A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Chamber releases 2021 Federal Priorities following 2020 elections, advocating for businesses

As Kentucky looks to recover and rebuild its economy from the coronavirus pandemic, the Kentucky Chamber has released its 2021 Federal Priorities. In addition to advocating on behalf of businesses at the state level, the Kentucky Chamber also advocates for pro-business policies in Washington, D.C. “Through great relationships with Kentucky’s federal delegation and with our colleagues at the US...

Commentary: Kentucky’s fight against drug addiction must include help from criminal justice system

By Tim Robinson and Ben Chandler Special to KyForward At a moment when many people are finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye with their fellow Kentuckians, there’s one thing we all can agree on: we must keep fighting to end addiction in the commonwealth. This is a public health crisis that has only worsened due to the challenges of the last eight months, with substance use and overdose deaths trending...

Bill Straub: McConnell was punched out in the debate with clear-winner McGrath; will it make a difference?

The most provocative, and therefore most interesting, moment in Monday’s televised debate pitting Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell against the Democrat seeking to displace him, former fighter pilot Amy McGrath, came when the man who refers to himself as the Grim Reaper threw in the towel. The moment went by nearly unnoticed. Over the first 20 minutes of the hour-long...

Donald Saelinger: We are America divided and that cannot stand; we must find common ground

“United we stand, divided we fall” is a phrase that can be traced back to the 6th Century B.C. American extremism has grown to epidemic proportions and divides us into rigid camps: Democrat vs. Republican, pro-choice vs. pro-life, progressive vs. conservative, black vs. white, and even Pro-America vs. Anti-America. What has happened to compromise and respect for each other? Subgroup division...

KCTCS sets records for total number of credentials awarded, most graduates for one year

Despite the significant disruption to the spring semester, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) awarded a record number of credentials to a record number of graduates. Additionally, the record number of credentials awarded pushes the total number of credentials awarded to half a million since KCTCS was created. For the 2019-20 academic year the 16 KCTCS colleges awarded 39,291...

Letter to the Editor: Col Owens says support Amy McGrath and healthcare for all — realistically

A major issue facing Kentuckians in this fall’s U.S. Senate election is health care. All Democratic candidates support universal access to coverage. How to get there is what differentiates them. Amy McGrath recognizes that access to health care, like access to basic education, enhances our quality of life while undergirding our nation’s security and competitiveness. She proposes a thoughtful, realistic...

Two years early, Kentucky’s public universities hit key targets on STEM+H bachelor’s degrees

Kentucky’s public universities chalked up another win for workforce readiness in 2018-19, surpassing a major milestone for bachelor’s degrees in high-demand STEM+H fields – science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The state’s strategic plan, “Stronger by Degrees,” called on universities to produce at least 6,620 STEM+H degrees annually by the 2020-21 academic year. However,...

John Schaaf: McConnell’s talk of state bankruptcy is strange, and his timing of announcement is peculiar

In a strange move, Sen. Mitch McConnell recently announced he favors “allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” so he’s pushing an idea that would require states to raise taxes and sell off assets such as the Kentucky State Parks. Sen. McConnell’s announcement is peculiar because of its timing and because of the chaos that would result if a state declared it could not pay its bills. Luckily,...

KHIP: One in five Kentuckians delays health care because of cost; one in four skip prescriptions

The cost of health care and medication remained a problem for hundreds of thousands of Kentucky adults in 2019, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Although the percentage of Kentucky adults who delayed or skipped doctor visits or did not fill a prescription because of the cost has declined in the past decade, those most affected tend to have lower incomes and are more likely to have poorer...

Chamber of Commerce survey of state businesses details employer expectations as economy reopens

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce surveyed 443 businesses across the Commonwealth in attempts to illustrate the virus’s impact on the business community. The Chamber invited businesses from across the state to provide their feedback over a 10-day period from April 10-April 20. The majority of responses came from small businesses with more than 65 percent of surveys...

Dennis Keene: Beshear’s proposed budget moves Kentucky forward, reverses effects from years of cuts

In my previous roles at Southbank Partners and as the 67th district representative, my mission was to fight for economic development and growth for Northern Kentucky. Now, as the commissioner for the Department for Local Government (DLG) I am broadening that purpose by collaborating with local officials across the commonwealth to improve every community. So far, I am encouraged by Gov. Andy Beshear’s...

Beshear unveils ‘Education First’ budget ending 14 years of cuts; funds health, pensions, social workers

Gov. Andy Beshear outlined his first budget to lawmakers on Tuesday prioritizing education, health care and protecting our children, underlining his belief that a budget is a statement of values. “It is a budget that not only ends years of painful cuts, it also makes a major investment in public education, fully funds expanded Medicaid, makes a historic investment in protecting our children, directs...

Trudy Lieberman: Low-value tests are costly, can lead to harm; limit medical costs by avoiding them

We know too well the cost of American health care keeps rising as far as the eye can see. In 1995 health care accounted for 13.4 percent of GDP; in 2018 it consumed 17.7 percent. It is projected to rise even more. Despite all the talk about how patients should become wise consumers of medical care, they can’t really do much to stop the big hospital systems, big physician groups, or powerful drug...

State of Commonwealth: Gov. Beshear says state’s future depends on Kentuckians working together

In his first State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky’s future depends on leaving divisive politics in the past and focusing on providing opportunity for every Kentucky family.   Gov. Beshear said the transformational and positive change Kentucky families count on occurs when we break the cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction, and obtain a good-paying career,...

Kentucky lawmakers Scott, Wiederstein pre-file bill aimed at addressing maternal deaths

Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service State legislators have pre-filed a bill aimed at addressing racial bias in health care that contributes to Kentucky women dying during or following childbirth. Co-sponsored by Reps. Attica Scott of Louisville and Rob Wiederstein of Henderson, both Democrats, Bill Request 88 would create local maternal fatality review teams, require implicit bias training for perinatal...

Al Cross: As race for governor heats up, both sides are missing an honest discussion of health care

The race for governor has begun in earnest, with both sides using scare tactics. But both sides also seem scared of saying the wrong thing about the most important issue to voters, health care. Yes, health care. That may have been the most surprising news of the week, in the Prichard Committee’s release of its poll, taken in June. Asked which issue “should be the top priority for your elected officials...

KCTCS offers Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program this fall for top five in-demand career fields

Kentuckians who are interested in earning a certificate or an associate degree in one of the top five in-demand fields in the Commonwealth could go to college tuition free at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Thanks to the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program, students who choose programs in advanced manufacturing, health care, transportation/logistics, business and IT...

Behind the scenes, health insurers use cash and gifts to sway which benefits employers choose

(Photo by Justin Volz, Special to ProPublica) The insurance industry gives lucrative commissions and bonuses — from six-figure payouts to a chance to bat against Mariano Rivera — to the independent brokers who advise employers. Critics call the payments a “classic conflict of interest” that drive up costs. By Marshall Allen This story was co-published by ProPublica and NPR’s Shots blog The...

Many Kentuckians will decide more than just the election this fall as they review health care options

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Candidates in the upcoming election aren’t the only choices Kentuckians need to make this fall. Some workers will have to decide on health insurance options for 2019. Executive Director of United Healthcare of Kentucky Paul Brophy explains it’s the time of year when many companies set aside a two-week period for employees to select health benefits for...

Second annual Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit set for Sept. 10-12 in Louisville

Learn about the rapidly expanding career and business opportunities available to Kentuckians at the second annual Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit Sept. 10-12 at the Kentucky Exposition Center at 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville. Registration for the free event, co-hosted by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and UPS, is at form.jotform.com. The summit will bring together...