From Frankfort

Lawmakers express caution over future of expanded Medicaid program

07/24/2014 05:39 PM

While Medicaid expansion in Kentucky as part of the Affordable Care Act is looked at by some as a success story around the country, state lawmakers were a bit more reserved in praising the expansion at the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue meeting on Thursday. Lawrence Kissner, Commissioner of the Department of Medicaid Services told committee members that an independent study by the University of Louisville’s Urban Institute found that expanding Medicaid has been beneficial for the state in... Read more 

Reversing course? Why one lawmaker says other Seven Counties Contracts could move forward

07/24/2014 05:36 PM

New talks between lawmakers and Seven Counties Services could providing the space to come up with a solution to the worries of the retirement system and the liabilities of Seven Counties. Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville, is a member of two committees which have been dealing with the Kentucky Retirement Systems and Seven Counties Services, who does business with the state and is attempting to leave the pension system. “I had a very good meeting with some representatives from Seven Counties…and... Read more 

Comer and Heiner preview potential 2015 GOP primary while talking issues with chamber

07/22/2014 05:14 PM

Business leaders in the state got a taste of what they can expect out of the Republicans in the 2015 governors race when Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner shared a stage to talk issues Tuesday. At the annual Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit, Comer and Heiner answered questions from a panel about what policies they support. The two were joined by State Auditor Adam Edelen, who decided not to run for governor last... Read more 

Latest Kids Count report a mixed bag for Kentucky kids

07/22/2014 02:29 PM

The 2014 report from the national Kids Count profile shows Kentucky is making strides in important areas of health and education, though there are still some troubling statistics embedded in the data. Terry Brooks, Director of the Kentucky Youth Advocates, said Kentucky is ranked 35th in the nation in overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s publication after accessing four key factors which include: economic well-being, education, health and family. Kentucky had ranked in the 40s for... Read more 

State moves to drop contract with Seven Counties Services

07/19/2014 10:13 AM

The Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Lori Flanery said she “understands the issues and concerns” raised by a legislative panel earlier this month and directed a state agency to cancel the contract with Seven Counties Services within 100 days. Eleven days ago the Government Contract Review committee voted not to approve a $3.7 million two-year contract for Seven Counties Services to provide in-home family services to 300 families through the Health Cabinet’s Department of Community Based Services. The moves was... Read more 

Beshear plugs $90.9 million shortfall in state budget using a mix of state agency and unspent general funds

07/16/2014 06:10 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday he had again re-balanced the state’s budget using millions in state agency funds, unspent General Funds and cash from the Budget Reserve Trust Fund to plug a nearly $91 million budget shortfall. In his 14th re-balance of the budget, Beshear said he was focused on making the government “as efficient and as lean as possible.” “And to protect as best we can the core services that offer help and hope to our people and represent... Read more 

Sen. Brandon Smith responds to criticisms in CJ op-ed after global warming comments go viral

07/15/2014 01:01 PM

State Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, is responding to national media outlets and Kentucky reporters after making an incorrect assertion that the climate on Earth is the same as the climate on Mars. On Tuesday, Smith argued in the Courier-Journal that his comments were taken out of context, and his underlying assertion was that climate change is bigger than one industry only — the coal industry. Pure Politics was at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting on... Read more 

Did working against a fellow Republican incumbent hurt Rep. Bam Carney? Hoover doesn't think so

07/14/2014 05:47 PM

Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, took an “unusual” step, according to Sen. President Robert Stivers, when he endorsed a Republican candidate against a sitting legislator in the May primary. But that occurrence does not seem to have carried over into the inner workings of the two chambers, House and Senate Republican leaders say. House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, told Pure Politics recently that the whole idea has been “overblown.” “I think the whole thing has been overblown as far as... Read more 

Mental illness and gun violence; What two former law enforcement officers turned lawmakers say can help

07/14/2014 12:12 AM

Two former law enforcement officers turned lawmakers see the need to focus on the intersection between gun violence and mental illness — even if they don’t fully agree on what route to take. In Arizona one state legislator’s move to grant police more discretion to detain individuals based on accounts of dangerous or mentally unstable behavior has gained national attention. State Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican, crafted legislation which increases Arizona police officers access to mental health records and... Read more 

Veterans call on legislature to allow medical marijuana for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder

07/10/2014 09:58 PM

With more veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan since the conflicts started more than a decade ago rates of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have risen significantly, and it’s a currently illegal remedy to the anxiety disorder that brought veterans to Frankfort on Thursday. One-in-five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report suffering from PTSD, but experts expect the rates could be much higher, because of the stigma attached to the mental illness. Clinical psychologists told members of... Read more 


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