8 percent in November compared to last year. Total revenues for the month were $1,006.5 million compared to $1,046.1 million during November 2019, a decrease of $39.6 million, primarily due to a $34.8 million decline in property tax receipts. Receipts have now risen 3.1 percent for the first five months of the fiscal...

Time running out for Kentuckians to receive home utility assistance; funds set to expire Dec. 31

Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman on Wednesday highlighted an approaching deadline for eligible families to receive assistance to pay overdue utility bills. The $15 million Healthy at Home Utility Assistance Fund helps those who are struggling to pay water, sewer, electric or gas bills due to COVID-19. Those who qualify can receive up to $500 for water and...

Green River Area Development District announces 2021 board of director officers

During its Dec. 9 meeting, the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) Board of Directors announced its newly-elected officers for 2021. Brad Schneider The Honorable Brad Schneider, Henderson County Judge/Executive has been elected Chairman. Judge Schneider has served as Henderson County Judge/Executive since 2016. He has previously served on the GRADD Board as Treasurer, Secretary, and vice-Chairman. “It...

Gov. Andy Beshear reflects on first year in office amid COVID pandemic, says priorities remain same

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Despite the numerous issues caused by COVID-19 this year, which brought many plans to a screeching halt, Gov. Andy Beshear says his priorities remain the same as when he first took office on Dec. 10, 2019. “Providing a world-class education to all of our kids, ensuring access to healthcare for all of our citizens, ensuring that our public servants have a solid retirement,...