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.

Attorneys general would be required to defend constitutionality of laws under bill filed by Hoover

02/26/2017 01:00 PM

FRANKFORT — If House Speaker Jeff Hoover has his way, Kentucky’s attorney general will have to defend the constitutionality of any statute enacted by the General Assembly and signed into law. Hoover, R-Jamestown, has sponsored House Bill 464, which would add that requirement to the office’s duties. The topic of attorneys general choosing which laws to defend in court has provided political fodder for Republicans in recent years, but Hoover told reporters Friday that HB 464 has no partisan undertones.... Read more 

Dozens question neighborhood schools bill at Louisville meeting

02/25/2017 07:09 PM

LOUISVILLE — House Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher faced a number of skeptics Saturday on his plan that would allow parents to send their children to the nearest school, a significant shift in the state’s largest school district. Bratcher, R-Louisville, was joined by Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, and Louisville Metro Council members Robin Engel and Stuart Benson at a Café LOUIE meeting at Fern Creek Library. Much of the discussion at the informal gathering revolved around legislative proposals filed by Bratcher, particularly... Read more 

House passes bill that would cap fees awarded to some lawyers hired by the attorney general at $20M

02/24/2017 08:30 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would cap lawyers’ pay in contingency fee contracts awarded by the Office of the Attorney General at $20 million cleared the House on a 62-32 party-line vote Friday. Rep. Jason Nemes, a Louisville Republican who is sponsoring House Bill 281, said the measure is designed to send more money to affected Kentuckians in high-profile civil cases, but Democrats repeatedly decried the bill as a “payback” for corporate interests that are often defendants in such lawsuits,... Read more 

Governors would have greater authority in removing university trustees under bill that passed Senate

02/23/2017 05:54 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would give governors broader authority in removing university trustees cleared the Senate on a 32-6 vote Thursday. Senate Bill 107, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, would allow governors to boot trustees from university boards or completely overhaul the board itself in instances of malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence or gross neglect of duty. Currently, board members can only be removed for cause. Stivers, R-Manchester, said SB 107 came after Gov. Matt Bevin reorganized the University of Louisville’s board of... Read more 

Stalled in committee last week, criminal justice reform package moves to Senate floor on 9-1 vote

02/23/2017 02:04 PM

FRANKFORT — A criminal justice reform bill that failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee last week breezed through the panel with just a single vote in opposition on Thursday. Senate Bill 120 passed the judiciary committee on a 9-1 vote and would lift some employment barriers for felons in hopes of keeping them from reoffending. The legislation would also allow Class C and D felons on probation or parole to earn compliance credit and establish re-entry programs, among other... Read more 

Foster-care bills on fast track to Gov. Bevin's desk after sailing through Senate committee

02/22/2017 01:29 PM

FRANKFORT — A pair of bills meant to make life easier for Kentucky’s foster youth breezed through the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. Foster youth would have an option to be placed in the home of a person who isn’t related but shares some sort of relationship with the child, such as a family friend, a neighbor or a coach, under House Bill 180, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence. House Bill 192, sponsored by Rep. Larry Brown, R-Prestonsburg, would... Read more 

Bill granting funding for Bowling Green veterans nursing home passed House budget committee

02/21/2017 09:18 PM

FRANKFORT — A bill that would authorize $10.5 million in bonds for a new veterans nursing home in Bowling Green cleared the House budget committee on Tuesday. Supporters say bonding authority granted under House Bill 13 is necessary to improve the 90-bed project’s chances of becoming a reality and that bonds are needed to match $19.5 million in federal funding. While some opposed HB 13 in favor of another proposed veterans facility in Magoffin County, the bill ultimately passed the House... Read more 

Public colleges and universities would move to performance-based funding model under bill that cleared Senate committee

02/21/2017 07:22 PM

FRANKFORT — Funding for the state’s postsecondary schools would be based on the numbers of degrees they confer, students enrolled, credit hours earned and other factors under legislation passed by the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem David Givens, would codify a performance-based funding model described in last year’s biennial budget. The formula would be administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education, and Givens said SB 153 has been backed... Read more 

Time for bills in General Assembly getting tight as lawmakers head into second half of 30-day session

02/18/2017 05:30 PM

FRANKFORT – With this year’s 30-day legislative session entering its second half next week, lawmakers are working to ensure a number of bills reach Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk before the General Assembly adjourns sine die. While anything can be resuscitated through amendments or tacked onto so-called “Christmas tree” bills at the 11th hour, many pieces of legislation will wither without movement next week. House Speaker Jeff Hoover told representatives Friday, the 14th legislative day in the session, that the 533 bills... Read more 

Senate education priority bill heading to floor after sailing through committee

02/16/2017 04:02 PM

FRANKFORT — The Senate’s education reform bill is heading to the floor after sailing through the Senate Education Committee on a unanimous vote Thursday. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Mike Wilson, would comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act that was signed into law in December 2015. The legislation would gradually alter the state’s education standards, giving the state Department of Education authority to review those standards every six years. It would also allow local school districts to develop... Read more 

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