A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky House Democrats make history, name Joni Jenkins to become state’s first female floor leader

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A little bit of history has been made as Kentucky House Democrats have elected the first female floor leader. Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively was elected Friday by the House Democratic Caucus. She replaces Rocky Adkins, who resigned his post to serve as Senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear. Since Jenkins had served as Minority Whip, Rep. Angie Hatton of Whitesburg was then elected...

Opponents dominate public hearing on state’s revised proposal for changes in Medicaid program

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Only three of the 17 Kentuckians who spoke at the final public hearing in Frankfort on changes to the state’s Medicaid proposal supported it. The advocates said the work requirements “will make their lives better” and cited personal responsibility as reasons for their support. Opponents, however, said the changes create a barrier to care for...

Commentary: Streamlining, improving adoption in Kentucky the goal of new legislative work group

By David Meade Special to KyForward In the 2017 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, a focus like no other was placed on children and families. In historic fashion, the legislature passed critical legislation to improve foster care placement, protect life, and combat our devastating drug epidemic. And thanks to the leadership of Speaker Jeff Hoover, we will now have the chance to do even more...

Democrats respond to GOP challenge, embrace Kynect and Beshear’s Medicaid expansion

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News With a verve for Obamacare most had not publicly demonstrated, state House Democrats passed bills Tuesday to preserve the Kynect health insurance exchange and the state’s expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program. The almost entirely party-line votes were a response to Republican Senate President Robert Stivers, who had challenged the House to act...

Commentary: Personal religious convictions matter, but ‘there are many paths to righteousness’

By Rep. Joni Jenkins Special to KyForward Along with other elected officials, I have reflected much on the intersection of faith and politics. As a person of faith, I cannot totally divorce that part of myself when I walk into the governmental/political arena. While my Christianity influences every personal and political decision I make, I have been hesitant to publicly reference my faith in performing...

Commentary: With time growing short, Bevin needs to provide details on his proposed budget cuts

By Rep. Joni Jenkins Special to KyForward When a new governor is elected, it should be incumbent upon all parties to work together, establish trust and build relationships, especially in a budget session where so much is at stake. From the beginning, however, we have been operating at a trust deficit. Gov. Matt Bevin promised during his campaign to release his tax returns, but then once elected, refused...

Commentary: Let's finish the job of expanding health coverage for low-income Kentuckians

By Reps. Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian Special to KyForward   Last year, Kentucky led the nation in a critically important area: Relative to our population, more low-income individuals gained health coverage in Kentucky than any other state. It’s a remarkable achievement that will improve the health of our residents and strengthen both our state’s economy and health care system.   There’s...

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...