A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill aimed at making election changes permanent easily passes Kentucky house on 93-4 vote

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A measure to make permanent many of the changes made because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 elections passed the House Friday. House Bill 574, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, who said, “Kentucky enjoyed a record-breaking voter turnout in the 2020 election, and the result caused many members of the General Assembly to consider which if any of the emergency...

Adams applauds legislation that would make some voting law changes from 2020 election permanent

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams is applauding legislation that would make permanent some of the changes implemented for the 2020 primary and general elections, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, and Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, are each sponsoring similar legislation in their respective chambers. Secretary...

Despite frigid winter weather, the work of Kentucky’s livestock producers continues through ice and snow

Cattle at the P&H Farms in Lyon, Crittenden and Caldwell counties operated by Phillip and Natalie Parish. (Photo from Kentucky Today) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today While many businesses, schools and government agencies in the state closed one or more days this week due to snow and ice storms, there is one group that does not get snow days: Kentucky livestock producers. Most days, things are routine,...

Winter storm has state on high alert, with more on the way; officals urge limiting travel when possible

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State officials are urging Kentuckians to limit travel as much as possible due to the current winter storm as well as one that is forecast for Wednesday into Thursday. During a Monday morning press briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear said, “The roads are already dangerous in places. So, if you have to be out, I hope you are taking extra time, I hope you have reduced speed and...

House impeachment committee dismisses two of three impeachment petitions against Gov. Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky House Impeachment Committee met behind closed doors for about three hours on Friday, then emerged to announce two of the three impeachment petitions filed against Gov. Andy Beshear have been dismissed. 
The seven-member panel, consisting of four Republicans and three Democrats, was named by House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, after four men filed an eight-count...

Historical horse racing bill clears licensing committee; measure now moves to full Senate

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bill to legalize historical horse racing, which are essentially slot machines, in Kentucky cleared its first legislative hurdle on Thursday as it passed the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee without dissent. However, not everybody is happy about it. The Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Family Foundation are both opposed to the measure. The measure looks to...

Budget, gambling among issues facing lawmakers as General Assembly returns for second part of session

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lawmakers return to Frankfort on Tuesday, to begin the second part of the 2021 General Assembly with a state budget, gambling, and veto overrides among items to be addressed. There are four budget bills under consideration, for the Executive Branch, Transportation Cabinet, Legislative Branch and Judicial Branch. All four were passed as continuations of the current fiscal...

Virus case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths decline Sunday as state keeps vaccination pace

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Daily figures on COVID-19 all saw decreases on Sunday, including new cases, deaths, the number of Kentuckians hospitalized, and the state’s positivity rate. The number of new cases reported to state public officials was 1,768, down from 2,649 on Saturday. While Sundays often see a decline in new cases since some labs are closed or don’t report on the weekend, the latest...

Federal government promises 17% more vaccine supply to Ky., as state sees first case of UK variant

More of the COVID-19 vaccine will be coming via the federal government, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Cornelison, University of Kentucky) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The federal government will increase its supply of COVID-19 vaccine to Kentucky, and the state has now seen its first cases of the UK Variant of the virus, Gov. Andy Beshear said on Tuesday. He said he had a call with...

Kentucky National Guard will deploy to Washington D.C., state Capitol on inauguration day

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky National Guard is sending 270 members to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden. The soldiers and airmen will assist in protecting property and providing a safe environment for citizens to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest. These Guardsmen will begin leaving the state in the next several days, and will be...

Beshear says restrictions have resulted in ‘significant decline’ in coronavirus cases over several weeks

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear noted a several week drop in new COVID-19 cases on Monday and a schedule for the next round of vaccinations was also released. “There was a significant decline last week and four weeks in a row. Last week was the lowest we have seen since November 9,” he said during a virtual press briefing from the Capitol. “What it shows is that we have certainly...

COVID claims 21 Kentuckians as 1,509 cases are reported Sunday; some counties out of red

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There were 21 more COVID-19 related deaths reported in Kentucky on Sunday, along with 1,509 new cases. 

 However, both numbers are lower than a week ago, when there were 26 deaths and 1,765 new cases, which could be an indication of flattening the curve, or even the start of a decline. Kentucky has now seen 257,063 positive cases since the start of the pandemic, while...

‘Beginning of the end’: Major milestone in virus fight as Kentucky receives first vaccine shipment

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Sunday saw a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, as the first shipment of vaccine arrived in Kentucky. The initial shipment of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was delivered to Louisville’s UPS Worldport. It was the first vaccine to win approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, receiving final regulatory approval Friday evening. The first shipment...

Gov. Andy Beshear reflects on first year in office amid COVID pandemic, says priorities remain same

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Despite the numerous issues caused by COVID-19 this year, which brought many plans to a screeching halt, Gov. Andy Beshear says his priorities remain the same as when he first took office on Dec. 10, 2019. “Providing a world-class education to all of our kids, ensuring access to healthcare for all of our citizens, ensuring that our public servants have a solid retirement,...

Attorney General Daniel Cameron optimistic the U.S. Supreme Court will overrule Beshear order

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron is awaiting word on whether the U. S. Supreme Court will take up his appeal of a ruling by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which upheld Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order closing private religious schools through the end of the year. “The process can go one of two ways,” Cameron told Kentucky Today on Tuesday. “Justice Brett...

University of Louisville study indicates COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County are higher than reported

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today An ongoing study at the University of Louisville indicates the number of COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County has increased exponentially in the past two months, according to results released this week. Researchers with the Co-Immunity Project at UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute say virus infections in Metro Louisville likely are far higher than the already...

Senator Reginald Thomas proposes legislation to increase Kentucky’s minimum wage to $15 an hour

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation is being prepared for the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly to increase the minimum wage for workers in Kentucky. The proposal, from Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, would raise the minimum wage with staggered increases over the next five years, ultimately bringing the minimum wage up to $15 an hour by 2026. Another provision would let individual cities enact...

In unanimous decision, Kentucky Supreme Court rules Beshear’s COVID-19 executive orders are legal

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today In a unanimous decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Gov. Andy Beshear’s power to issue executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic, reversing a lower court ruling. A lawsuit was filed in June at Boone Circuit Court by three northern Kentucky businesses: Florence Speedway, Bean’s Café and Bakery and Little Links to Learning, a daycare center....

Kentucky Republican leaders tout stronger supermajority during news conference in Frankfort

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Three of Kentucky’s top Republican leaders spoke to reporters Friday about the huge gains the GOP has made in the state over the past 36 years. During a press conference at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was joined by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect. They pointed...

Kentucky voters say ‘yes’ to crime victims rights, ‘no’ to longer terms for judges; final count due Friday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There were two proposed Constitutional amendments on the ballot during the general election, and although not all the votes have been counted, one is passing easily, while the other is heading to defeat. It was a successful second time around for a victims’ rights amendment, commonly called Marsy’s Law, which is named after a California murder victim whose mother was...