A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Another of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s opioid lawsuits withstands motion to dismiss

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Another lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear against opioid manufacturers and distributors has survived a motion to dismiss. Six of his nine suits have now been cleared to proceed in the state court system, after motions to dismiss have been denied. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued nine opioid manufacturers and six of this suits have survived orders...

Kentucky Auditor announces his coming audit of Bourbon-Nicholas Regional Jail Authority

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon announced Wednesday his office will audit the Bourbon County-Nicholas County Regional Jail Authority. State Auditor Mike Harmon will look at the Bourbon-Nicholas Jail Authority soon. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) “We discovered the Bourbon-Nicholas Regional Jail has never had an audit since it was formed nearly a decade ago,”...

Audit of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reveals two areas of fault

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State Auditor Mike Harmon found fault in two areas in an audit of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. 
According to one finding in the report released on Monday, the department failed to transfer funds from outside bank accounts to Kentucky’s state treasury in a timely manner.  In one case, the money was not deposited for 263 days. A state audit...

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,...

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear files two additional lawsuits against drug manufacturers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two more lawsuits against drug manufacturers, which include allegations of overcharging for insulin, were filed Monday by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. 
One suit, filed at Franklin Circuit Court, alleges insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk, who control 96 percent of the world’s insulin market; have increased the cost of the drug...

Lawmakers from both sides aren’t sold on Bevin’s pension proposal, say they have their own ideas

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lawmakers from both parties and both chambers still say the votes are not yet there to pass Gov. Matt Bevin’s bill to address the public pension crisis, especially as it affects the state’s regional universities and quasi-governmental agencies. Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, who says he supported the bill lawmakers approved earlier this year but was vetoed by the governor,...

Navy Submarine USS Louisville completes final deployment, to be decommissioned in Pearl Harbor

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named after Kentucky’s largest city has returned to Pearl Harbor from the final deployment before being decommissioned. The USS Louisville, a Los Angeles-class fast attack nuclear submarine, is ending an historic 33-year career, which included participation in Operation Desert Storm. The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Louisville...

As special session looms, Ky. House Democrats are still not sold on Governor’s pension proposal

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There’s still no word on when Gov. Matt Bevin will call a special session of the General Assembly to address a public pension bill because he doesn’t appear to have enough votes to pass his proposal. The governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bryan Sunderland, Budget Director John Chilton and Kentucky Retirement Systems Executive Director David Eger spent more than two hours...

Governor Matt Bevin holds ceremonial bill signing for selective abortion bill, says ‘hypocrisy’ must end

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin held a ceremonial bill signing on Monday for one of four pro-life bills that passed the 2019 General Assembly. House Bill 5, known as the “Human Rights of the Unborn Child and Anti-Discrimination Act,” sponsored by Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Belton, bans an abortion based upon the gender, race or perceived disability of an unborn child. Gov. Bevin...

Labor cabinet denies Beshear request to rescind subpoenas; attorney general prepared to file suit

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has denied a request by Attorney General Andy Beshear to withdraw subpoenas to 10 local school districts seeking teacher attendance records. And if they don’t, the attorney general says he will sue. “I will not allow this governor to bully our teachers and fine them up to $1,000 a day,” Beshear said in a statement. “If the governor’s...

Beshear demands Kentucky teacher attendance record subpoenas issued by state be rescinded

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has threatened to take the Administration of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to court if subpoenas seeking teacher attendance records are not rescinded. 
Earlier this month, the Labor Cabinet issued the subpoenas to at least six local districts, seeking the names of teachers who might have used sick days to attend rallies at the Capitol...

Kentucky becomes first state to use rapid DNA testing new technology to cut wait on sexual assaults

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky has become the first state in the nation to use rapid DNA testing for sexual assault investigations, which will cut the processing time down to a few hours, rather than days or weeks. 
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders called this a tool that will help “The Hidden Heroes,” those who work at the six KSP crime labs around Kentucky. 
“In less...

Governor vetoes public pension bill, plans to call for special session to address the issue

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday vetoed a public pension bill approved on the final day of the 2019 General Assembly and vowed to call a special session to address the issue. During the 11 p.m. hour on the last day of the session, lawmakers passed public pension legislation that would have affected the regional public universities, as well as quasi-governmental agencies, such...

Back and forth dominates Monday’s subcommittee meeting regarding future of Ky’s pension system

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Separation of the County Employees Retirement System from the rest of the Kentucky Retirement Systems dominated the discussion during a meeting of the KRS Administrative Subcommittee on Monday. Three options discussed by both CERS and KRS officials are keeping things the way they are, giving CERS some autonomy or complete separation from KRS. Bryanna Carroll, director...

Ed Commissioner Lewis says teachers have right to protest but not to disrupt school districts

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis says teachers have a right to protest, but not to call in sick and disrupt school districts when they are not ill. 
He held a press conference on Friday to explain his request issued Thursday evening to 10 districts, who had to cancel because so many teachers used their sick days that not enough substitutes could be found to...

Kentucky Supreme Court to decide case regarding Beshear’s hiring of outside counsel for opioid cases

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide over the next couple of months if the attorney general can hire outside legal counsel on a contingency fee basis without approval from the Finance and Administration Cabinet. The issue stems from Attorney General Andy Beshear hiring four law firms to go after opioid manufacturers and distributors, whom he has said directly contributed...

Bill limiting many election powers of the Kentucky Secretary of State fails to advance from committee

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Senate bill that would remove many election powers from the secretary of state failed to clear a House committee on Monday. The bill was filed by Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, and in its original form would only prevent the access, modification or altering voter registration records by the secretary of state, individual members of the State Board of...

Kentucky House overwhelmingly passes selective abortion ban with 67-25 margin Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky House passed legislation that would ban an abortion if the woman seeks it because of the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin or disability. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Greenville, would also require the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to revoke a physician’s license for violating the prohibition. Rep. Melinda Gibbons...

Governor activates Kentucky National Guard to aid victims of flooding from heavy rains across the state

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky National Guard troops have been activated in response to continued flooding conditions resulting from heavy rain throughout Kentucky. Since Feb. 6, the state has experienced prolonged episodes of storms which have produced heavy rain, strong and gusting wind, flooding and flash flooding, landslides and mudslides across the state, according to Kentucky Emergency...

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...