From Frankfort

Ky. Dept. of Education narrows commissioner search to two as Holliday retires Monday

08/30/2015 01:20 PM

With hours left in the tenure of Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, the state Board of Education has announced that they’re down to two finalists in their search for a new commissioner. The Board of Education is not releasing the names of the final two candidates in the search. The two unnamed candidates, identified by the board on Sunday in a special meeting, will undergo “in-depth background checks,” according to a press release from the Department of Education.... Read more 

State Rep. Brad Montell pre-files bill to direct excess public employee insurance funds to retirement systems

08/28/2015 11:47 AM

SHELBYVILLE — After $63.5 million was pulled from the Public Employees’ Health Insurance Trust Fund in the current fiscal year and $93 million the year prior, state Rep. Brad Montell hopes a bill he’s pre-filing on Friday will put an end to the practice. The insurance account is one of several restricted funds that have been tapped for budgetary purposes in recent years. Montell, R-Shelbyville, said his pre-filed legislation is not a slight at Gov. Steve Beshear, but rather a rethinking... Read more 

Ky. County Clerks Association will propose removing clerks' names from marriage licenses in upcoming session

08/26/2015 12:00 AM

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky County Clerks Association will propose removing clerks’ names from the document in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage. Overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage has prompted Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and two others to deny licenses to all couples, drawing a federal lawsuit against Davis as well as calls to change the licensing process. Leslie County Clerk James Lewis, chairman of the association’s elections committee, told reporters Tuesday that his group... Read more 

State set to receive $2.6M CDC grant to improve colon-cancer screenings, Gov. Beshear announces

08/25/2015 08:51 PM

FRANKFORT — With colon-cancer screenings in Kentucky improving considerably in recent years, Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday he hopes a five-year, $2.6 million federal grant will improve access in low-income communities in Appalachia and Louisville. Beshear announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will send $529,428 per year to the Department for Public Health for five years. The funding will complement other preventative efforts, such as a collaboration among the Kentucky Cancer Program, Horses and Hope, University of Louisville’s... Read more 

Lawmakers concerned about Kentucky jobs in proposed Aetna-Humana merger

08/25/2015 08:16 PM

FRANKFORT – The multi-billion dollar proposed merger of healthcare giants Humana and Aetna has Kentucky lawmakers asking questions about a major Kentucky employer. Members of the Interim Joint Committee on Banking and Insurance heard from insurance provider Aetna on Tuesday as the company moves forward with the merger which is under review by antitrust regulators. The companies announced on July 3 that Aetna, based out of Connecticut would buy Louisville based Humana for $37 billion. The new company would have... Read more 

State retirement systems give early glimpse at their budget requests, calling for multimillion increases

08/24/2015 08:15 PM

FRANKFORT – As lawmakers prepare to draft a two-year spending plan in the upcoming 60-day session, Kentucky’s public pensions will be seeking larger contributions from the general fund. Officials from the Kentucky Retirement Systems and Kentucky Teachers Retirement System presented preliminary budget figures to the Public Pension Oversight Board Monday, with both pensions seeking multimillion-dollar contribution increases from the state. But under pension reforms passed in 2013, only the Kentucky Retirement Systems, which faces $17.8 billion in unfunded liabilities, can wholly expect... Read more 

Thayer: Gov. Beshear "has broken the law," Jack Conway is a "complicit partner"

08/23/2015 09:30 AM

GEORGETOWN — Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer is known for his ability to stir the pot when it comes to partisan politics. Thayer, R-Georgetown, is doing just that in the gubernatorial election by connecting Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, to an imbalance in university board appointments in the state which has landed a previous Republican governor in court. “The for sale sign is up” in the executive branch, Thayer said, pointing to reporting done by... Read more 

GOP state senators propose delaying start of Kentucky's school year

08/20/2015 05:22 PM

GEORGETOWN — Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, and Sen. Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, are working on legislation that would mandate schools in Kentucky not return from summer break until at least the Monday closest to August 26. Keeping kids on break longer will positively impact Kentucky’s tourism economy, Thayer said, remarking on a Georgetown water park and boaters at Lake Cumberland in mid-August. “There are no older high schoolers available to work and there are no families with kids out of school that... Read more 

Clashes over religious freedom, LGBT rights will continue in governor's race and 2016 session

08/16/2015 03:03 PM

Kentucky’s place as a flashpoint for contention between LGBT-rights advocates and religious-freedom supporters will continue beyond next year’s legislative session, with recent U.S. and state history giving both sides reasons for optimism. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’s refusal to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage has drawn national attention to Kentucky. That prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to file a federal lawsuit against Davis, who cited religious objections to same-sex marriage for her office’s new... Read more 

Consensus Forecasting Group preliminarily anticipates $219M surplus in current spending year

08/14/2015 09:59 AM

FRANKFORT — Less than a month after Gov. Steve Beshear announced an $82.5 million deposit into the state’s Budget Reserve Trust Fund, the non-partisan Consensus Forecasting Group expects Kentucky’s general fund to end the current fiscal year with a $219.2 million surplus based on revenue estimates. The panel, which in December will give the next gubernatorial administration and the General Assembly estimates to write the next two-year budget, moved ahead with a middle-of-the-road, or “control,” forecast for both the general... Read more 

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