A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ky. Supreme Court rules historical horse racing isn’t pari-mutuel wagering, illegal under current law

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion Thursday where they unanimously agreed that historical horse racing is not pari-mutuel wagering and is therefore illegal under state law, concluding a decade long battle. This is the second time the case has come before the justices, and this ruling followed oral arguments that were held in August. Kentucky’s Supreme Court...

Kentucky Supreme Court hears suit brought by three businesses related to Beshear’s executive orders

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday on whether Gov. Andy Beshear exceeded his Constitutional authority on executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic. 
A lawsuit was filed in June by three Northern Kentucky businesses: Florence Speedway, Bean’s Café and Bakery, and Little Links to Learning, a daycare center. The suit was not filed due to...

Gov. Beshear reports 4th-highest number of cases — 825; roundup of COVID-related news

Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday reported the fourth-highest number of COVID cases since March — 825 new cases and three deaths. This brings the state’s totals to 45,577 cases and 921 deaths. There were 145 new cases of children 18 and under and of those 15 were 5 and under. Two were just eight months old. There were 52 new cases in Fayette County. “Unfortunately, today, I’m reporting...

Kentucky Supreme Court issues two amended orders related to in-person testimony and evictions

The Kentucky Supreme Court has entered two amended administrative orders related to in-person testimony and evictions. Highlights of those orders are below.   In-Person Testimony Administrative Order 2020-63 amends Administrative Order 2020-55, Health and Safety Requirements. The amendment clarifies that a judge may, in his or her discretion, allow a party, attorney or witness to temporarily remove...

Kentucky Supreme Court sets schedule for hearing on suit against Governor’s executive orders

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court issued an order on Friday, setting a briefing schedule and a date for oral arguments, in one of the lawsuits filed against Gov. Andy Beshear’s use of executive orders in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. 
The matter involves separate rulings by circuit judges in Boone and Scott counties, in cases where Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined...

To evict or not evict, that is the question — and the answer is, well, confusing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New guidance from the Kentucky Supreme Court on staffing, access to jury trials and evictions has caused some widespread confusion, especially when it comes to the eviction section. 
The Administrative Order, which takes effect on Saturday, allows all evictions for non-payment of rent to resume on that date, except for those subject to the federal CARES Act. 
Leigh Anne...

Opponents say action approved without comment or committee vote could lead to more gambling parlors

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today An administrative regulation sought by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to allow horseracing tracks to build another facility within 60 miles was approved without comment and without a vote by the Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee on Thursday. Opponents say this gives Kentucky tracks the opportunity to expand historical racing, without approval...

KY Supreme Court keeps Beshear’s executive orders in place; Governor reports 531 new cases, 8 deaths

The Kentucky Supreme Court has kept in place all executive orders related to the fight against COVID-19, including the mask order, until the court can hear full arguments from the Beshear administration and the Attorney General’s office and issue a final ruling. “As many of you are aware, the attorney general had filed a motion to try to void every single order that had been put out to fight this...

Beshear, McConnell settlement over Medicaid funding secures $383 million for rural hospitals

Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday announced $383 million in state and federal dollars for 54 rural hospitals by settling a 13-year-old dispute regarding Medicaid funding rates. The settlement negotiated by Beshear, with support from McConnell, successfully convinced the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer funding in combination...

Kentucky Supreme Court extends suspension of in-person court services through May 31

With the COVID-19 state of emergency still in place in Kentucky and nationwide, the Supreme Court has extended the effective date of the order that governs court operations during the pandemic.  Administrative Order 2020-22, dated April 14, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-16, dated April 1. John D. Minton Jr. The effective date of the order has been extended from May 1 to May 31. The...

Kentucky Supreme Court suspends in-person services at court facilities through May 1

In anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued new amendments today that strengthen the social-distancing order that has been in place in courts statewide since March 16. The order restricts dockets, jury trials and jury service during the pandemic. Administrative Order 2020-16, dated April 1, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-13, dated March 26. The...

Opinion: Marsy’s Law will give crime victims a much-deserved voice in Kentucky’s justice system

By Dorislee Gilbert and Caroline Ruschell Special to KyForward Sometimes simply having a voice in the process and being treated with respect makes all the difference. That’s something we’ve heard time and again from survivors as they navigate the criminal justice system. It’s also quite often the defining factor in whether they feel justice was rendered or if the very system in place to protect...

Col Owens: It’s time to raise the minimum wage, the single most effective way to undergird our economy

Henry Ford once said, when asked why he paid his workers so well, “so they can buy the cars they make.” He recognized that a robust market for goods and services requires consumers with the means to purchase them. The minimum wage is the single most effective public policy for ensuring that low-wage employers compensate employees more adequately. It also helps to undergird our economy, which is...

Chief Justice John Minton says cuts to court personnel will follow if Beshear’s budget enacted

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton warns of substantial personnel cuts if Gov. Andy Beshear’s budget allocation for the Judicial Branch of government is enacted. During remarks before the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice, Public Safety and Judiciary on Tuesday, Minton laid out his requests for the next two years and described the consequences of...

End of an era, as Supreme Court Clerk Susan Clary has spent last day serving the high court 40 years

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today It’s the end of an era, as Supreme Court Clerk Susan Clary retired Friday after nearly 40 years of service to the High Court. She began her career shortly after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1981, serving as law clerk for then-Supreme Court Justice James B. Stevenson. Susan Clary (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) The following year, she...

Schickel, Westerfield spar over concerns regarding out-of-state lobbying money targeting Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentucky lawmaker has expressed his displeasure at out-of-state money being used to lobby for legislation in Kentucky. Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to complain about the money spent on Marsy’s Law, a measure named after Marsy Nicholas, a California college student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in the 1980s. Republican...

Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously sides with Lexington graphic artist over LGBT rights ordinance

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled in favor of a Lexington graphic artist who declined to print T-shirts for a gay pride event. The court ruled that Lexington’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Ordinance (SOGI) was improperly applied since the plaintiff — Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) — lacked standing. Richard Nelson“The court upheld First...

Retired Ky. Supreme Court justice Bill Cunningham honored with portrait to hang outside court chambers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A recently retired Kentucky Supreme Court justice, who spent over 40 years in public service, was honored Friday with a portrait that will hang outside the high court’s chambers at the State Capitol. Bill Cunningham was surrounded by friends, family and other well-wishers at the unveiling, which took place in the chamber where he served on the Supreme Court for over a...

Amye Bensenhaver: KY Supreme Court strikes blow for open government; court is arbiter of access

In what may be the single most important victory for open government in recent memory, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion on September 26 in which it repudiated the Legislative Research Commission’s argument that it, and not the courts, are the final arbiter of access to records of the LRC and the legislature. The opinion in Becky Harilson, etc., et al. v. Hon. Phillip J. Shepherd, et...

Kentucky Supreme Court gives the Kentucky Employees Retirement System a major victory

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled this week that a quasi-governmental agency, which declared bankruptcy due to higher pension costs, is responsible for paying its unfunded liability to the Kentucky Employees Retirement System.

 Centerstone, a nonprofit mental health provider in Louisville formerly known as Seven Counties Services, declared bankruptcy in 2013 and KERS...