A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: Of course, we agree with Mitch McConnell that we need more ‘civility’ in our public discourse

“Elections have consequences” is a favorite saying for politicians of all stripes, and for those of us who try to make sense of what they say (or don’t say). But elections also have lessons, and those who learn from them are usually the most successful in politics. One of America’s most successful politicians, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, often keeps those lessons to himself, but...

KY House democrats offer plans to help health departments, quasis with pension costs

House Democratic leaders and two state legislators who serve as the caucus’ representatives on the General Assembly’s Public Pension Oversight Board unveiled legislation this week that would provide permanent relief to quasi-governmental agencies facing steep spikes in their public-pension costs. “We have worked weeks on these proposals, trying to find a way that helps rather than hurts our...

Gov. Bevin says in speech in E. Ky. that he’ll return all coal severance dollars to coal counties

By Nichole Ziege Appalachian News Express PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost Pike County in the Kentucky Republican primary gubernatorial election in May, made a new campaign promise to the people of eastern Kentucky and coal-impacted counties recently. 
Bevin announced that he would give 100 percent of Kentucky’s coal severance dollars to coal counties in the 2020-2021 state...

Richmond soldier died in Iraq in non-combat incident; Gov. Bevin asks flags lowered on day of his interment

Gov. Matt Bevin today recognized the sacrifice of a Kentucky soldier who died in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. According to the Department of Defense, Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, of Richmond, died April 20 in Ninawa Province, Iraq, in a non-combat-related incident. The incident is under investigation. “Our hearts are broken for the family of this young Kentucky soldier,”...

Kentucky State Parks getting $50 million more in improvements to ‘guest experiences’

Announcing $50 million in infrastructure projects to bolster and make improvements to Kentucky State Parks, Gov. Matt Bevin has ceremonially signed House Bill 268, a measure that made the parks funding possible. The $50 million for parks was included in a bond issue approved earlier this year by Gov. Bevin and the 2019 General Assembly. The money will address the most critical needs within the parks...

General Assembly wrap-up: bills that became law, bills that didn’t, bills awaiting Governor’s signature

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The General Assembly wrapped up on March 28 sending 10 bills to Gov. Matt Bevin, who still has about a week to decide if he will sign, veto or allow them to become law without his signature. 
Among the bills already signed into law are four pro-life measures. 
- Senate Bill 50 mandates that any time an abortion-inducing drug is dispensed, a report must be made to the...

Gov. Bevin busy with pen, signing half dozen bills into law; here’s a list

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Matt Bevin signed more than half dozen bills into law on this week, including ones dealing with traffic violations in work zones and amusement ride safety. 
Here’s a look at bills he signed. 
- House Bill 244, dealing with double fines for speeding in work zones, says to qualify for a violation there must be signs posted warning of...

Bevin says he exposed his kids to chickenpox, rejecting vaccinations; health officials say that’s risky

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin said in a radio interview that he exposed his nine children to chickenpox instead of vaccinating them, a practice that is strongly opposed by health officials as risky. Bevin also cast doubt on longstanding government policy of requiring vaccinations and incorrectly attributed the requirement to the federal government rather than the state. His...

Gov. Bevin on US-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Trade modernization benefits Kentucky and North America

Throughout the very complex trade negotiations to replace NAFTA via a trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade or USMCA, President Trump, Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration have been the subject of no small amount of criticism. Gov. Bevin As Governor of Kentucky and as a businessman with decades of experience across a wide array of industries, I have intentionally...

Council of State Governments holds national conference in Covington, elects new leadership

Staff report With Kentucky State Sen. Robert Stivers as its outgoing chair, the Council of State Governments held its National Conference in Covington this week. The conference brought government leaders from around the country to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center — and hundreds of visitors to the area. Stivers is Kentucky Senate President; he has represented Senate District 25 since 1997...

Gov. Bevin honors first responders who rescued a Madison County girl, 3, lost for 15 hours

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin honored a group of first responders who helped rescue a missing Madison County girl last month during a ceremony at the State Capitol. 
Three-year-old Eden Hines walked away from her home around 1:30 Sunday afternoon on Oct. 14, prompting an intensive search by 30 different organizations, with 1,100 to 1,200 participants including volunteers from the community. First...

Gov. and First Lady honor families across the Commonwealth as adoptive, foster parents

Governor Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) officials recently honored several families from across the Commonwealth for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. “We are determined to make Kentucky the gold standard — to make this truly as fine a place to be a foster child as anywhere in America,”...

Ivanka Trump to join Gov. Bevin in tour of Kentucky’s mountain region Friday, to explore workforce issues

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Ivanka Trump is scheduled to tour Kentucky’s mountain region on Friday, visiting three bright spots in a region that long has been caught in the grip of economic woe.

 Gov. Matt Bevin will accompany the president’s daughter for stops in Paintsville, Prestonsburg, and Morehead.

 They will also participate in a roundtable discussion with state and local officials,...

Nucor Corp. plans $650m, 70-job expansion at its Gallatin County plant, to increase capacity

Gov. Matt Bevin announced that Nucor Corp. plans a $650 million, 70-job expansion at its mill near Ghent, Nucor Steel Gallatin, and thanked the company for its ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth. “Nucor is doing incredible things at its Kentucky steel mill. We are excited that, after a substantial investment in 2017, the company has decided to move forward with its phase II project and create...

Bill Straub: ‘Knock ’em out, drag ’em in’ Bevin shows how divisions just get wider and more bitter

So, just what is it with this Bevin guy? It used to be during the long, sultry, Kentucky summers, with lawmakers out of town and anyone with a lick of sense off somewhere drinking sweet tea in air-conditioned comfort, a governor would lay low, hope things remained calm and start planning for his/her political future. Not so with Mad Matt, obviously. First, there was the contretemps over his rather...

A ton of beef (yes, 2000 pounds) headed to food banks from Beef Council, Cattlemen’s Association

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Where’s the beef?  Well, a ton of it – that’s right, 2,000 pounds – is heading to Kentucky food banks, thanks to a donation from the Kentucky Beef Council and Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.   The announcement was made during a press conference on the Capitol grounds this week where Gov. Matt Bevin signed a proclamation designating May as Beef Month in...

Gov. Bevin appoints Leathers as commissioner for Department of Workforce Investment

Ray Leathers of Shelbyville, a decorated U.S. Army veteran with 40 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, has been appointed commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment by Gov. Matt Bevin. Leathers replaces Beth Kuhn, who will now be overseeing the community engagement component of Kentucky HEALTH through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Ray Leathers is bringing...

Gov. Bevin receives notification of Federal assistance for Eastern KY counties impacted by flooding

Governor Matt Bevin today received notification that President Donald Trump has authorized assistance for certain Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of the severe flooding event from Feb. 9 through Feb. 14. Gov. Bevin “We are grateful for this official declaration by the President, which will allow Eastern Kentucky counties to access federal assistance to repair local...

This Week in Frankfort: $22 billion biennial budget to Governor; adoption, foster care, road bills pass

This week, lawmakers fulfilled a main duty the state constitution requires of them as final approval was given to a state budget that will guide more than $22 billion worth of spending over the next two years.   The budget plan does not include all of the program cuts that received much attention when they were unveiled in the governor’s original budget plan. Rather, lawmakers approved a tax measure...

Bill Straub: A billion here, a billion there adds up, but even KY House tax plan doesn’t go far enough

Legend has it that Winston Churchill, trying to draw the United States into WWII, famously said you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else. Apparently old Winnie, in his travels, never made it to the Bluegrass where, having tried ad infinitum to escape that which needs to be done, continues on its merry way ignoring its responsibilities and...