A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 775 new COVID-19 cases, 8 death, 130 kids; announces economic development projects

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday reported 775 new COVID cases and eight deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 45,978 cases and 910 deaths. One-hundred-thirty of the new cases were children 18 and younger, including 14 children 5 and under. The youngest was a 2-month-old from Jefferson County. “We’re tracking again about what we’ve seen the last several weeks,” said Beshear. “Did you ever...

Rocky Adkins: Beshear rebuilding unemployment after years of cuts designed to fail Kentucky workers

My fellow Kentuckians deserve better than an unemployment office that has been starved of funding for years and a system that was designed to tell them “no” when they need help. On those dark days when Kentuckians have lost their job, they deserve better, and Gov. Andy Beshear is committed to fixing the state’s antiquated unemployment system with financial, staffing and geographic challenges...

Gov. Beshear sets the date for two special elections to fill Adkins, Keene vacated legislative seats

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear has set the date for two special elections, to replace two Democratic members of the Kentucky House who resigned their seats to become part of his administration. Rocky AdkinsRocky Adkins of Sandy Hook, whose 99th District consists of Elliott, Lewis and Rowan counties, resigned on Inauguration Day, December 10, after serving in the House since 1987, to...

Al Cross: Start of new governorship always leans to theatrics, but — really — it’s a new day in Frankfort

The start of a new governorship necessarily involves theatrics, which help signify the importance of a historic event, establish comity after an election and signal the shift from politics to governing. But theatrics can have meaning that signals the substance and the politics to come. Tuesday’s inauguration of Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman had all those things. It repeatedly...

Rocky Adkins, Jim Gray among newest additions to Governor-elect Andy Beshear’s administration

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named more top members of his incoming administration, including two well-known Kentuckians, during a Capitol press conference on Monday. House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, who ran against Beshear in the Democratic primary, has been named Senior Advisor and former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will lead the Transportation Cabinet. “You could claim we...

Beshear names state’s teachers as grand marshals of his parade; also names co-chairs of inauguration

Kentucky teachers will serve as grand marshals in Governor-elect Andy Beshear’s inauguration parade on Dec. 10 and Covington Mayor Joe Meyer has been named one of the honorary co-chairs of the Team Kentucky inauguration. The vote from teachers, who expressed anger over Gov. Matt Bevin’s action on their pension and were offended by some off-handed comments, was a large reason Beshear will replace...

KY House democrats offer plans to help health departments, quasis with pension costs

House Democratic leaders and two state legislators who serve as the caucus’ representatives on the General Assembly’s Public Pension Oversight Board unveiled legislation this week that would provide permanent relief to quasi-governmental agencies facing steep spikes in their public-pension costs. “We have worked weeks on these proposals, trying to find a way that helps rather than hurts our...

Bill Straub: Enter fighter pilot Amy McGrath who will need big fire-power against Mitch McConnell

Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath is hoping that politics, like love in the old Sammy Cahn-Jimmy Van Heusen song, is lovelier the second time around. McGrath, the Democrat who fell to Rep. Andy “Empty Suit’’ Barr, R-Lexington, in a close-but-no-cigar race for the Commonwealth’s Sixth Congressional District seat last November, has emerged from the fog to challenge bigger game – Senate Republican...

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...