Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.

Former Personnel Cabinet employee admits to soliciting campaign dollars, falsifying timesheets

09/19/2017 10:41 AM

A former official who worked in the state’s Personnel Cabinet under Tim Longmeyer settled charges with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission on Monday, admitting to soliciting campaign contributions on state time and submitting falsified timesheets. Bill Ryan, a former special assistant in the cabinet, was ordered to pay $4,000 as part of the settlement. The ethics commission, which open a preliminary inquiry in the matter on July 18, 2016, found that Ryan had thrice contacted non-merit Personnel Cabinet employees to donate to... Read more 

Attorneys general should remain elected office in Kentucky, Republican candidate says

09/16/2017 04:43 PM

FRANKFORT – While Sen. Whitney Westerfield called some of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal challenges against Gov. Matt Bevin “counterproductive,” the Republican candidate for attorney general doesn’t share Bevin’s view that the office for which he strives should be a gubernatorial appointment rather than an elected office. Such a move would require amending Kentucky’s Constitution, first through the General Assembly and then ratified by voters. Bevin, who has been sued by Beshear four times, said he believes the legislature should get... Read more 

Prosecutors say they'd have to slash staff or shutter offices to comply with Gov. Bevin's 17.4 percent budget cuts

09/15/2017 05:39 PM

FRANKFORT — Local prosecutors bemoaned budget cuts totaling 17.4 percent proposed by Governor Matt Bevin, and the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he’d like to see them shielded from the looming spending reductions. Commonwealth’s and county attorneys expressed their frustrations with the proposed cuts during an Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary meeting on Friday. Bevin’s office has told state agencies to prepare for $350 million in spending reductions — $200 million to close a projected hole in the current... Read more 

State budget director tells employers to brace for heftier pension contributions in upcoming biennium

09/15/2017 04:12 PM

State Budget Director John Chilton warned employers in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System to expect higher pension contributions, some as much as 84 percent of payroll, in the upcoming budget in a letter Friday. The letter comes as Gov. Matt Bevin and lawmakers grapple with reforming the state’s pension systems for public employees and teachers in a yet-to-be-called special session this year amid unfunded liabilities estimated between $37 billion and $64 billion and follows the Kentucky Retirement Systems’ decision to... Read more 

Resolution calling for Gov. Bevin, lawmakers to honor benefits accrued under inviolable contract tabled by KRS board

09/14/2017 05:30 PM

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees tabled action Thursday on a resolution urging Gov. Matt Bevin and lawmakers to honor benefits for pensioners and government workers accrued under the inviolable contract. KRS trustee Jerry Powell offered the resolution, which also called for full actuarially required contributions to the Kentucky Employees Retirement System and State Police Retirement System, toward the end of Thursday’s meeting but some trustees voiced discomfort with voting on something they had only just seen. Instead,... Read more 

Officials and stakeholders discuss ways to improve state's ability to buy local foods

09/13/2017 05:04 PM

FRANKFORT – State officials and producers offered their suggestions to improve the growing number of entities that look to local farms for food during a Wednesday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture. Officials from the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Department of Parks and Kentucky Venues testified on the benefits they’ve witnessed in purchasing in-state products and the struggles they still face in getting local foods on their menus. UK, for instance, buys foods from local farmers through their food services... Read more 

Attorney General Beshear questions legality of $350M in budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bevin

09/12/2017 02:03 PM

FRANKFORT – A request by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration for budget cuts totaling $350 million in many state government agencies may be illegal and lead to another courtroom showdown between Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear. Beshear announced Tuesday that he had outlined his legal concerns in a letter to Bevin’s office, which sent letters to agency leaders on Friday asking for their plans to absorb 17.4 percent spending reductions by Sept. 25. Funding for K-12 education, Medicaid, corrections, universities... Read more 

State orders 17.4 percent budget cuts in anticipation of $200M shortfall

09/08/2017 01:31 PM

Many state agencies and constitutional offices must cut spending by 17.4 percent as the state faces a $200 million budget shortfall and hopes to build its reserves to $150 million, State Budget Director John Chilton announced in a letter Friday. The move comes about a month after the Consensus Forecasting Group estimated that state revenues would come $206.2 million short of budgeted amounts in fiscal year 2018. The state plugged a $138.5 million budget hole at the close of fiscal... Read more 

House transportation workgroup looks at how other states have grappled with funding woes

09/07/2017 05:28 PM

FRANKFORT — Lawmakers on the House workgroup reviewing the state’s transportation infrastructure got a better grasp on Thursday of what other states have done in recent years to finance new roads and maintain existing ones. Legislators took an especially close look at what their counterparts in Pennsylvania did to inject $2.3 billion each year towards the state’s transportation needs. Barry Schoch, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said they started by forming a similar workgroup and exploring all financing... Read more 

Attorney General Beshear says he owes "debt of gratitude" to investigators as Longmeyer implicated again

09/01/2017 04:33 PM

With his former top deputy implicated in a second federal bribery investigation, Attorney General Andy Beshear praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Tim Longmeyer, a former Personnel Cabinet secretary and deputy attorney general who’s serving a 70-month prison sentence after pleading guilty for his role in a kickback scheme involving state contracts, was allegedly paid $1,000 by Frankfort consultant James Sullivan in March 2016 for help steering contracts in the attorney general’s office... Read more