A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bevin names Democratic state Rep. John Tilley secretary of Justice and Public Safety Cabinet

Today, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that state Rep. John Tilley (D-Hopkinsville) will serve as secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Tilley is a former prosecutor who is nationally recognized for his work on criminal justice reform and drug policy. John Tilley “I am pleased to announce that John Tilley will serve as Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet,” Bevin said. “He...

Commentary: New, more dangerous synthetic drugs represent next front in ongoing battle

By Rep. John Tilley Special to KyForward   One of the hallmarks of illegal drug use in Kentucky is that each epidemic tends to hit a region particularly hard before it fans out across the state.   Northern Kentucky and Louisville, for example, have suffered more than most from the recent steep increase in heroin addiction. Eastern Kentucky has been the epicenter for prescription drug abuse,...

Following emotional testimony, Senate panel OKs expanding dating violence protections

Upset his 19-year-old college girlfriend didn’t answer her phone one night, a man scaled a three-story building and crawled into her bedroom window. He slammed the woman into a wall, put his hand around her throat and said, “Remember this the next time you don’t answer your phone.”   The man, who she had met in class, then stalked the woman the following day and hid in the back of her...

Kentucky’s corrections system reforms gain notice as Frontline examines ‘Prison State’

Kentucky’s ongoing efforts to reform its corrections system will be featured tonight on PBS’ Frontline. KET will do a local follow-up a little more than a week later.   “PBS has spent more than two years studying this issue, with a particular focus on what is happening here in Kentucky,” said Rep. John Tilley, who chairs the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee and...

Capitol Notes: Senate measure increases general fund revenues by more than $20M

Revenue measure clears Senate: After approving a state budget plan, the Kentucky Senate Tuesday amended and passed a measure that would increase general fund revenues by more than $20 million in the next biennium.   Most of the revenue increases would come from provisions relating to waste tire fees and the sale of abandoned property that were also included in the House-approved plan. House...

Capitol Notes: E-cigarette bill clears House panel, would be regulated as tobacco products

E-cigarette bill clears House panel: Electronic cigarettes would be regulated as tobacco products in Kentucky under legislation that passed the House Licensing and Occupations Committee today.   House Bill 309, sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, would include the relatively new product among cigarettes, cigars, and other types of tobacco products that are state regulated. It would also...

Officials celebrate successes of bill that made reforms to state’s criminal justice system

(Graphic provided)   Legislative, law enforcement, judicial, community and state leaders today highlighted the mounting successes of House Bill 463, landmark legislation from 2011 that made reforms to Kentucky’s criminal justice system.   “When we began our work two years ago, with leaders from all branches of government, Pew Center officials and victim’s advocates, we believed we could...

Pre-filed legislation clarifies eminent domain in cases such as proposed Bluegrass Pipeline

Legislation was pre-filed today that would make the law governing eminent domain clearer when issues arise like those surrounding the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.   “I want to make certain that the inherent rights of Kentuckians are secure and free from the unregulated use of eminent domain,” said Rep. John Tilley, who chairs the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee and prefiled...