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.

Vice President Mike Pence promotes GOP health proposal during Jeffersontown stop as debate roils in D.C. and beyond

03/11/2017 07:35 PM

JEFFERSONTOWN — With Republicans in Congress advancing their first proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, Vice President Mike Pence spent part of his Saturday selling the plan to more than 100 who gathered at Harshaw Trane. Before taking the stage, he spoke with small business owners about the proposed American Health Care Act. The GOP-led House of Representatives is fast-tracking the bill that would removes or alters key parts of the federal health law known as Obamacare through reconciliation, a budgetary... Read more 

Bill requiring additional records checks for school employees, public camp workers headed to House floor

03/09/2017 02:22 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would require school districts to check with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for substantiated instances of child abuse before making hires is heading to the House floor. The House Health and Family Services committee approved Senate Bill 236 on a unanimous 12-0 vote Thursday. The bill would require new hires at school districts to obtain letters from the health cabinet indicating that they have no substantiated instances of child abuse or neglect on their records. SB 236... Read more 

After hours of floor debate, House passes public charter schools bill on 56-39 vote

03/03/2017 01:16 PM

UPDATED FRANKFORT — The House of Representatives passed a public charter schools bill on a 56-39 vote Friday following a lengthy and at times impassioned floor debate that lasted three and a half hours in all. House Bill 520, sponsored by Rep. John “Bam” Carney, would authorize charter schools throughout the state. It was amended in the House Education Committee hours before hitting the floor to prohibit completely “virtual” charter schools and allow the mayors of Louisville and Lexington to... Read more 

New state apprenticeship program hopes to help inmates find jobs with in-prison training

03/02/2017 02:31 PM

FRANKFORT — The state’s labor and justice cabinets are teaming up for a new apprenticeship initiative that looks to put inmates on career paths and cut Kentucky’s recidivism rate. Justice to Journeyman, announced at a Capitol news conference Thursday, will connect 105 inmates at three prisons and four juvenile detention facilities with various skills-training programs. Journeyman certificates require 2,000 to 8,000 training hours and 144 hours of classroom work, which inmates will begin behind bars as part of the program in... Read more 

House sends medical review panel legislation back to Senate for concurrence on 51-45 vote

03/01/2017 07:12 PM

FRANKFORT — The state House of Representatives passed a bill creating medical review panels in malpractice cases on a 51-45 vote Wednesday, sending Senate Bill 4 to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk if the Senate agrees with changes made by the lower chamber. SB 4, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, cleared the House despite a variety of concerns from Republicans and Democrats alike, namely that the bill might not pass constitutional muster. The legislation would establish four-member panels to review... Read more 

Bill that would make state compliant with REAL ID clears House budget committee

02/28/2017 02:37 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would put the state in compliance with the federal REAL ID law cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on a 23-3 vote Tuesday. House Bill 410, sponsored by Rep. Jim Duplessis, would create an optional “voluntary travel” drivers’ license that would meet security requirements in the federal law passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center. The legislation comes a year after Gov. Matt Bevin lobbied for, and... Read more 

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