From Frankfort

Pension Oversight co-chair Sen. Joe Bowen: "a lot of wood to cut" before special session

04/24/2017 08:50 PM

FRANKFORT – The amount of work and agreements to reach before a special session on tax reform could push lawmakers much further into the year than first anticipated. Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, told reporters Monday that he does not envision a special session until sometime in the fall. “I think conventional wisdom was saying it would be in September. I think it’s going to be a little bit later in the year than that, because we’ve got a lot of... Read more 

Consumption based taxing structure would be "tax shift" not tax reform, KCEP says

04/24/2017 03:47 PM

Revamping the state tax code in order to generate new revenue to pay down pension debt is being discussed by the executive branch, but how the state gets there could be “very problematic” depending on the actions taken, according to one economic advocate. Jason Bailey of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy said a shift to a consumption based taxing model, which has been floated as a potential change to the tax code, will cut taxes for the wealthy and... Read more 

Ball: Transparency website redesign is promise kept

04/23/2017 04:12 PM

A joint collaboration between the Office of the Treasury and the Finance Cabinet is beefing up the state’s transparency website. The enhanced website transparency.ky.gov, was formerly known as Kentucky Open Door, and is now being touted by Treasurer Allison Ball as having improved navigation and search tools making it easier to access information quickly. The website contains data for the executive and judicial branches and includes such things as agency spending, contracts with businesses, employee salaries, and buildings owned or... Read more 

Retiree group worried about what may happen if new contributors placed in 401(k)-style pension plan

04/20/2017 06:14 PM

As the executive branch works behind closed doors to develop its plan to reform the tax code and pension systems, one group is both thankful for the push and weary of certain changes. Jim Carroll, co-founder of the group Kentucky Government Retirees, remarked on the previous legislative fixes, which have included more money dedicated to paying down the liabilities to the retirement systems, and what he’s watching for in a special session in an interview with Spectrum News this week.... Read more 

Hoover follows through on promise to appoint interim adoption work group

04/19/2017 02:50 PM

House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, has appointed eight members of the House of Representatives to serve on a bipartisan Adoption Work Group. In appointing the work group, Hoover is making good on a promise to House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade, R-Stanford, who withdrew a concurrent resolution during the session that would have established a task force to recommend changes to the state’s adoption system. Meade withdrew the resolution after the Senate removed the task force requirement and instead included... Read more 

Westerfield sends letter asking for state agencies to collect data on disproportionate minority contact

04/19/2017 12:54 PM

The defeat of legislation aimed at reducing disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile system, and setting a base for the age at which children would be allowed to be put in secure detention facilities was “easily the biggest disappointment and frustration,” for Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield during the legislative session. “This is a problem that exists. Senate Bill 20 is aimed at addressing disproportionate minority contact,” Westerfield said in an interview with Spectrum News on Tuesday. “It is a... Read more 

"No matter what we do it is going to be controversial," Thayer says on tax reform

04/17/2017 12:32 PM

FRANKFORT — Gov. Matt Bevin has been crystal clear in his calls for a special session to address tax and pension reform later this year, but in the General Assembly there exists a lot more questions on what that will entail. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, says currently the two bills, pension and tax reform, are not written and he envisions is taking several months to find agreement on the details once they are put together. Because of the... Read more 

Senate Majority Floor Leader reflects on 2017 session

04/14/2017 11:02 AM

FRANKFORT — Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, is calling this year’s regular legislative session the most productive and successful in modern history. Thayer said the General Assembly passed legislation to promote job growth, strengthen families and education, in an “absolutely out of the ballpark, home-run session.” In September of 2016, Thayer said Republicans had a good-feeling they would capture the state House and it was at that point they started working on their plan to prepare for their first... Read more 

Pros and cons of charter schools weighed at Louisville Forum

04/12/2017 05:38 PM

LOUISVILLE – Individuals on both sides of the charter school discussion met at the Louisville Forum on Wednesday to discuss what’s next for the proposal in Kentucky. Senate Bill 520, which was passed late in the 2017 regular session, opened the doors for charter schools to be established anywhere in the Commonwealth of Kentucky — provided there are enough students to support it. Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, voiced his concerns about how the legislation allowing charter schools was rushed through the... Read more 

AG's Office hosts sexual assault cold case training in effort to end backlog of untested rape kits

04/11/2017 08:06 PM

LEXINGTON – Attorney General Andy Beshear is hosting a three-day sexual assault cold case training session in Lexington beginning on Tuesday for law enforcement, prosecutors and victim advocates across the state related to Kentucky’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kit or SAFE kit backlog. The free training, is hosted by the Prosecutors Advisory Council, the AG’s Office of Victims Advocacy, and the Department of Criminal Investigations. Beshear said the training will go a long way towards eliminating the backlog of untested rape... Read more 

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