From Frankfort

House, Senate chiefs of staff given LRC director's duties once Marcia Seiler retires from agency Friday

07/29/2015 01:21 PM

The Legislative Research Commission will be led by House and Senate chiefs of staff once interim Director Marcia Seiler retires from the agency on Friday. Seiler announced the move in an email to LRC staff last week, as The Courier-Journal first reported late Tuesday. Becky Harilson, chief of staff for Senate President Robert Stivers, and Steve Collins, chief of staff for House Speaker Greg Stumbo, will fulfill the director’s responsibilities until legislative leaders name a permanent LRC head this fall,... Read more 

Bobby Sherman, John Arnold must also pay as part of LRC lawsuit settlement

07/28/2015 12:00 AM

Former Legislative Research Commissioner Director Bobby Sherman and former lawmaker John Arnold will pay undisclosed sums to plaintiffs who recently settled sexual harassment lawsuits against the Legislative Research Commission. Louisville attorney Thomas Clay, who represents the three current and former LRC staffers who sued the agency and others in October 2013, declined to discuss terms with Sherman and Arnold, a former Democratic representative from Sturgis. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday that the pair, who both left their positions a month after... Read more 

'Pill-mill bill' showing progress, but officials say work remains to combat drug abuse in Kentucky

07/27/2015 07:27 PM

FRANKFORT – A state law targeting prescription drug abuse has shown signs of progress since its enactment in 2012, with fewer patients “doctor shopping” for pills and more physicians searching Kentucky’s narcotic drug database before writing prescriptions, according to a study released Monday. Gov. Steve Beshear, flanked by Attorney General Jack Conway, Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other state officials, said the University of Kentucky Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy’s study covering July 2012 through March... Read more 

National KIDS COUNT report card shows improvements and setbacks for Ky. kids

07/26/2015 09:33 AM

The latest national KIDS COUNT data shows children in the state are getting healthier, but the state has persistent problems in areas of economic well-being, which is impacting some base line education metrics like reading and math scores. On Tuesday, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its yearly review of data coming from states on an index of 16 indicators, a sort of “national report card for kids,” said Terry Brooks, the director for Kentucky Youth Advocates. The report uses... Read more 

Confederate group unfurls battle flags, criticisms of state's potential removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Capitol

07/24/2015 07:27 PM

FRANKFORT — Dozens of Confederate flags flew on the Capitol grounds Friday as more than 100 demonstrators protested the potential removal of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 15-foot marble statue from the Capitol Rotunda. Organizers urged the crowd to sign letters against taking Davis’ statue from the Capitol as well as statements condemning the use of the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate. The state’s Historic Properties Advisory Commission is set to reconsider the panel’s guidelines on rotunda statues at an Aug.... Read more 

LRC ponies up $400K to settle sexual harassment lawsuits by current, former employees

07/23/2015 07:56 PM

Three women who sued the Legislative Research Commission after a wide-ranging sexual harassment scandal have received $400,000 in an agreed settlement, their attorney announced Thursday. Louisville lawyer Thomas Clay said he had not yet received the check, which also includes attorneys’ fees, or the agreement itself pending signatures from the involved parties. “This amount of money was determined as a result of a long mediation,” Clay said in a phone interview with Pure Politics. “I think the mediation went 13 hours, so... Read more 

Treatment pilot program shows improvements 5-years in, but dollars are biggest set back

07/23/2015 02:55 PM

FRANKFORT – As Kentucky officials attempt to treat an expanding drug dependence problem in the commonwealth, programs tasked with tackling the issue are quickly reaching their fiscal limits. The Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) program is serving approximately 300 families per year in Jefferson, Kenton, Boyd and Daviess counties with drug dependency issues by pairing parents and parents-to-be, who are in long term recovery, with specially trained social workers to help them kick their habit. START, which began as a... Read more 

Gov. Beshear directs adjutant general to look at tougher security measures in light of Chattanooga shootings

07/22/2015 06:12 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear issued an executive order on Wednesday directing Kentucky Adjutant General Edward Tonini to take any necessary steps to boost security at National Guard facilities. The order follows the shooting deaths of four Marines and a Navy officer at a military center in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week. The gunman, Mohamad Abdulazeez, had also opened fire at an Army National Guard recruiting center. The fatal shootings opened a deluge of calls to allow military personnel to carry firearms while on duty,... Read more 

Gov. Beshear tells county clerks to set aside convictions of same-sex marriage but won't share his own views on subject

07/21/2015 07:49 PM

FRANKFORT — Despite telling the few county clerks who still refuse to issue marriage licenses to set aside their personal beliefs on same-sex marriage and perform their duties, Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday twice declined to say whether he followed his own advice when he decided to appeal a 2014 federal court ruling overturning Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage. Beshear, whose second term as governor ends in December, continually brushed aside questions on his personal views toward same-sex marriage as his... Read more 

Beshear announces $82.5M influx for Budget Reserve Trust Fund after 5.3% revenue growth in FY15

07/21/2015 06:17 PM

FRANKFORT — After revenue growth topped 5 percent in the recently closed fiscal year, Gov. Steve Beshear announced an $82.5 million deposit in the state’s Budget Reserve Trust Fund on Tuesday. That pushes the balance of Kentucky’s so-called “rainy day” fund to $209.4 million, its highest mark since the state held $214.8 million in reserves in fiscal year 2008. The $82.5 million represents nearly half of the $165.4 million in excess revenues collected by the state, the remainder of which will... Read more 

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