The Lede Feed

House, Senate roll into day 29 passing gas tax, dating violence bills

03/25/2015 01:21 AM

FRANKFORT — With ten minutes until midnight Tuesday, the state Senate moved a compromise version of a fix to the gas tax drop with a constitutional majority. The state House wrapped their voting on the measure just as the clock rolled over on 12:30 a.m., day 29 of the legislative session. The gas tax compromise would set a new gas tax floor at 26 cents per gallon. That’s lower than the current 27.6-cents-per-gallon rate but above the expected 22.1-cent-per-gallon rate... Read more 

Landmark heroin bill clears General Assembly; Gov. Beshear promises to sign SB 192 "first thing"

03/25/2015 01:15 AM

FRANKFORT — After falling frustratingly short in recent sessions, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a comprehensive package to address the state’s burgeoning heroin epidemic. Senate Bill 192 largely mirrors a compromise bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, with provisions for needle-exchange programs pending approval by city and county governments, no-charge good Samaritan protections for those who report overdoses, expanded access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, and $10 million in the current fiscal year and $24 million annually thereafter to... Read more 

Senate passes students' superintendent search bill with religious and political freedom amendment

03/24/2015 07:30 PM

FRANKFORT — Before breaking for an hourlong dinner break on Tuesday, the state Senate revived a religious freedom bill by adding it to legislation allowing students on school superintendent search committees. The religious freedom floor amendment was one of two that prompted a rally on the Capitol steps Monday by students who worked on House Bill 236. The other floor amendment, language mandating transgender students use the restroom of their original sexes, was withdrawn before debate began. HB 236 as amended cleared... Read more 

Conference committee hits impasse on how to help low-performing schools

03/24/2015 02:03 PM

FRANKFORT — A conference committee looking at ways to help consistently low-performing schools in the commonwealth hit an impasse Tuesday on the best way to help those schools turn outcomes around. House Bill 448, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, requires schools classified as low-achieving, or in the bottom 5 percent for four consecutive years, to implement an internal innovation option involving a collaboration between the superintendent, the school site-based decision-making council and the school board in hiring a new principal. Senate... Read more 

With clock ticking toward sine die, Gov. Beshear urges lawmakers to pass heroin, gas tax bills

03/24/2015 12:23 PM

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear challenged lawmakers to put politics aside on Tuesday and pass comprehensive measures addressing the state’s heroin scourge and plummeting gas tax. Beshear, speaking to reporters after a series of rapid-fire ceremonial bill signings, said the General Assembly needs “to get the job done today” on heroin and other unresolved topics as lawmakers prepare to adjourn sine die by midnight Tuesday. The Democratic governor planned to continue talks with leading lawmakers in the final scheduled day of... Read more 

Tax checkoff bills in peril as confusion over amendment reigns in final day

03/24/2015 11:15 AM

A battle between the House and Senate over tax write-offs seems to be mired in confusion over services that Kentucky’s 13 rape crisis centers provide. Senate Bill 82, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, would allow state residents to donate their income tax returns directly to the pediatric cancer research trust fund via a check box on the front of the tax return. Wise, R-Campbellsville, says the bill is personal to him because his son Carter is a stage four... Read more 

Senate moves two heroin bills out of committee late Monday

03/24/2015 01:11 AM

FRANKFORT — Seeking to get the ball rolling with the clock winding down on the session, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed two new versions of anti-heroin legislation late Monday night. Pointing to a collapsed agreement with the House, Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said with sine die approaching, the Senate was still willing to move a compromise bill to deal with heroin abuse in Kentucky. The Senate amended House Bill 412 with a compromise deal Stivers and others said had... Read more 

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