A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Andy Beshear reports 93 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, three additional deaths

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Ninety-three new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Kentucky on Wednesday, bringing the number to 680, and two deaths have been confirmed with an unconfirmed third one, making the total 20. Gov. Andy Beshear announced the new numbers during his daily press conference at the Capitol. “While 93 is a lot of cases, this is less than Tuesday (when there were 114),...

Governor had right to delay election during state of emergency, attorney general’s opinion says

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Attorney General’s office released an opinion on Monday upholding Gov. Andy Beshear’s power to delay an election during a declared state of emergency. Jason Snead, Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Honest Lections Project, sought the opinion, asking, “Whether, during a declared state of emergency, the Governor may suspend Kentucky’s laws...

Governor Beshear issues order restricting out-of-state travel; 42 coronavirus cases, two more deaths

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today While the number of new cases of the coronavirus was lower for the second day in a row, there were also two more deaths, and interstate travel restrictions are being put into place. During his Monday press briefing at the Capitol, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were 42 new cases, which brings the total to 480 from the pandemic. “This is good news, because other states are...

Filing deadline approaching for Small Business Administration disaster loans for 2019 flooding

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today While the U.S. Small Business Administration recently approved low-interest loans to businesses impacted by the coronavirus, an earlier approval will be expiring in less than a month. The SBA is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that April 29 is the filing deadline...

Kentucky attorney general can be proactive in abortion cases under cleared House bill

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today With little discussion, a House bill allowing the Kentucky Attorney General to be proactive in cases involving abortion clinics passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, explained the measure to the panel. Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, far right, testifies to a Senate committee about a House bill that would allow...

‘Ratchet it up,’ Beshear says of next two to three weeks of fight to curb spread of coronavirus

(Click for larger image) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear says the next 2-3 weeks are going to be critical in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and while the number of new cases dropped on Wednesday, there was also one new death. “Over the next two to three weeks, I need you to be Healthy at Home and I need you to ratchet it up multiple notches,” he said during his daily press conference....

Gov. Beshear orders ‘nonessential retail’ to close as coronavirus count exceeds 100 in Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky saw its positive coronavirus cases climb over 100 and Gov. Andy Beshear said nonessential businesses would have to shutter Monday night. 
Beshear said the number of positive cases has reached 103, 16 more than Saturday’s total of 87. 

“We expected this, this is the way this virus works,” he said Sunday afternoon during his regular press conference. 
Beshear...

County Employee Retirement System wants better representation over retirement plan

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bill proposed by the County Employee Retirement System to address their concerns about under-representation on the Kentucky Retirement Systems board cleared a House committee on Monday. Bryanna Carroll with the Kentucky League of Cities says while CERS has 76 percent of the assets and make up 64 percent of the KRS membership, they only have 35 percent of the seats on the...

Governor Andy Beshear says state officials staying updated on latest coronavirus developments

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters Tuesday the state is staying on top of the coronavirus situation and remains in close contact with federal officials on the outbreak. Beshear says that included a Monday conference call with virtually every other governor, Vice-President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the CDC and many others. Gov. Andy Beshear...

Bill requiring Ky. voters to show photo ID clears House; several changes made to Senate version

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation that would require all voters to show a photo ID when arriving at the polls to vote won House approval on Tuesday after several changes were made to the Senate’s original version. Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, presented the bill to his colleagues, beginning with an amendment. He told his colleagues the old method of allowing someone to vote without showing...

Governor Andy Beshear says state prepared and ready to address coronavirus issue head-on

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There have no confirmed cases in Kentucky of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and Gov. Andy Beshear has addressed the state’s efforts to keep it that way. “I want to reassure everyone that your state government, your local health departments, everyone, is prepared and is ready to address this issue head-on, and I feel very strongly that our work will have us prepared,...

Proposed amendment that would give local government more tax options passes first hurdle

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A proposed constitutional amendment that would set the stage for local governments to change to a more consumption-based taxing system passed its first legislative test on Thursday. Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, is sponsor of the legislation that has more than 50 bipartisan co-sponsors. He told the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs...

Proposed amendment to limit the pardon power of Kentucky governors passes state senate

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A proposed constitutional amendment to limit the pardon power of Kentucky governors passed the state Senate on Wednesday. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, would ban gubernatorial pardons and commutations during the period 30 days before the election to Inauguration Day. It came in response to former Gov. Matt Bevin pardoning hundreds of people,...

Crime victims’ rights proposal, known as Marsy’s Law, clears Kentucky Senate

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A proposal to give crime victims more rights in the Kentucky Constitution passed the Senate on Tuesday. The legislation, known as Marsy’s Law and sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, is nearly identical to a similar proposal that passed the General Assembly in 2018 and was approved by 63 percent of the voters. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton,,is sponsoring...

Ky. House passes bills on election issues, battlefield preservation and sexual assault victims rights

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky House passed five bills Monday, dealing with such topics as elections, battlefield preservation and the rights of sexual assault victims. House Bill 388, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, deals with elections. It would change when county board of election members are chosen so that their first election would not be during a Presidential Election...

Governor Andy Beshear announces $5 million state contribution for Barkley Regional Airport terminal

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear visited the Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah on Monday to announce a $5 million state contribution to build a new airport terminal, which is expected to encourage future growth in the region. State and local officials, as well as representatives from the business community, were on hand for the announcement of the project, which has been termed the region’s...

Kentucky House unanimously passes measure to provide relief from high insulin costs

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The House unanimously approved a bill on Wednesday that would provide relief on the cost of insulin to more than 500,000 Kentuckians affected by diabetes. “This is an excellent example of what this chamber can do, when we are at our very best,” said Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, whose teenage son is diabetic. “When we work together across the aisle, as brothers...

‘Too much death and despair: State, national medical associations behind bill to battle opioid epidemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation aimed at helping combat Kentucky’s opioid crisis has won the backing of both the Kentucky Medical Association and the American Medical Association. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would ban private insurers and the Medicaid system from conducting prospective or concurrent reviews of any prescription drug used in the treatment...

House Speaker David Osborne says final vote on medical marijuana likely to come this week

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The House could take final action this week on a measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky while there is no sign of a vote on sports wagering, according to House Speaker David Osborne. The medical marijuana bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, cleared the House Judiciary Committee on a 17-1 vote on Wednesday with one abstention, which sent...

Braidy Industries’ new CEO reports to Senate committee; McDaniel asks for leadership details

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Top management at Braidy Industries briefed lawmakers Tuesday on the status of the aluminum mill project in northeastern Kentucky and the recent removal of Craig Bouchard as CEO and chairman of the board. 
Braidy’s board of directors removed Bouchard last week, replacing him with Kentuckian Charles E. Price as chairman and Tom Modrowski as CEO. Bouchard remains a member...