From Frankfort

Louisville bridges electronic tolling procedures in process of finalization

10/06/2015 06:17 PM

SPARTA – Details are still being worked out with the single all-electronic tolling system that will be used for collecting tolls for the Kennedy and two new Louisville bridges. Indiana and Kentucky have signed a 7-year contract with Kapsch to construct, test, and operate the system. Officials with the Kentucky Transportation cabinet told lawmakers today at the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation, held at Kentucky Speedway, that no one will have the ability to pay cash and believe that it... Read more 

Crumbling infrastructure a challenge for Kentucky's state parks

09/29/2015 07:04 PM

Kentucky’s State Parks are showing the signs of years of budget cuts which has led to deferred maintenance and aging infrastructure which has led to a loss of revenue at some parks and a reduction of operating days at many others. The parks have 400 less employees that in 2007, but those employees are still doing all of the work that was done eight years ago. Department of Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker says that her employees tend to wear a lot of... Read more 

Gov. Steve Beshear's UofL appointees out of line with law requiring board to reflect state's racial makeup

09/29/2015 05:58 PM

The lack of minorities on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees violates state law mandating that Gov. Steve Beshear’s appointees to that panel reflect the state’s racial makeup, Attorney General Jack Conway’s office said in an opinion Tuesday. The Courier-Journal first reported the action. In the wake of the attorney general opinion, Beshear announced that UofL Trustee Steve Wilson had tendered his resignation to make room for a second minority appointee. Paul Diaz, a Cuban-American, is the sole minority... Read more 

$240 million needed to maintain and upgrade Kentucky's state parks

09/28/2015 07:05 PM

ROUGH RIVER DAM STATE PARK — Kentucky State Park officials say as much as $240 million is needed to maintain and upgrade aging state park facilities in the next 6-year budget cycle in 2016. Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker painted the bleak picture for members of the Interim Committee of Tourism and Development on Monday at Rough River Dam State Resort Park. “Our infrastructure continues to deteriorate,” Walker said. “We have power outages, loss of phone and internet... Read more 

Proposed bill would end shock probation for defendants charged in DUI manslaughter and reckless homicide cases

09/25/2015 03:11 PM

LOUISVILLE – Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, is once again planning on filing a bill which would eliminate the possibility of shock probation in cases of manslaughter and reckless homicide, if the offender was driving while intoxicated. Raque Adams told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on Friday in Louisville that there are currently 13 exemptions to shock probation and she believes that one should be added for a person where a DUI contributes to the death of another... Read more 

KSP will seek $15M for 5 percent raises in upcoming budget session

09/24/2015 08:27 PM

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky State Police Professional Association will seek a 5 percent raise for all KSP staff in the upcoming budget-writing session, the group’s president said Thursday. Tim Hazlette, head of the KSP Professional Association, told lawmakers on the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue that a compensation review comparing troopers’ pay in Kentucky versus their counterparts in the seven surrounding states found KSP’s pay lower than the border states when averaged. His group’s proposal to lift wages 5... Read more 

Increased internet bandwidth allows states schools to implement innovative technology to teach students

09/24/2015 02:03 PM

FRANKFORT – All of Kentucky’s public school districts have met the national goal of 100kb of internet bandwidth for each K-12 student, which has opened the door for districts to use more technology in the instruction of students. In 2014, the General Assembly appropriated $5.8 million to pay for the most recent improvements to school technology including getting to the 100kb level. It’s believed that Kentucky is the first state to reach the 100kb plateau, according to testimony during Thursday’s Interim Joint... Read more 

No premium increases or changes in healthcare coverage for state workers in 2016

09/23/2015 07:36 PM

FRANKFORT – Due to lower than planned medical and pharmacy expenses, improved member consumerism, and continued wellness participation, the Kentucky Employees Health Plan is offering members no premium increases and the same health plan options and coverage levels as their current plans. Department of Employee Insurance Commissioner Joe Cowles told members of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government on Wednesday that one of the biggest reasons for the same rates and coverage being offered is that the incurred claims... Read more 

LRC approves two-year, $135K contract for new director

09/23/2015 04:33 PM

FRANKFORT — The Legislative Research Commission unanimously approved a two-year contract for incoming LRC Director David Byerman on Wednesday, officially naming him the full-time replacement for former Director Bobby Sherman, who retired amid a sexual harassment scandal. Byerman, who did not attend the meeting, will assume the new role Oct. 1 at a $135,000 salary, plus a 5 percent increase after six months’ employment and a one-time $20,000 moving stipend. He had previously worked as the nonpartisan secretary of the Nevada... Read more 

Lawmakers look to find ways to better protect state troopers after Ponder tragedy

09/22/2015 04:11 PM

FRANKFORT – The Father of slain Kentucky State Police trooper Cameron Ponder said that if his sons cruiser had special bullet resistant windows, he could possibly still be alive. Joseph Ponder made the statement on Tuesday in Frankfort as House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, announced that he has requested that Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer come up with recommendations of how to make front line troopers safer out in the field. Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was shot and killed while... Read more 


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