A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Whitney Westerfield: Victims of crime are still counting on you, Kentucky; we need Marsy’s Law

In 2018, the General Assembly and Kentucky voters demonstrated their strong support for crime victims when they overwhelmingly adopted the Marsy’s Law constitutional amendment. Their intent was as clear as their message: “you deserve better, we support you, and your voice matters”. Victims were able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they would finally be afforded the same level of constitutional...

Al Cross: McConnell cares most about the state Attorney General race, and things are looking up

For Mitch McConnell, things in Kentucky are looking up. In Washington, not so much. The races are close, but the Senate majority leader’s state appears likelier than not to elect Republicans to the state’s top offices Nov. 5. McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin, former rivals, have learned how to get along and stay out of each other’s way, and a Bevin victory should increase McConnell’s chances of...

MADD honors Westerfield, Heath as “Legislators of the Year” for support of ignition interlock legislation

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has named two Kentucky “2019 Legislators of the Year” for their tireless work to pass a law requiring ignition interlocks for every drunk driver after the first offense. On March 26, Kentucky became the 33rd state in the nation with an all-offender law, thanks to Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, who authored the lifesaving legislation, and Representative...

Marsy’s Law supporters ask Kentucky Supreme Court to reconsider its decision on vague ballot wording

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Supporters of Marsy’s Law are asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to reconsider a decision last month that found the ballot wording too vague.

 The measure was approved as Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, during the 2018 General Assembly, passing the Senate 34-1, and the House, 87-3, allowing it to be placed on the November 2018 ballot.

 Whitney...

Legislator Whitney Westerfield files for First District Supreme Court vacancy left by Bill Cunningham

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentucky lawmaker has entered the race to fill an unexpired term on the Kentucky Supreme Court. Whitney Westerfield (LRC photo) 
State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, has filed his papers with the Secretary of State’s office for the First District Supreme Court seat, which consists of 24 counties in western Kentucky, that was vacated in February when Justice...

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...

State Senator Whitney Westerfield withdraws name as candidate for Kentucky attorney general

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The field of Republican candidates for Attorney General has dropped by one, as State Sen. Whitney Westerfield has withdrawn from the race. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, withdrew his name from the Attorney General race in Kentucky. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) Secretary of State’s office received word from Westerfield on Friday saying, “I hereby state...

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...

Whitney Westerfield: First step for victims’ rights complete, more work to be done in November

Last year in Kentucky there were 23,785 felony cases that resulted in a conviction. In each case, there was a victim who had to navigate a complicated judicial system at a severe disadvantage to those accused of doing them harm. Too often, the criminal justice system meant to work for them caused even more anguish. Sen. Westerfield It shouldn’t be this way in Kentucky. And, with your help in November,...

Republican lawmaker Westerfield files to begin fundraising for 2019 state attorney general race

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Republican Whitney Westerfield will make a second run for attorney general, filing a letter of intent with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on Tuesday so that he can begin raising money for the campaign two years ahead of the 2019 election cycle. Westerfield came up short by a razor-thin margin in his initial bid for the post in November 2015, losing to incumbent...

Campbell County native among first in the state to have felony conviction expunged by Clean Slate law

When he stole some car radios as a young man, West Powell had no idea what the sometimes devastating impact of being labeled a felon would have on his life. Though he served months in prison for the crime, he spent many years dealing with the aftermath of having a felony on his record – hindered in job choices, not being able to vote. But thanks to a new law that took effect July 15, Powell is now...

Capitol Notes: Senate OKs electronic warrant bill; panel passes dog owner definition bill

Electronic warrant bill heads to House: The Senate unanimously approved a measure today that would allow search warrants to be completed electronically.   Senate Bill 45, sponsored by Committee Chair Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, would expand the state’s electronic arrest warrant program to include search warrants. The bill would require a person being served any search warrant to be...

Capitol Notes: Legislative pension bill passes Senate; sponsor says it could save $6.1M

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, speaks on an anti-bullying bill on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives. (Photo from LRC Public Information)   Legislative pension bill heads to House: The Kentucky Senate approved a bill today that would limit some legislative pensions.   Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, would permit lawmakers to opt out of a 2005 law...

Lawmakers hear testimony on pipeline that could impact at least 25 Kentucky counties

Special to KyForward   A proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would impact landowners in at least 25 Kentucky counties does not qualify under the state’s eminent domain law, the head of the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet yesterday quoted his agency’s general counsel as saying.   Cabinet Secretary Len Peters made the comment during yesterday’s meeting of...