From Frankfort

Brent Spence Bridge plan reboot looks for cost savings and toll discounts

01/28/2015 06:19 PM

COVINGTON — The governors of Kentucky and Ohio are rebooting their plans to build a replacement Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced they’re looking for ways to cut costs and reduce tolling to the bridge on Wednesday. Beshear told reporters that frequent users of a new Brent Spence Bridge would get a discount on tolls and Kentucky and Ohio would split construction costs and toll revenues under a newly proposed working... Read more 

Beshear to make economic development trip to Germany and Sweden

01/28/2015 01:18 PM

In his 6th economic development trip to Europe since taking office in 2007 Gov. Steve Beshear will head to Germany and Sweden on Saturday. Beshear will speak at the international CAR-Symposium in Bochum, Germany, where he will discuss Kentucky’s place as a player in the global car industry. More than a thousand automotive executives from around the world gather for the yearly conference to discuss opportunities for future growth, according to the governor’s office. “I’m both honored and looking forward... Read more 

The Chatter: Newly elected House Democratic whip could be added to lawsuit, Matt Bevin will file for office today

01/27/2015 10:21 AM

A former legislative staffer is looking to include newly elected House Majority Whip Johnny Bell in her lawsuit against the Legislative Research Commission and others, accusing the Glasgow Democrat of drug use and firing her to make room for his lover on his leadership staff. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Yolanda Costner, whose suit centers on allegations of sexual harassment by former state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, accused Bell of possessing Xanax and marijuana on Capitol grounds, storing moonshine... Read more 

Draft audit of Legislative Research Commission reveals agency plagued by low staff morale

01/27/2015 09:21 AM

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ draft audit of the Legislative Research Commission doesn’t uncover secrets that could swing elections, nor does it reveal sordid tales of sexual harassment. “I think for anybody who thinks something in this is going to be headline or newsworthy, I think they’re going to be somewhat disappointed because this is a very innocuous report, does not relate anything to what people are assuming,” Senate President Robert Stivers said in a conference call with reporters Monday. But... Read more 

Three key justice issues have cabinet official keeping close tabs on Frankfort

01/24/2015 10:09 PM

With three key judicial initiatives before the General Assembly in the legislative session Justice Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown is keeping a watchful eye on the progress made by the legislature. Legislation addressing heroin abuse, a new set of domestic violence protective orders for dating couples and making sure convicted felons are not barred from obtaining licenses in certain professions are all key initiatives for Brown, and all of the issues have come before the legislature before. The Kentucky Health... Read more 

Sen. Pres. Stivers says legislative immunity won't apply to Sen. Smith's DUI charge

01/23/2015 12:47 PM

Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith, R-hazard, is seeking to use legislative immunity within the Kentucky Constitution to relieve himself of a DUI arrest the lawmaker incurred during the first week of January during the legislative session. While Smith fights the DUI charge in Frankfort using language stating legislators are “privileged from arrest” during session the Senate President says no one is above the law. On Friday, Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Smith’s immunity challenge to the DUI case... Read more 

Auditor Adam Edelen: Too late for ‘no’ in funding teacher pensions

01/22/2015 06:30 PM

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen came away with a firm conclusion after his staff spent about a year poring over financial statements at the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System: problems facing the pension system are rooted in money, not mismanagement. Edelen spoke to about 25 KTRS members and officials at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History on Thursday, putting his support behind a plan to pump $3.3 billion into the pension system through bond sales. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg,... Read more 

Former Rep. Alicia Webb-Edgington following 2015 races; doesn't rule out future run for office

01/13/2015 04:29 PM

ERLANGER — Former state representative and 2012 Republican U.S. Congressional candidate Alicia Webb-Edgington believes that a Republican can win the Kentucky governor’s race in 2015 but still believes that more may enter the race. Webb-Edgington, who was a panelist at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce General Assembly Preview in Erlanger on Tuesday, says both Hal Heiner and James Comer are strong candidates but she expects more to possibly enter the race, especially on the democratic side. “I think there’s been some... Read more 

As the organizational dust settles, House Democrats prep to push priorities in February

01/11/2015 06:00 PM

FRANKFORT — With leadership elections and committee assignments behind them, the Kentucky House of Representatives can begin its legislative work when the General Assembly reconvenes Feb. 3. The most pressing issue — and a subject in Gov. Steve Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday and a floor speech by Senate President Robert Stivers Friday — is passing a bill to combat heroin abuse. The Senate sent its version, Senate Bill 5, to the House on a unanimous vote ... Read more 

Senate sends two more priority bills to House as lawmakers adjourn until Feb. 3

01/09/2015 06:00 PM

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate continued to churn through its legislative priorities Friday, approving a constitutional amendment that would nullify administrative regulations found deficient by lawmakers and a measure mandating women seeking abortions obtain face-to-face consultations with their physicians before the procedure. The bills have been previously passed the chamber only to stall in the House. Sen. Joe Bowen, an Owensboro Republican and sponsor of Senate Bill 2, said the governor can direct agencies to enact regulations even if the legislature’s Administrative... Read more 

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