A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

House Republicans say additional language is still needed in Governor’s proposed pension plan

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Despite a letter Gov. Matt Bevin sent to lawmakers Wednesday evening with changes to his proposed pension bill for the regional public universities, House Republicans said on Thursday more work is needed. House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, says the plan appears to lack the votes needed without a provision that allows Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees, those who have been...

Kentucky Today: How the three democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on key issues

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The gubernatorial primary is Tuesday and here is a guide on how the major Democratic candidates stand on some important issues. The responses are based on information gained from a variety of sources, including responses to a questionnaire, public statements, the candidate’s website and past news reports. The major candidates are defined as those who have raised at...

Al Cross: The primary looms and so do choices; voters may be asking, ‘Who am I most tired of?’

The race for governor of Kentucky is occasionally a harbinger of the contest that begins or ends the four-year election cycle, the race for president. In 1995, Democrat Paul Patton defeated Republican Larry Forgy, who had hoped to ride the GOP wave of 1994 but got caught in the undertow, and Bill Clinton carried the state in 1996. This year, Democrats see the possible ouster of Republican Gov. Matt...

More contention arises over public pension bill; are there sufficient votes for the measure to pass?

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Another point of contention has arisen between Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly during talks over a public pension bill for the regional universities and quasi-governmental agencies. 
The question: How many votes are needed for passage? 
Under the state Constitution, during budget years, it only takes a simple majority to approve appropriations bills,...

Democratic gubernatorial candidates to debate at UK Wednesday in Gatton Student Center Ballroom

A Democratic party gubernatorial candidate debate will be held on the University of Kentucky campus this Wednesday (May 15). The debate is free and open to the public at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Gatton Student Center Ballroom. The UK community is invited to attend. Candidates Rocky Adkins, Andy Beshear, Adam Edelen and Geoff Young will participate in the debate that is co-sponsored by the UK Student...

Debate for candidates for Democratic primary for Governor on May 15 at UK; Republicans declined

A Candidate Debate for the Democratic Primary for Governor in Kentucky will be held on the University of Kentucky campus Wednesday, May 15. Candidates Rocky Adkins, Andy Beshear, Adam Edelen and Geoff Young will participate in the debate that is co-sponsored by the UK Student Government Association, the League of Women Voters of Kentucky/Lexington and Gray Television and its nine TV stations serving...

Al Cross: Welcome, Derby visitors, to Kentucky; here’s a brief introduction to the political landscape

Welcome, Derby visitors! This column continues our longstanding tradition of giving folks who are in Kentucky for the big race, and those looking at Kentucky news media online, a snapshot of our current political landscape. We’re in the middle of a race for the Democratic nomination for governor. It’s our first contested Democratic primary for the office since 2007, an indicator of how the party’s...

Al Cross: Three Democrats for governor make their cases in first contested primary race since 2007

The shape of the May 21 Democratic primary for governor became clearer Wednesday night as the three major candidates held their first debate. Attorney General Andy Beshear’s front-runner status was confirmed by the criticism he got from former state Auditor Adam Edelen, during and after the hour-long encounter. State House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, the taller, older guy standing between the other...

Al Cross: Slow pace so far for the primary and those seeking to be governor; we need to know more

In little more than five weeks, Kentuckians will go to the polls to begin the process of electing their next governor, or giving the current one four more years. But the race has seemed to have a slow pace. That’s partly because there are fewer journalists to cover it, leaving the candidates’ media messages largely unfiltered and unquestioned. But if you look closely, their first television commercials...

House leaders Rocky Adkins, David Osborne sign off on bills regarding election recount procedures

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The top House leaders of both parties have signed on to each other’s bills that would have candidates for the General Assembly follow the same recount procedures as nearly all other candidates in close races. House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect and Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, are the main co-sponsors House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy...

Al Cross: AG’s race shapes up as most interesting; Republican side rests on McConnell’s involvement

The filing deadline has passed, so let’s make up the scorecard for this year’s statewide elections, starting with the party labels and the top job on the ballots. Republicans are at real risk of losing the governorship, mainly due to Gov. Matt Bevin’s self-inflicted wounds. Al Cross But the Kentucky Democratic Party, after decades of decline, risks being shut out of statewide office. Its best...

Rep. Rocky Adkins makes clear he’s ‘in this race to win it’ as he files paperwork for gubernatorial bid

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrat Rocky Adkins said Thursday he’s more encouraged than ever about his chances in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race. Adkins, the veteran lawmaker from the Appalachian town of Sandy Hook, spoke with reporters after he and his running mate, Stephanie Horn of Louisville, filed candidacy papers in the secretary of state’s office. Democrat House leader Rocky Adkins filed...

Al Cross: Bevin’s chances for re-election, if he runs, are better than you think, popularity notwithstanding

If Gov. Matt Bevin really does run for re-election, as he keeps saying he will, and as I believe he will, what chance does he have of winning? Better than you might think. Yes, he may be America’s most unpopular governor. In the latest Morning Consult state-by-state poll, for the last quarter of 2018, his approval rating was 34 percent and his disapproval was 51 percent. (Four other governors had...

Andy Beshear officially files to run for governor, calls candidates to release tax returns

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Accompanied by family members, Attorney General Andy Beshear and running mate Jacqueline Coleman filed their papers at the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday as a gubernatorial slate for the May Democratic primary. 
Speaking to reporters, Beshear called upon all slates for governor to release their income tax returns for the last two years, in the interest of transparency.  
“After...

State representative Rocky Adkins raises $620,000 in only two months toward gubernatorial campaign

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrat Rocky Adkins has proven himself a formidable gubernatorial candidate, raising more than $620,000 in the two months since he entered the race. “We’re honored and humbled to have strong support across Kentucky,” said Adkins, the longtime House Democratic floor leader from Sandy Hook. “The outcome of our fundraising effort demonstrates the strength of this...

Kentucky House Democratic Caucus selects, Reps. Adkins, Graham, Jenkins as leadership team

State Representatives Rocky Adkins, Derrick Graham and Joni Jenkins will serve as the House Democratic Leadership team for the next two years, following a vote by their fellow caucus members this afternoon. Rep. Graham is the first African-American and Rep. Jenkins is the second woman in history to be a Democratic leader in the House. left to right, House Democratic Chair Derrick Graham of Frankfort,...

Democrat Rocky Adkins files paperwork to run for governor; announcement today in Morehead

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The element of surprise is gone from Democratic House Leader Rocky Adkins’ “special announcement” today in Morehead. 
As most suspected anyway, Adkins is running for governor. 
An examination of Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records shows a filing for a gubernatorial slate consisting of the Sandy Hook Democrat, along with Stephanie Horne, an outgoing member...

House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins may be getting ready to run for governor, has family support

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrat Rocky Adkins may be inching closer to a run for governor, telling reporters Wednesday that his family supports the idea. House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins is still mulling over a run for governor in 2019. He has the full support of his family. (LRC photo) “It’s a must that they be on board, and they are,” Adkins said. “This is a statewide race, and it’s...

Lawmakers named to permanent child welfare committee created by passage of HB 1

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislative leaders have named most of the members of the permanent Child Welfare and Oversight Advisory Committee created by the passage of House Bill 1, the adoption and foster care reform measure in the 2018 General Assembly. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, named three Republican members: Sens. Julie Raque Adams of Louisville, Tom Buford of Nicholasville...

Kentucky is first to get Medicaid waiver; Bevin says Kentucky HEALTH is answer, but opposition is strong

Kentucky is the first state to get a Medicaid waiver that would permit the state to require work of service to quality for the insurance. Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday afternoon that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had approved the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH — “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health.” Bevin...