Stu Johnson

The first meeting of a newly formed legislative Public Pension Working Group is scheduled Tuesday in Frankfort.  It will review the systems’ structure, costs, benefits, and funding.  The group is charged with making recommendations for General Assembly action by mid- February, but it could be extended until December first.

Cheri Lawson

The slightest amount of snow and ice on the roads can make for risky driving conditions according to American Automobile Association (AAA) spokeswoman Jenifer Moore. She says it’s important to be prepared.

The Kentucky legislature has wrapped up the first week of the 2019 session and will now take a break until the beginning of February. But a lot happened in the first few days, including a bipartisan proposal to legalize medical marijuana and a new push by lawmakers to pass one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Listen to this week’s Kentucky Politics Distilled in the player above.

Wikimedia Commons

  Leaders of the Kentucky legislature have formed a new group tasked with reviewing and analyzing the state’s pension systems, which are underfunded and have been the subject of controversial reform attempts in recent years.

Wikimedia Commons

  One of Kentucky’s leading health advocates says a 50 cent increase in the state’s cigarette tax is beginning to pay dividends.

A poll commissioned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky finds that 39 percent of adult smokers cut back on the number of cigarettes they smoked following last year’s tax hike.

Thirty-three percent considered quitting, and 26 percent actually tried to quit because of the price increase.

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Abortion Measure

Jan 11, 2019
Stu Johnson

The Kentucky Senate voted 30 to six Friday in favor of legislation to require reporting of drugs dispensed with an intent to end a pregnancy.  The information would be sent to the state Vital Statistics Branch and would also be posted on the State Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ website. 


  

Modifications to public schools’ site-based decision- making framework got backing from the Senate Education Committee Thursday.  School councils came into existence with the passage of state education reforms almost three decades ago.  



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  Republican lawmakers in the Kentucky legislature are advancing an abortion restriction that opponents worry could upend the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling that legalized abortion more than four decades ago.

Senate Bill 9 would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which takes place as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

The bill will likely be challenged in court because it undercuts longstanding rulings on abortion rights.

AG Beshear Reviewing Gov. Bevin's Emergency Regulation

Jan 10, 2019
Ky.gov

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is reviewing a new emergency regulation recently enacted by Gov. Matt Bevin. The executive order concerns public access to state-owned buildings.  

The budgets of Kentucky's public universities have been slashed. To compensate, tuitions and fees continue to rise pushing degrees ever further from the reach for many. These are the conditions inherited by Aaron Thompson as he brings a unique background and perspective to the helm of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Also: a solution to "parachute journalism" and the challenges of today's community newspaper.

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FSA Offices Reopen To Confusion and Disarray

16 hours ago
USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture is reopening Farm Service Agency offices across the country Thursday, Friday and Tuesday. Agency staff will help process loans affected by the federal government shutdown. There are reports that many Ohio Valley farmers showing up were turned away.

The Farm Service Agency office in Mayfield, Kentucky, is so quiet you can hear the tick of the Department of Agriculture-branded clock on the wall. Eleven employees usually make up this busy office. Only three were called in Thursday morning.

Senate Committee Video

During a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing Wednesday on his nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler was pressed by members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about the impact of the government shutdown on the agency.

Wheeler noted one casualty of the ongoing partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week, is that a long-awaited plan on regulating the PFAS group of chemicals has been delayed.  

Mary Meehan

  A slender, black, rectangle, the Juul fits easily in the palm of your hand. You don’t light it, you trigger it with a click of a finger. The mist that is exhaled is so fine it’s hard to see. The nicotine is delivered via a pod the size of a AAA battery, with each pod containing the equivalent of 20 cigarettes.

That combination of small size and potent power have made the Juul the vaping device of choice for many teen users. A group students from Casey County, Kentucky, affirms those features make “Juul-ing” – yes it has become a verb – rampant in class.

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