A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Supreme Court probes state’s medical review panels, legislation on malpractice lawsuits

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on legislation passed by the 2017 General Assembly that established rules on how to file malpractice lawsuits. Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, who himself is a physician, required any lawsuit against doctors, other healthcare providers, hospitals and nursing homes would have to be reviewed...

Lexington’s new upLIFT program offers free Lextran transportation services for city’s homeless

Lexington is partnering with Lextran to launch upLIFT, a new program that will offer free, conditional transportation services for the area’s homeless population. The program’s goal is to eliminate one of the most common barriers — transportation — for those who are homeless and seeking employment, medical services, child care, housing or other basic living activities. “Giving a person...

Division of Waste Management taking applications for illegal dumping and litter abatement grants

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management is calling for grant applications for two of its signature programs, illegal dump cleanup and litter cleanup along public roads. “These popular grant programs have played an important role in maintaining the natural beauty of communities across the commonwealth and in helping improve Kentuckian’s quality of life,” said EEC Secretary Charles Snavely. Since...

Governor’s office announces appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions

Gov. Matt Bevin has made the following appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions: David Allgood, Paul Hitchcock, Michele Williams, Mark Rothel and Jennifer Ulbricht have been appointed to Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities. • David Allgood, of Louisville, is director of advocacy for the Center for Accessible Living. He will represent local and non-governmental agencies and...

History-making Senator Mitch McConnell tells Fancy Farm faithful he intends to run again in 2020

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Already the longest-serving Republican leader ever in the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to cement his place in history with yet another term. McConnell, 76, told GOP faithful in western Kentucky on Saturday that he will run for re-election in 2020. “I don’t like starting late,” he said. McConnell, the architect of a Republican resurgence...

City of Lexington, Fayette Circuit Court launch assistance program to help homeless obtain IDs

The City is partnering with the Fayette Circuit Court Clerk’s office to launch a new program that offers assistance to local homeless citizens in need of official IDs. The Homeless ID Assistance Program will provide funding that will cover the cost of obtaining state-issued identification cards for homeless citizens who cannot otherwise afford them. The program is the first of its kind in the state,...

Foster care advocates join Kentucky’s initiative to transform child welfare system

Gov. Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin announced Wednesday that Chris and Alicia Johnson will join the administration as special advisers in the Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives. In this capacity, the Johnsons will support the Bevin’s commitment to protecting our state’s most vulnerable children by helping advance statewide foster care and adoption reform. The Johnsons will...

Bevin appoints Josh Benton as Deputy Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Tuesday the appointment of Josh Benton as Deputy Secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Benton will serve the cabinet with current Deputy Secretary Brad Montell. “Improving Kentucky’s workforce development is a top priority for our administration,” said Bevin. “I am grateful for the expertise and enthusiasm Josh brings to...

Pew Trusts: Kentucky among several red states willing to expand Medicaid in exchange for work

Editor’s Note: This story is part of Stateline’s 2018 Legislative Review. By Christine Vestal Pew Charitable Trusts Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he doesn’t want more able-bodied poor people to get Medicaid in his state unless a portion of them are required to work. And when Republicans in Virginia agreed to expand Medicaid this year, they also said recipients who are able...

Kentucky announces design improvements to disabled parking placards to curb fraud cases

Significant improvements are coming this fall to Kentucky’s familiar blue and red disabled parking placards, aimed at improving parking access for disabled populations and curbing potential fraudulent use. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing is working to implement software system, design and operational changes for the production and issuance of disabled placards...

Kentucky Personnel Cabinet hit by phishing scheme, no financial impact to affected employees

On July 23, 2018, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Personnel Cabinet learned that a security breach occurred as a result of a phishing scheme directed at employees. This incident impacted a total of six employees and did not result from a failure of the commonwealth’s network, email, or human resource information system. Rather, it was a malicious phishing attack targeted specifically at system users....

Kentucky State Police partner with other state agencies to enforce ‘Move Over’ law this week

The Kentucky State Police has joined forces with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project for enforcement of the ‘Move Over’ law this week. This high-visibility enforcement effort will include Kentucky State Police, Indiana State Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania State Police, Michigan State Police, and the West Virginia State Police. Kentucky’s ‘Move Over’ law is designed...

Grant provides Kentucky State Police with fentanyl response kits to protect against contact the drug

Kentucky State Police troopers and officers have received another tool to combat the opioid crisis – fentanyl response kits that help them avoid contact with dangerous drugs. The kits were purchased with $25,000 in grant funds from Passport Health Plan. They include Tyvek suits, respirator masks, fentanyl protective gloves, safety glasses, and a portable gear bag. The Kentucky State Police Foundation...

Kentucky Center for Performing Arts should open on Sept. 1 for performances, after June 13 fire

Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William M. Landrum III announced that the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts (KCA) building damaged by a June 13 fire will be open Sept. 1 for productions to resume. Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Deputy Secretary Regina Stivers and KCA President Kim Baker joined Sec. Landrum and provided information to patrons and the community. “Today is a...

Kentucky agencies awarding up to $3.2 million to nonprofit providers for expansion of drug treatment

The Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities are partnering to distribute up to $3.2 million to expand drug treatment for pregnant and parenting women. The funds will be distributed through a competitive grant process. Those eligible include not-for-profit providers that are licensed in Kentucky and have...

Transportation Department temporarily waives service hour restrictions on utility vehicles

As residents recover from damage caused by recent severe weather, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas today issued an official order waiving hours of service regulations for utility vehicles involved in power restoration and debris removal efforts in Kentucky. The order also includes commercial motor vehicles transporting relief supplies. Thomas issued the emergency declaration...

Kentucky ABC commissioner named to executive council of national administrators organization

Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Christine Trout-Van Tatenhove has been named to the Executive Council of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) as a Chairperson of the Southern Region. Christine Trout-Van Tatenhove The NCSLA represents alcoholic beverage regulatory agencies in the United States, District of Columbia, and other local jurisdictions. Trout-Van...

Grimes appoints Louisville attorney Erica Galyon as assistant secretary of State effective Aug. 1

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Friday she is appointing Erica Galyon, a Kentucky attorney, as Assistant Secretary of State and chief of staff for the Secretary of State’s office effective Aug. 1. Galyon is associate general counsel at Farm Credit Mid-America, a multi-billion dollar agriculture lending cooperative based in Louisville. Formerly, she was senior vice president...

Education and Workforce Development Cabinet releases June 2018 unemployment data

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June 2018 unemployment rate was 4.2 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June 2018 was up from the 4.1 percent reported for May 2018. The preliminary June 2018 jobless rate was down 0.9 percentage points from the 5.1 percent recorded...

Dwayne F. Depp named commissioner for the Department of Workplace Standards

Acting Labor Secretary David A. Dickerson today announced the appointment of Dwayne F. Depp as the commissioner of the Labor Cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards. “I’m thrilled for Dwayne and welcome his many years of leadership experience to our team here at the Labor Cabinet,” Secretary Dickerson said. “His extensive background in managing employees, budgeting and...