A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lawmakers take 3-day weekend with pension issue looming, saying a bill could be introduced Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky lawmakers are on a three-day weekend with the pension issue still unresolved.   The General Assembly will not be in session Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day. Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said the long-awaited overhaul of the state’s pension system could be introduced upon their return to Frankfort on Tuesday. Sen. Majority Floor...

Week in Frankfort: At halfway point, hundreds of bills under consideration; spending plan being reviewed

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2018 session reached its halfway point this week. While several bills have already been delivered to the governor to be signed in to law, much of lawmakers’ work so far has focused on laying the foundation for what’s to come in the second half of the session.   Hundreds of bills are under consideration in the legislative committee system, which gives lawmakers...

Grimes accepting applications for 2018 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Wednesday that her office is accepting nominations for the 2018 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award. Grimes The award recognizes teachers, school administrators, legislators and community leaders who have made significant contributions toward promoting civic learning to teach students the importance of being engaged citizens. “Throughout...

Lawmakers drop 401(k)-style retirement plan for public pensions, citing insufficient savings

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A mandatory 401(k)-style plan will not be part of an overhaul of Kentucky’s public pension systems, lawmakers said Wednesday, because the savings wouldn’t be sufficient to make it worthwhile to the state. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the overhaul, which is now in the hands of legislative staffers, has undergone substantial change since...

City of Union 2018 events announced, starting with the annual Easter Egg Hunt in March

The City of Union will be offering three events this year for residents, starting with the Annual Easter Egg Hunt.   The date for the event is Saturday, March 31. The hunt will begin at 8:30 am with registration, followed by two age-ranged hunts at 9 a.m. and 9:30 am.  Light refreshments will be provided, and there will be several door prizes for children available.  The Easter Bunny will be there...

Cov City Commission: Social media policy tabled, John R. Green, Riverfront Commons move forward

By Ryan Clark Special to NKyTribune Fearing they could be harming the public’s ability to interact with them in a transparent way, commissioners decided Tuesday to table their proposed new Social Media Policy, which called for disabling citizen comments on city posts. Last week, commissioners heard the proposed policy after City Manager David Johnston said he encountered a similar situation a few...

Newport board of commissioners discuss syringe exchange program; residents also voice opinions

By Don Owen NKyTribune reporter During the past year, the heroin epidemic has dramatically increased in many counties around Kentucky. With that, the continued use of dirty needles to inject the drug has caused concerns of a new HIV epidemic around the commonwealth. As a result, Newport’s board of commissioners discussed the topic of the syringe exchange program at Monday night’s caucus meeting....

Quarles says president’s infrastructure proposal would address needs of Kentucky, other rural states

An infrastructure proposal unveiled by the Trump Administration would address the needs of Kentucky and other rural states and give them more control over the process, said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who joined other leaders from throughout the nation to discuss the plan in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday. “President Trump’s election last year...

Business leaders, including banker Terry Forcht, send letter urging reforms to state’s pension system

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A group of Kentucky business leaders, including banker Terry Forcht, have sent a joint letter to lawmakers calling for structural reforms to the state’s pension system. 

“There has been no shortage of illustrations demonstrating the severity of Kentucky’s pension crisis,” the business leaders wrote. “By many metrics, the state’s pension system is the worst...

AG Beshear files civil lawsuit against a ‘rogue drug treatment clinic’ for distributing addictive drug

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a civil lawsuit in Breathitt Circuit Court against an alleged rogue drug treatment clinic for Medicaid fraud, harmful business practices and illegal distribution of an addictive drug.  The lawsuit names and alleges that four owners of The Recovery Center, with locations in Frankfort, Hazard, Jackson, Mount Sterling, London, Paintsville and Richmond, illegally...

New two-year budget ends short shutdown and includes tax-relief for Berea College

The Rural Blog President Trump signed a two-year budget package today, ending the second government shutdown of 2018, albeit a short one of about eight hours. Congress passed the measure after a delay forced by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who protested that it was fiscally irresponsible. “When Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party,” Paul said during the debate....

Legislative wrap-up for the week: Taking aim at opioids, drug-prevention steps, bills that move on . . .

It has been a reoccurring theme in recent years. In each legislative session, lawmakers take aim at the latest challenges posed by the state’s opioid epidemic. The ever-evolving nature of this crisis means that every time lawmakers meet there are emerging issues to consider as our state puts new laws on the books to keep drugs off the streets, support a strained criminal justice system, provide treatment...

Cold weather equals higher electric bills, customers should consider payment plans or assistance

Prolonged and severe cold in December and January has led to sharply higher electric bills for customers across Kentucky, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) says. Schmitt For many customers – particularly those who heat entirely or primarily with electricity – bills received from late December through January have been much larger than those for the previous billing period. That is...

KY Public Advocate seeks support for Gov. Bevin’s funding proposal from House subcommittee

Public Advocate Damon Preston appeared before the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice, Public Safety, and the Judiciary Tuesday, to explain the needs of Kentucky public defenders in the next biennium. Preston He asked that the subcommittee accept and endorse the additional Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) funding in Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget. Preston began his presentation by thanking...

Covington City Commission: Social media policy, Covington West 7th, Riverfront Commons and more

By Ryan Clark NKyTribune reporter Residents, you’re going to have to silence those tweets and posts. At least, you will if the city of Covington approves its new Social Media Policy, which was presented to commissioners at their caucus meeting Tuesday night. “After reviewing our current social media usage, city staff determined it is in the city’s best interest to utilize social media as another...