Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

Priority education bill unanimously passes full Senate

02/17/2017 01:55 PM

FRANKFORT – Senate Bill 1, which would mirror the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was signed into law in December 2015, was passed 35-0 by the Senate on Friday. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, told members of the Senate that SB1 would gradually alter the state’s education standards, giving the state Department of Education authority to review those standards every 6 years. It would also allow local school districts to develop teacher evaluation methods and criteria.... Read more 

Criminal justice reform bill faces scrutiny in Senate committee

02/16/2017 05:09 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would help released felons get back into the workforce faced scrutiny on Thursday by members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Senate Bill 120, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, is a criminal justice reform bill which came about as a result of Gov. Matt Bevin’s appointed committee to study criminal justice reform, and is aimed at lowering the number of Kentuckians who return to prison by creating options for rehabilitation. The legislation, which has the backing... Read more 

Bill to ban smoking on all Kentucky public school grounds passes Senate

02/15/2017 06:02 PM

FRANKFORT – Legislation which, if passed and signed into law, would prohibit tobacco use on public school property passed by the state Senate with a vote of 25-8 on Wednesday. Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, would prohibit the use of tobacco products by students, school personnel, and visitors in schools, school vehicles, properties, and activities, and would require the policies to be in place by the 2018-19 school year. In addition, the legislation would require signage designating... Read more 

Bill which would increase campaign contribution limits passes Senate

02/15/2017 02:25 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would increase the limits on individual campaign contributions to candidates, caucus committees, or political parties was passed on Wednesday by the Senate Standing Committee on State and Local Government and then later, the full Senate by a 27-10 vote along party lines. Senate Bill 75, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, would double the campaign limits individuals are allowed to contribute. SB75 is similar to legislation that Thayer has filed in the past, and the Senate... Read more 

Bill targeting drug traffickers clears second committee and is passed by full Senate

02/14/2017 01:02 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would increase sentences for drug traffickers was passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Revenue on Tuesday morning, and then passed 36-0 later in the day by the full Senate. Senate Bill 14, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, would push sentences back to the levels that were in place before House Bill 463 was passed in 2011. The legislation cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, but because it will cost the state... Read more 

House passes "blue lives matter" bill as protestors disrupt proceedings

02/13/2017 10:24 PM

FRANKFORT – House Bill 14, which would give hate crime protections to police officers and emergency responders was passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives on Monday night by a 77-13 vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, adds the hate crime classification to offenses committed against peace officers, firefighters or emergency medical technicians. Similar legislation passed in Louisiana last year where it adopted the “blue lives matter” name, a phrase Bratcher has tried to separate from his bill. The “hate... Read more 

Attorney General Andy Beshear outlines work of office in latest spat with Gov. Bevin

02/10/2017 03:42 PM

FRANKFORT – Attorney General Andy Beshear has released a report requested by Gov. Matt Bevin showing that the AG’s Office of Civil and Environmental Law, which received just over $2 million of general fund dollars for operation, has returned nearly $20 million directly to the commonwealth, secured what could reach $85 million in restitution to Kentuckians, and ensured a $90 million payment from the Tobacco Settlement Fund in 2016. Bevin sent a hand delivered letter to Beshear on February 2 requesting... Read more 

Senate passes school religious freedom bill

02/10/2017 12:00 PM

FRANKFORT – Legislation reasserting student rights to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments, was passed by the Senate on Friday by a 31-3 vote. Under Senate Bill 17, sponsored by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, students would be free to distribute religious materials and teachers could use the Bible for teaching about the role of religion in America’s history. The bill has been opposed by organizations such as the ACLU of Kentucky who say that students and teachers are already... Read more 

Committee Update: Senate education committee passes three bills

02/09/2017 02:53 PM

FRANKFORT – Bills which would prohibit tobacco use on public school property, establish alternate teaching certificates for veterans, and allow schools the option of a later start date were all passed on Thursday by the Senate Committee on Education. Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, which unanimously passed by a 12-0 vote, would prohibit the use of tobacco products by students, school personnel, and visitors in schools, school vehicles, properties, and activities, and would require the policies to... Read more 

School religious freedom bill passes Senate committee

02/09/2017 02:04 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would allow students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments was passed on Thursday by the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection. The legislation, Senate Bill 17, which was sponsored by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, passed by a 12-1 vote. If the bill were to become law, students would be free to distribute religious materials and teachers could use the Bible for teaching about the role of religion in America’s... Read more 


School Closing Information

TWEETS ABOUT SPECTRUM NEWS