A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rose at 30: The landmark Supreme Court decision that changed the course of Ky public education

By Brenna R. Kelly Kentucky School Boards Association Jack Moreland had been expecting a call on the morning of June 8, 1989. It had been six months and one day since the Dayton Independent superintendent had watched an attorney representing his and 65 other school districts ask the Kentucky Supreme Court to force the state to adequately fund public education. As superintendent of Dayton Independent,...

Regional universities send letter supporting Bevin’s proposed pension bill; questions remain

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin has received support for his proposed pension reform bill from one of the groups who would be affected the most if it passes. 
A letter has been sent to all members of the General Assembly, signed by six of the seven presidents of Kentucky’s regional public universities, as well as the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, urging them to...

Special session shortlived; House adjourns saying issues too complicated for a five-day session

Staff report While the two public pension bills remained in the House, members of the Senate were not sitting still during the second day of the special session, said Senate President Robert Stivers. But the House discussions went on until about 4 p.m. when acting GOP House Speaker David Osborne said the issues were too complicated to resolve in a five-day session — and the House adjourned. Later...

The Week in Frankfort: Public pensions, dyslexia, terrorism, pawn shops, sex trafficking and more

The most-anticipated bill of the General Assembly’s 2018 session was unveiled this week with the introduction of a public pension reform bill in the Senate. The proposal is different in significant ways than the one that was unveiled last fall. Perhaps most significantly, the new plan does not call for moving public employees into a defined contribution 401 (k) –style system. Though some policymakers...

Bevin praises General Assembly for ‘historic’ work during landmark 2017 Legislative session

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin is saluting Kentucky lawmakers for the historic work they completed in the legislative session that ended last month. “What we got done was phenomenal,” he said in an interview at his Capitol office on Tuesday. “As soon as I think ‘I wish we would have gotten to this or that,’ I think to myself, ‘who would have thought that we would have gotten...

Legislative Wrapup: General Assembly winds up 2017 session by passing flurry of late bills

The 2017 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly ended Thursday evening shortly before midnight after months of work that led to passage of over 130 bills that will impact most areas of Kentucky life, from public education to the fight against drug abuse. Most new laws – those that come from legislation that don’t contain emergency clauses or different specified effective dates – will...

Cinci CityBeat reports local fairness ordinances may be in jeopardy in Republican-dominated legislature

By James McNair Reporter, CityBeat When Republicans assume control of the Kentucky House of Representatives next month, the Bluegrass State could become the next state to put merchants’ “religious freedom” ahead of the sexual orientation of their customers. A bill introduced in February by state Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, would prohibit the passage of any laws, ordinances or regulations...

‘We’re no longer dealing with slingshots’; police use of military-style weapons discussed

The use of military-style equipment by police in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this summer was not a first in this country. In fact, many local police departments in the U.S. have equipment everything from assault rifles to armored vehicles, usually paid for with federal funds, Kentucky lawmakers were told.   Questions about whether local police need or properly use such equipment surfaced after...

Governor’s proposal will create long-awaited
4-lane parkway from Winchester to Pikeville

Gov. Steve Beshear has released his proposal for accomplishing a project long-awaited by Eastern Kentuckians and given new urgency by shifts in the region’s economy – the widening, modernizing and extension of the Mountain Parkway.   “Eastern Kentucky faces a multitude of challenges, made all the more urgent by the rapidly shifting economy. Our people demand a thorough strategy that incorporates...

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. Mike Denham: General Assembly's top priority will be adopting budget to run state

While there are dozens of issues considered during a legislative session, the General Assembly’s top priority in even-numbered years is always the same: Adopt a budget to run state government.   Although planning began months ago, the first official stop for what is a multistage process came a little before Christmas, when the Consensus Forecasting Group gave its final revenue forecast and predicted...

Hemp bill passes Kentucky legislature
88-4; supporters applaud historic vote

As supporters thundered their approval, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 50, state Sen. Paul Hornback’s legislation that creates an administrative framework for industrial hemp production in Kentucky.   Sen. Hornback and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, a staunch supporter of Senate Bill 50, looked on as the House passed the bill by an 88-4 margin in the waning hours...

LRC’s Capitol Notes: Despite 107 bills passed, several big issues remain in legislative limbo

By Scott Payton Special to KyForward   A civics textbook on Kentucky government would tell you this: The Legislature then goes into veto recess, 10 days excluding Sundays, when lawmakers go home to await gubernatorial vetoes, before coming back to Frankfort for the session’s last working day or two to consider veto overrides.   Real life 2013 translation: The Legislature is now in veto...

LRC’s Capitol Notes: As session nears end, question becomes – What, now, is possible?

By Scott Payton Special to KyForward   In the long run-up to a legislative session, all things (more or less) seem possible. In its denouement – like the reworked calendar of four working days we enter now at a truncated week’s end — the question becomes: What, now, is really possible?   If politics is the art of answering that question, at no time does that become clearer than...

Ben Keeton: Kentucky can help protect school kids from deadly allergies by passing HB 172

This past Halloween, I wrote an entry for KyForward warning parents of the potential dangers of allergic (anaphylactic) reactions while trick-or-treating with their children. Since then, Kentucky has made encouraging steps toward protecting children against life-threatening allergic reactions at school.   The Kentucky Legislature is currently considering a bill, House Bill 172, that would require...

LRC’s Capitol Notes: Lack of pressing budget crises gives session a little ‘breathing room’

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves …”   In other words: When opportunity comes, grab hold.   Every legislative session has its moods, it expectations, its hopes, fears,...

LRC’s Capitol Notes: Kentucky citizens have many ways to see their government in action

With the convening of the General Assembly’s 2013 session, citizens once again are welcome to observe their government in action from the legislative chamber galleries. But those unable to make the trip to Frankfort have many ways to stay in close touch with the legislative process.   The Kentucky Legislature website is updated daily to give citizens the latest legislative updates. Web surfers...