From Frankfort

Criminal justice reform bill passed by Senate

02/24/2017 02:41 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill designed to lift some employment barriers for felons in hopes of keeping them from reoffending was overwhelmingly passed by the Kentucky Senate on Friday by a 35-1 vote. Senate Bill 120, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, would also allow Class C and D felons on probation or parole to earn compliance credit and establish re-entry programs, among other items. Other language in the bill gives occupational licensing boards the freedom to decide whether a prior offense should... Read more 

Fmr. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver Democrats response to Trump's Tuesday speech

02/24/2017 10:25 AM

UPDATED: Kentucky’s former Governor Steve Beshear will deliver the Democratic Party response to President Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday. Trump is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress and deliver his vision and policy agenda for the United States on Tuesday evening. Gov. Beshear drew applause from President Barack Obama after the 2013 roll out of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky. Beshear attended Obama’s State of the Union address in January of 2014. In a tweet sent after the... Read more 

Governors would have greater authority in removing university trustees under bill that passed Senate

02/23/2017 05:54 PM

FRANKFORT — Legislation that would give governors broader authority in removing university trustees cleared the Senate on a 32-6 vote Thursday. Senate Bill 107, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, would allow governors to boot trustees from university boards or completely overhaul the board itself in instances of malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence or gross neglect of duty. Currently, board members can only be removed for cause. Stivers, R-Manchester, said SB 107 came after Gov. Matt Bevin reorganized the University of Louisville’s board of... Read more 

Franklin Co. Sheriff Pat Melton was under FBI investigation, KREF says

02/23/2017 04:07 PM

UPDATED 2/24 WITH REACTION FROM MELTON FRANKFORT — Over the last two years Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton and his 2014 campaign have been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) regarding Melton’s campaign account, and donations from a suspect in an on-going drug investigation, according to testimony from KREF and Melton’s former campaign treasurer Yvonne Hill. According to testimony and an interview by Spectrum News with Hill on Thursday, the... Read more 

Stalled in committee last week, criminal justice reform package moves to Senate floor on 9-1 vote

02/23/2017 02:04 PM

FRANKFORT — A criminal justice reform bill that failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee last week breezed through the panel with just a single vote in opposition on Thursday. Senate Bill 120 passed the judiciary committee on a 9-1 vote and would lift some employment barriers for felons in hopes of keeping them from reoffending. The legislation would also allow Class C and D felons on probation or parole to earn compliance credit and establish re-entry programs, among other... Read more 

Performance-based funding bill for state colleges and universities passes Senate

02/22/2017 09:08 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would fund the state’s postsecondary schools based on the numbers of degrees they confer, students enrolled, credit hours earned among other things was passed by the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday. Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Sen. David Givens passed by a 36-1 vote with Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, casting the lone no vote. The performance-based funding model would be administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education, and would be gradually implemented if it becomes law. Provisions... Read more 

Foster-care bills on fast track to Gov. Bevin's desk after sailing through Senate committee

02/22/2017 01:29 PM

FRANKFORT — A pair of bills meant to make life easier for Kentucky’s foster youth breezed through the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. Foster youth would have an option to be placed in the home of a person who isn’t related but shares some sort of relationship with the child, such as a family friend, a neighbor or a coach, under House Bill 180, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence. House Bill 192, sponsored by Rep. Larry Brown, R-Prestonsburg, would... Read more 

Bill granting funding for Bowling Green veterans nursing home passed House budget committee

02/21/2017 09:18 PM

FRANKFORT — A bill that would authorize $10.5 million in bonds for a new veterans nursing home in Bowling Green cleared the House budget committee on Tuesday. Supporters say bonding authority granted under House Bill 13 is necessary to improve the 90-bed project’s chances of becoming a reality and that bonds are needed to match $19.5 million in federal funding. While some opposed HB 13 in favor of another proposed veterans facility in Magoffin County, the bill ultimately passed the House... Read more 

Public colleges and universities would move to performance-based funding model under bill that cleared Senate committee

02/21/2017 07:22 PM

FRANKFORT — Funding for the state’s postsecondary schools would be based on the numbers of degrees they confer, students enrolled, credit hours earned and other factors under legislation passed by the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem David Givens, would codify a performance-based funding model described in last year’s biennial budget. The formula would be administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education, and Givens said SB 153 has been backed... Read more 

House Democrat files medical marijuana bill

02/19/2017 10:58 AM

As more lawmakers hear from their constituents advocating for access to medical marijuana, freshman Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, has filed a bill which would allow patients access to the drug. House Bill 411, is barely two-pages in length and would essentially allow physicians the ability to prescribe the drug to patients, and not hold those doctors liable for recommending marijuana. Sims is filing the legislation for Eric Crawford, a quadriplegic of 23-years, who lives in Mason County and is a... Read more 

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