From Frankfort

Public-private partnership bill clears House budget committee, prepped for floor vote

02/09/2016 05:02 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would authorize the use of public-private partnerships cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on an 18-4 vote on Tuesday. The bill has been a pet issue for Rep. Leslie Combs in recent years, and after announcing her retirement from the House last month, this year will be her last shot at shepherding the legislation into law. And after twice failing to become law in 2014 and 2015 thanks in part to opposition against tolling on reconstruction of... Read more 

Senate A&R committee finds agreement in Bevin's budget request

02/09/2016 02:52 PM

FRANKFORT – Senators got their first rundown of the in-depth executive branch budget on Tuesday, and had a decidedly more favorable opinion of the document than it’s been received in the state House. There were some questions and requests for specifics from members of the Republican controlled chamber. Sen. Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz, questioned state Budget Director John Chilton about how agencies will handle the proposed 4.5 percent cuts for this fiscal year. “Have you seen innovative ways that agencies are... Read more 

Westerfield files constitutional amendment to protect victims' rights

02/08/2016 09:56 PM

Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield is making a push to amend Kentucky’s Constitution to afford victims of crimes the same rights afforded to the accused. Westerfield’s legislation is named “Marsy’s Law” and is part of a national effort to codify victims’ rights in the state constitution. If passed and ratified by the people of Kentucky, Marsy’s Law would grants a “Victim’s Bill of Rights” guaranteeing victims’ constitutional rights to receive notification of proceedings and developments in the criminal case and... Read more 

House Speaker and House Minority Floor Leader team up to pass campaign contribution bill

02/08/2016 09:30 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill that would double individual campaign contribution limits in Kentucky has passed the Kentucky House by a vote of 71 to 22. House Bill 147, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, would double the limit on individual campaign contributions from $1,000 to $2,000 as of this July and double the annual limit on individual contributions to a party’s state executive committee and affiliates from $2,500 to $5,000. The legislation would also double from $10,000 to $20,000 the overall... Read more 

House committee discussion leads to accusations and defense of Bevin Administration

02/08/2016 08:45 PM

FRANKFORT – Democratic and Republican lawmakers got into a heated debate over leadership in the administration of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in a committee meeting on Monday. Democratic members of the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources questioned cabinet officials about why there are no specifics on how their department would be affected by the 4.5 percent cuts in the current fiscal year and the 9 percent cuts in the upcoming biennium. Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, criticized Bevin’s administration... Read more 

Rep. Jim Wayne, outside groups advocate for tax reforms as legislature faces austere budget

02/08/2016 03:27 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget has met early opposition in the state House as lawmakers ponder just how postsecondary institutions and other cabinets in government will handle another round of budget cuts In an effort to endure $650 million in budget cutbacks, and better fund the state pension systems, Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, is once again advocating for tax reforms, which he says could generate $570 million annually. In a floor speech on Friday, Wayne announced that 14 House members had... Read more 

The first 10: Most interesting (primary) races to watch

02/07/2016 01:08 PM

For yet another election cycle the collective minds at Democratic and Republican Party headquarters will be spent trying to outwit and outlast their opponents for control of the state House. Outside of the March 8 special elections, parties will be watching the May 17 primary to see how the races unfold so they can determine which recruited candidates will emerge from the primaries, the flow of capital in the general election and which incumbents can outlast internal challengers. The roster... Read more 

After positioning pro-life bills for floor votes, don't expect the same on right-to-work legislation from House GOP

02/06/2016 08:55 PM

Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives have maneuvered one priority bill on pre-abortion informed consent toward a compromise resolution, and they look to be moving another aimed at limiting funding to Planned Parenthood closer to a floor vote this week. But one issue that’s been at the center of many GOP political campaigns and one of the Republican-led Senate’s top pieces of legislation likely won’t get the same treatment, according to House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover. Hoover said Friday... Read more 

Push for pro-life bills continues in 2016 legislative session

02/05/2016 01:26 PM

FRANKFORT — With one pro-life bill already passed and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin and another having received its first reading in the House, the climate has changed in the Kentucky General Assembly when it comes to pro-life legislation. For years, the Senate had worked on pro-life legislation, but it usually stalled in the House. This year, Senate Bill 4, which allows real-time telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking an abortion, already has been passed by both chambers and signed by... Read more 

Sen. Westerfield plans push for additional juvenile justice reform, synthetic drug legislation

02/04/2016 06:35 PM

FRANKFORT — After passing a sweeping series of reforms to the state’s juvenile justice system in 2014, Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield tells Pure Politics he will be back with additional legislation this session. In an interview on Thursday, Westerfield said he will focus in on the problem of disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system. The Hopkinsville Republican is planning on confronting this issue by establishing an audit of sorts on the system. Over three years, Westerfield wants... Read more 

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