From Frankfort

One of the most conservative Democratic lawmakers, retiring Rep. Damron also was most prolific lawmaker

04/20/2014 11:36 PM

Perhaps no lawmaker better embodied Kentucky’s brand of conservative Democrats more than Rep. Bob Damron. Damron, of Nicholasville, sponsored numerous NRA-backed gun bills, including Kentucky’s concealed carry law in the 1990s, as well as the 2013 “religious freedom” bill. That legislation broadly forbids government from infringing on a religion’s action. Some feared that could give people license to discriminate using religion as a defense. But Damron also has been the most prolific lawmaker over the last two decades, getting more... Read more 

After keeping order in the state Senate, Sen. Stine adjourns her 20-year legislative career

04/20/2014 11:36 PM

Former Senate President David Williams might have had the reputation for ruling the Senate with a tight grip, but he had nothing on Sen. Katie Stine when it came to keeping order in the chamber. Stine, who served as Senate president pro tem for the last nine years, often held the president’s gavel during Williams’ tenure as president while Williams was strategizing or making floor speeches. She has done the same for Senate President Robert Stivers. And in doing so,... Read more 

As a lawmaker, Rep. Stacy spoke his mind -- just not about Rep. Stacy

04/20/2014 11:06 PM

Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, wasn’t the sort of lawmaker who made a lot of floor speeches or asked questions at every committee meeting he attended. But when he did speak, it usually was blunt. In March, for instance, Stacy disagreed with an energy company executive and ended his rebuttal by critiquing the executive’s style of wearing his reading glasses on his head when not using them. During the debate over the budget, Stacy loudly defended the move of... Read more 

Heroin recovery advocates livid over legislature's inability to pass Senate Bill 5

04/18/2014 01:17 PM

ALEXANDRIA – The failure of the passing of Senate Bill 5 by the General Assembly before the clock ran out is being described by heroin rehabilitation advocates in Northern Kentucky as an epic failure. During a meeting in Campbell County Thursday night, many who are involved in heroin treatments predicted that a delay in passing the bill will result in more deaths and heartache throughout the commonwealth — and specifically in Northern Kentucky, which has been the most affected area... Read more 

Confusion and frustration remain on all sides in the wake of heroin bill's failure

04/17/2014 10:53 PM

As the governor leaves the door open for a special session to take up the heroin bill, the chief proponents for the bill in both chambers are searching for lessons learned from the failure to get an agreement before the session ended Tuesday. Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate and the sponsor of the bill, said she didn’t know what else could have been done from her end. The Senate passed the measure Jan. 16, giving the House nearly three months to... Read more 

Sen. Julie Denton leaves legacy of efficiency and passion for issues

04/17/2014 11:37 AM

After 20-years in the legislature Sen. Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, has prescribed herself a dose of get-out-of-Frankfort. Denton is looking to move from statewide politics to Louisville Metro Council where she says she can have a more pronounced effect on policy. It was the addition of a state House district in the 2013 special session redistricting process that opened up the door for Denton to leave the legislature. Incumbent Republican Metro Councilman Jerry... Read more 

House members honor retiring Rep. Dwight Butler for being a consummate gentleman

04/16/2014 10:02 PM

Rep. Dwight Butler, R-Harned, often jokes that he moved his seat in the state House from up toward the front of the chamber to the back so that he can see the bigger picture. His colleagues honored him Tuesday among the other retiring lawmakers as one of the best at thoughtfully considering the big picture when casting his votes. That thoughtfulness and his gentle demeanor has won him respect across the chamber over his 20-year career. “I have never heard... Read more 

Stumbo says a heroin bill could have passed House, says it will be a priority in 2015

04/16/2014 01:21 PM

The heroin bill that failed to pass the House Tuesday night was delayed by difficult negotiations and ultimately killed by opponents who were able to run out the clock, said House Speaker Greg Stumbo. Stumbo, a former attorney general, said he would have supported any version of the bill aimed at increasing the penalties for dealers and making available more treatment. And he said he thought a version could have passed the House. But with only a matter of minutes... Read more 

What passed and what didn't as the clock ran out on the 2014 session

04/16/2014 10:13 AM

The final hour probably was not lawmakers’ finest hour. Earlier Tuesday night — the 60th and final day of the 2014 session — they passed a flurry of bills. But the last hour of the session was marked by procedural votes, finger-pointing and inaction on several key bills. First, what passed on the final night: The Road Bill – Not passing the bill with road and bridge projects or the funding for the transportation cabinet has forced special sessions in... Read more 

Stivers: Failure to pass heroin legislation 'tragic'; Will ask Beshear to call special session on the issue

04/16/2014 01:35 AM

Calling the failure of the House to pass a heroin bill “tragic,” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, vowed to meet with Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday and urge him to call a special session. Before the 2014 legislative session even began, a bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled legislation aimed at curbing the rising scourge of heroin in Kentucky. The three-tiered bill would have provided education, treatment and tougher penalties for those people caught trafficking the drug. The bill hit speed bumps... Read more 

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