A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Natural Bridge State Park to get $1.3 million facelift as part of Kentucky’s ‘Restoring the Finest’ initiative

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today One of Kentucky’s most popular state parks is getting a $1.3 million facelift, as part of the “Restoring the Finest” initiative for the parks system. According to the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade will receive a new lodge roof, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, and renovations for most of its lodge rooms. Natural...

Labor secretary says 1,074 teachers violated the law during ‘sickouts’ but will not face fines, this time

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Labor Secretary David Dickerson announced Friday that no fines will be levied against teachers for protesting pension legislation considered during the 2019 General Assembly that resulted in at least 10 districts being forced to cancel classes due to teacher shortages.
 
The “sickouts” hit Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district with...

U.S. District Judge returns ‘sickout’ lawsuit filed by Beshear, Jefferson Co. teachers to circuit court

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A federal judge has ordered a lawsuit challenging the use of Kentucky labor law to obtain names of teachers who were involved in “sickouts” back to state court. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves on Thursday returned the case to Franklin Circuit Court. The lawsuit dealt with the subpoena of teacher attendance records during days when teachers called in sick to stage protests...

Governor Matt Bevin holds ceremonial bill signing for selective abortion bill, says ‘hypocrisy’ must end

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin held a ceremonial bill signing on Monday for one of four pro-life bills that passed the 2019 General Assembly. House Bill 5, known as the “Human Rights of the Unborn Child and Anti-Discrimination Act,” sponsored by Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Belton, bans an abortion based upon the gender, race or perceived disability of an unborn child. Gov. Bevin...

Labor cabinet denies Beshear request to rescind subpoenas; attorney general prepared to file suit

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has denied a request by Attorney General Andy Beshear to withdraw subpoenas to 10 local school districts seeking teacher attendance records. And if they don’t, the attorney general says he will sue. “I will not allow this governor to bully our teachers and fine them up to $1,000 a day,” Beshear said in a statement. “If the governor’s...

Governor vetoes public pension bill, plans to call for special session to address the issue

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday vetoed a public pension bill approved on the final day of the 2019 General Assembly and vowed to call a special session to address the issue. During the 11 p.m. hour on the last day of the session, lawmakers passed public pension legislation that would have affected the regional public universities, as well as quasi-governmental agencies, such...

Opioid crisis, human trafficking among top legislative session priorities for Attorney General Andy Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear unveiled his legislative wish list for the 2019 General Assembly on Wednesday. During a Frankfort press conference, Beshear was joined by lawmakers who are sponsoring the bills, which deal with such issues as the opioid crisis, human trafficking and rate hike relief for utility customers. Beshear says his top priority is to gain bipartisan support...

Four bills advance through Senate, one by Sen. Schickel takes power of school councils to hire supt.

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Lawmakers wrapped up the Organizational Session of the 2019 General Assembly on Friday with four bills receiving final passage in the Senate. 
One measure, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, would remove the power of site-based councils to hire principals for their schools, placing it back into the hands of the district’s superintendent,...

Members of Pro-Life Caucus hold rally is support of four bills under consideration by General Assembly

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Members of the General Assembly’s Pro-Life Caucus rallied at the State Capitol Rotunda on four bills that have been or will be introduced for consideration by the 2019 General Assembly. Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, who serves as chair of the caucus, said their purpose is simple: “We have dedicated ourselves to coordinating our efforts and to unifying in purpose to...

School safety bill, job creation top priorities for Ky. Senate Republicans during 2019 General Assembly

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State lawmakers return to work in January for the 2019 General Assembly and Senate Republicans, buoyed by their expanded supermajority from the General Election, are working on priorities for the 30-day legislative session. The Senate Republican Caucus holds its annual retreat at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park next week and Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,...

Representatives Jason Nemes, Jerry Miller propose new legislation to strengthen state’s hate crime law

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two Republican lawmakers from Jefferson County are proposing legislation for the 2019 General Assembly that would strengthen Kentucky’s hate crime law. The measure, sponsored by Reps. Jason Nemes and Jerry Miller, both from Louisville, would include criminal homicide and fetal homicide as hate crimes in Kentucky. State Reps. Jason Nemes, left, and Jerry Miller are sponsoring...

Lawmakers already preparing legislation for 2019 General Assembly; take a look at what’s in the hopper

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2019 General Assembly doesn’t convene until January, but lawmakers have already prepared more than 30 pieces of legislation for consideration. The topics range from gun safety to sports wagering and from utility rates to tax exemptions. Here is a look at some of them: – Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, has proposed a bill dealing with unlawful storage of a firearm....