A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ky. House passes bills on election issues, battlefield preservation and sexual assault victims rights

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky House passed five bills Monday, dealing with such topics as elections, battlefield preservation and the rights of sexual assault victims. House Bill 388, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, deals with elections. It would change when county board of election members are chosen so that their first election would not be during a Presidential Election...

Permanent daylight savings time? Ky. lawmakers like the idea, pass resolution urging Congress to act

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A resolution urging Congress to allow states to opt for daylight saving time all year passed the Kentucky House on Wednesday. Rep. Brandon Reed, sponsor of the measure, told his colleagues on the House floor, “It saves energy, reduces traffic injuries, crime and helps with mental health, thus saving lives.” House lawmakers voted 92-2 to support a resolution urging Congress...

Bill affecting state’s growing industrial hemp industry is first to pass Kentucky House Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation affecting Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry is the first to clear the Kentucky House during the 2020 General Assembly. 
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matthew Koch, R-Paris, told his colleagues it has the endorsement of The Kentucky Hemp Association and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. 
“This bill incorporates language and recent guidelines issued...

Kentucky House to vote on utility-backed bill that would discourage rooftop solar installations

Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The Kentucky House is set to vote on legislation that would allow utility companies to change how they credit homeowners for the surplus electricity generated by rooftop solar panels. Critics of Senate Bill 100, including the Sierra Club in Kentucky, have said it would stifle the market for solar energy in the state and make it difficult for customers to know how...

Kentucky House overwhelmingly passes selective abortion ban with 67-25 margin Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky House passed legislation that would ban an abortion if the woman seeks it because of the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin or disability. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Greenville, would also require the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to revoke a physician’s license for violating the prohibition. Rep. Melinda Gibbons...

Constance Alexander: How many more canaries are in the mine when it comes to sexual harassment?

A little more than a year ago, it became public that then-Speaker of the Kentucky House, Jeff Hoover, had secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a twenty-something female legislative aide. While Hoover denied the charge, he did admit to sending inappropriate text messages, insisting they were “consensual,” according to an Associated Press report by Adam Beam. The secret agreement was signed...

GOP maintains control of Kentucky House, but many new faces, mostly women, will fill seats in January

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrats were unable to flip the Kentucky House or even reduce the GOP supermajority, but there will be a lot of new faces – many of them women – in the chamber when lawmakers convene in January. Two Jefferson County Republicans, Phil Moffett and Ken Fleming, were defeated by Democratic women, Lisa Bojanowski and Maria Sorolis, respectively. A pair of House seats...

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...

House passes two-year budget plan with help for pensions, historic SEEK funding, some new taxes

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a funding package with cigarette and opioid taxes and increased funding for SEEK and public pensions by a vote of 84-8. The total spending plan is about $22.5 billion for the next two fiscal years, which begins July 1. The two-year budget plan, presented on the House Floor by Appropriations & Revenue Chairman Rep. Steven Rudy, is a comprehensive plan...

Dems may back off special meeting request after law firm hired to investigate harassment allegations

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky House Democrats may be backing off a call for a special meeting of the Legislative Research Commission after the Republican Caucus hired a law firm to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against four members. The Majority Republicans announced on Tuesday that they have retained the Middleton Reutlinger law firm to conduct the investigation and advise...

Mike Denham: With new budget proposal on the horizon, two economic indicators provide good news

As Kentucky House leaders were putting the final touches on a proposed two-year state budget last week, legislators received not one but two reports of good economic news. On Thursday, state officials said that revenues have grown 4.3 percent so far this current fiscal year, all but guaranteeing a surplus with less than four months to go. The sales tax – one of the state’s major revenue sources...

Rep. Jim Gooch: Why I decided to change parties and run as Republican for re-election to 12th District seat

Today I sent an e-mail to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover informing them that I will seek a twelfth term as State Representative for the 12th Legislative District as a Republican. This decision was made after weeks of deliberation, prayer and conversations with close personal friends and family. Jim Gooch Both Speaker Stumbo and Leader Hoover are learning of this decision...

Capitol Notes: Kentucky’s unfolding civic history largely written in 60 working days

By Scott Payton Legislative Research Commission   Let me have audience for a word or two … about this fair Assembly.   So said the Bard, in another context but it still applies.   For the next three and a half months, there’ll be lots more than a word or two written about the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly, including more than 16,000 in coming weeks right here. A poet like Shakespeare...

Rep. Carl Rollins resigns; governor will call
for special election June 25 to fill House seat

Kentucky Rep. Carl Rollins, who has served the House of Representatives’ 56th district for the past seven sessions, has resigned to take a full-time position with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.   Rep. Carl Rollins (Photo from LRC.gov) The 56th House district includes Woodford County and part of Fayette and Franklin...