From Frankfort

Attny. General Jack Conway files lawsuit against EPA over Waters of the U.S. rule

06/30/2015 11:27 AM

Fresh off the heels of a multiyear fight against the Environmental Protection Agency over coal regulations, Attorney General Jack Conway is announcing another suit against the federal EPA over waterways. In late May the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers finalized a rule regulating waterways of the United States, which some farmers and Republican lawmakers have openly worried could turn into a federal land grab. Conway, who is running for governor, announced on Tuesday that he was joining eight other... Read more 

Supreme Court blocks coal fired power plant rule, calling on costs to be taken into account

06/29/2015 02:04 PM

UPDATED: With another split decision the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must take cost into account while calling on a limit to emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal fired power plants. The case stems from a 2011 rule to reduce airborne pollutants from coal fired plants. The case, Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, decides the matter. Monday’s decision will reverse a federal appeals courts upholding of the tougher standards. In the 5... Read more 

Bevin shares his pension plan with retirees, but some skepticism remains

06/26/2015 10:44 PM

LEXINGTON — Kentucky’s public pensions will be a problem for the next several gubernatorial administrations, Republican candidate for governor Matt Bevin told a group of retirees Friday. His hour-long talk with more than 80 at the Kentucky Public Retirees annual meeting included ideas to hire new employees into a 401(k)-style pension and offer current workers their own defined-contribution plans. Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Sannie Overly spoke to the group Thursday morning. Despite saying such a move would “stop the bleeding” in the... Read more 

Former Rep. Keith Hall convicted of bribing state mine inspector

06/26/2015 06:31 PM

Former state Rep. Keith Hall has been convicted of bribing a former state coal mine inspector to win favor at his Pike County mining operations. Multiple media outlets are reporting that a Pikeville jury brought back a guilty verdict after 90 minutes of deliberation. Hall, a Democrat who represented the 93rd House District until his defeat in the 2014 primary against Rep. Chris Harris of Forest Hills, faces up to a decade behind bars and a $250,000 fine for the... Read more 

Louisville needle exchange program questioned by state lawmakers

06/26/2015 03:10 PM

FRANKFORT – Questions continue to be raised about the legality of Louisville’s needle exchange program which provides drug abusers clean needles from health department officials. Louisville health department officials reported during the first week of the program, 1,352 clean needles were distributed while 189 needles were collected. Many GOP leaders, including Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, are concerned that not having a one-for-one exchange may incent drug abuse, and may not be legal under Senate Bill 192, the state’s anti-heroin law. Louisville... Read more 

State panel gives public 30 days to comment on Jefferson Davis statue as NAACP, head of black caucus weigh in

06/25/2015 07:36 PM

FRANKFORT — The public has about 30 days to offer their thoughts on removing a 15-foot marble statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, after the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission set a special Aug. 5 meeting to reconsider its place in the Capitol Rotunda. A number of Kentucky politicians have called for the removal of Davis’ likeness, placed in the Capitol Rotunda in 1936 and funded through private donations and a $5,000 state appropriation, from the space that... Read more 

Changing campaign finance regulations creating challenges for KREF

06/25/2015 08:15 AM

FRANKFORT – The changing landscape of political contributions has made the work of agencies like the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) more challenging than ever. Emily Dennis, counsel for KREF, says that organizations like 501©4, which can become involved politically in funding issue advocacy campaigns which indirectly influence elections, aren’t required by law to disclose who their donors are, and that makes it hard to trace the money. “We’re moving into this time period where we have the Citizen’s United... Read more 

Technology changing the process of how PVA's reassess property values

06/24/2015 03:49 PM

FRANKFORT – New technology is allowing some Property Valuation Administrators to do property assessments in a quicker and more efficient matter. Pictometry is a program which allows county assessors to use software which compares current aerial photographs of properties with photos from previous flyovers to determine and additions to the property which would change the values of those properties. Jefferson County PVA Tony Lindauer, who uses the program, told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Local Government on Wednesday that the... Read more 

Conway now in favor of relocating Jefferson Davis statue from state Capitol

06/24/2015 11:06 AM

Twenty-four hours after Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway told reporters he would have to “chew on” the idea of removing a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda, he says it’s time for the marble statue to go. “I believe that the Jefferson Davis statue belongs in a museum, where history is taught, rather than in the State Capitol, where laws are made, where rights are upheld, and where we strive for equal justice under the law,” Conway,... Read more 

Sexual harassment saga coming to an end with cash settlement

06/23/2015 10:53 PM

Nearly two years after sexual harassment allegations against a former lawmaker first became public, two lawsuits alleging harassment and retaliation by legislators have been settled. The Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus first reported that the cases involving former Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, and Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, had reached an end in mediation late Monday. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that the cases were wrapping up behind closed doors. “The basic framework … I believe is... Read more 

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