A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Republican leaders Stivers, Thayer say any casino bill presented in their chamber is ‘dead on arrival’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two Republican senators have weighed in on one issue in the governor’s race by pronouncing any casino bill that arrives in their chamber “dead on arrival.” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, made the comment while condemning a proposal by Democrat Andy Beshear to legalize casino gaming. Beshear says the revenue...

Despite governor’s changes to the legislation, lawmakers still lack votes for pension reform

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today It appears lawmakers still lack the number of votes needed to pass a bill to reform the pension system affecting the regional public universities and 118 quasi-governmental agencies. Gov. Matt Bevin, who has made four changes to his original proposal, has said he wants to call a special session to enact that legislation by July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year. Senate...

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,...

Kentucky lawmakers override governor’s vetoes as teachers watch from the gallery, protest outside

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky General Assembly overrode three major vetoes from Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday when thousands of teachers again made their presence felt in the Capitol, showing up to call for more money for education and protesting changes to their pension plan. Lawmakers voted to override three of Gov. Matt Bevin’s vetoes on Friday. (LRC photo) Lawmakers overturned vetoes...

Bill to exempt private electronic devices from open records requests on life support, but not dead yet

By Mark Hansel Northern Kentucky Tribune An amendment to House Bill 302 that would exempt private electronic devices from public records requests may have been slowed down, but it still has life. Sen. Damon Thayer The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission confirmed Monday that HB 302 was pulled from the Consent Calendar last week but remains in the Senate Orders of the Day Tuesday. Click here to...

Damon Thayer: Busy week in Frankfort highlighted by introduction of comprehensive pension reform bill

After weeks of anticipation and months of discussions and meetings with stakeholders, the Kentucky Senate Majority Caucus filed its comprehensive pension reform bill as Senate Bill (SB) 1 on Tuesday, February 20. While SB 1 marked the filing of one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the 2018 Session, we continued to hold committee meetings and voted bills out of the Senate chamber, making...

Damon Thayer: After six weeks of legislative session, Senate continues to make progress on key legislation

Week six of the 2018 Legislative Session is in the books, and bills continued to move steadily through the Senate as work on the budget and pension reform continues. While we have not released a pension proposal just yet, we are hopeful that it will be made public in the coming days as we continue to sort out details on this complex issue. As for the budget bill, its fate currently is in the hands...

Bill defining horses as livestock goes to Bevin for signature, called a ‘step forward for the industry’

The Kentucky House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 139, which would amend the definition of livestock in Kentucky to include horses and equines. The bill now moves to Gov. Matt Bevin for his signature. Securing livestock classification has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project since its 2004 creation. “SB 139 is an important step forward...

More than 70 Kentucky multi-tenant office buildings designated as AT&T fiber ready

As part of AT&T’s[i] continuing efforts to drive economic development and investment in Kentucky, AT&T has designated more than 70 multi-tenant office buildings across Kentucky as AT&T Fiber Ready. These buildings in Danville, Frankfort, Georgetown, Louisville, Madisonville, Owensboro, Paducah and Pikeville all have access to AT&T Business Fiber, our blazing-fast internet service...

Bevin appoints seven to Equine Drug Research Council; Fisk to racing health and welfare fund

Gov. Matt Bevin has made the following appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions: Michael R. Ziegler, Johnny Mac Smith, James Morehead, Damon Thayer, Andrew M. Roberts, Arthur B. Zubrod and Michael W. Kilgore have been appointed to the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council. Ziegler, of Louisville, is the Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs. Zieglar will represent licensed racing...

Hope is high for House passage of statewide smoking ban, but Senate remains doubtful

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News   FRANKFORT — A bill to ban smoking in public places and places of employment is headed to the House floor yet again, and its sponsor says it will finally get a vote. But its chances in the Senate remain doubtful.   “I feel very confident that we will get a floor vote,” Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, five-year sponsor of the legislation,...

Legislators hear pitch to bring new lottery game based on horse racing to Kentucky

One man’s quest to get the Kentucky Lottery Corp. to purchase a game of chance he conceived in an effort to promote and create additional revenue for Kentucky’s horse racing tracks has reached the General Assembly.   “I think anything we can do to help the horse racing industry is something we as a General Assembly ought to be interested in,” Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,...

Legislature’s 2014 session comes to an end; most new laws will go into effect in 90 days

Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, confers with Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown (right), in the Kentucky Senate as Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, looks on.   The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2014 regular session ended last night, capping off a session in which lawmakers approved the state’s next two-year budget and measures that will impact people throughout the state.   Since...

Dave Adkisson: Bipartisan atmosphere in the ‘new Frankfort’ enabled government to work

The closing of the 2013 General Assembly at midnight Tuesday was more remarkable than its warm, gushy opening the first week of January.   Remember January? The governor invited legislators to the mansion for dinner, making an important, if primarily symbolic gesture, toward the new legislature. Legislative leaders and the governor, speaking to more than 1,000 state business and political leaders...

Dave Adkisson: Bipartisan atmosphere in the 'new Frankfort' enabled government to work

The closing of the 2013 General Assembly at midnight Tuesday was more remarkable than its warm, gushy opening the first week of January.   Remember January? The governor invited legislators to the mansion for dinner, making an important, if primarily symbolic gesture, toward the new legislature. Legislative leaders and the governor, speaking to more than 1,000 state business and political leaders...

LRC’s Capitol Notes: Debt ceiling bill clears Senate panel; DNA bill goes to full House

By Scott Payton Special to KyForward   Debt ceiling bill clears Senate panel   Legislation that would cap the state’s debt supported by General Fund appropriations was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday.   Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Committee Chair Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, would prohibit...