A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lawmakers returning to Frankfort to pass budget, other bills; some possible health-related measures

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As lawmakers head back to Frankfort to pass a budget — and other bills, despite Gov. Andy Beshear’s repeated request that they pass only a budget and anything related to the coronavirus — several big bills related to other aspects of health are pending, including some controversial measures. Beshear, a Democrat, denied the request of the Republican...

Bills to help health departments with pensions pass House; some will require public-health tax hikes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Two bills that were presented as part of a “three-phase approach” to create a sustainable solution to local health departments’ pension crisis passed the state House Feb. 13. The third part of the plan involves the state budget. The budget committee chair, Republican Rep. Steven Rudy of Paducah, cautioned House members that passage of the bills...

Pension bill could force some Kentucky counties to raise taxes in order to receive state assistance

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Under a new pension funding proposal pending before the Kentucky General Assembly, some counties could be asked to increase their public-health taxes to help pay for their health departments’ pension liability. “Because we’ve been giving a free ride to some of these guys, they haven’t had to go to their communities and ask for a tax increase,”...

Health departments have another year before pension hikes kick in, but some are already raising taxes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News While local health departments are more than grateful that legislation passed in the recent special legislative session gives them another year to manage their looming pension crisis, several counties have already asked for a tax increase as a way to help pay for it. The Kentucky Department of Public Health said in an email last week that it had received 63 of...

Health departments, employees making tough choices in wake of passage of Bevin’s pension bill

Kentucky’s health departments and their employees face some difficult decisions in the wake of the pension legislation passed in the recent special session of the General Assembly. The law written and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin freezes the pension costs of health departments for another year, at 49 percent of payroll, avoiding an increase to 83 percent, which would have forced layoffs and program...

Bevin to convene Kentucky General Assembly into special session beginning this Friday

Gov. Matt Bevin has announced that he will convene the Kentucky General Assembly into special session beginning this Friday (July 19) at 8 a.m. Gov. Matt Bevin Since the conclusion of the 2019 Regular Session, Bevin and his team have worked closely with state legislators preparing for a special session to save Kentucky’s quasi-agencies, including regional universities, health departments, domestic...

State’s health boards adopt legislative platform designed to modernize service system

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News At their first-ever statewide meeting, Kentucky’s local boards of health voted for their state association to adopt a legislative platform aimed at modernizing the state’s public health systems in order to improve Kentucky’s overall health. The “Kentucky’s Public Health 3.0” plan calls for local health departments to demonstrate...