A leading advocate of Kentucky's new prescription pill law says he's ready to listen to doctors who want to change it. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has made fighting prescription pill abuse one of his top priorities. Earlier this year, he was a leading supporter of House Bill 1, which mandates that most doctors use the KASPER pill tracking system.
Governor Steve Beshear says he's interested in a so-called hybrid approach to pension reform. Lawmakers are discussing how to fix the flailing public pension plans for state and county employees. They'll make recommendations at the end of the year. Beshear says he would support a plan, that allows current to employees keep their pensions, but require new employees to pay into a 401k-type plan.
Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen is encouraging local officials to help him find out about the state’s hundreds of special taxing districts. A special taxing district is a quasi-governmental agency—such as a local sewer system or public library—that gets its funds from a separate tax. No one knows how many such districts there are in the state. And since the spring, Edelen has set out to find and catalog all of the districts, then see if any are abusing public funds.
The chair of Kentucky’s tax commission says a sweeping overhaul of the state's tax code isn't in the works. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson says, in his heart, he wants to see a major change in the tax code.
A federal judge's ruling could open the door to the sale of hard liquor and wine in grocery stores. Currently state law allows grocery stores to only sell beer, while liquor stores and drug stores can sell beer, wine and liquor. After years of unsuccessful lobbying to change the law, grocery associations sued in federal court last year. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville handed down a ruling in their favor today, declaring that the ban is unconstitutional.
Mike Haydon, Governor Beshear’s chief of staff passed away over the weekend. In a statement, the governor said ‘Jane and I are shocked and devastated by the sudden death of my chief of staff and good friend, Mike Hayden.’ The Lexington Herald reports Hayden suffered a heart attack. The 62 year old Hayden spent more than 30 years in public service at both the state and local level.
Drought-stricken Kentucky farmers in need of hay or other forages for their livestock can seek help through a state Department of Agriculture website. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says a forage sales directory is up and running that can match up farmers with forages for sale with those whose pastures and fields have been dried up by the drought. A similar program is also available for farmers in Indiana.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky begins a transition to a new driver’s license this month that, while similar in appearance to current licenses, contains security features for greater protection of privacy and resistance to tampering.
One week from today , courthouses across the commonwealth will be closed. The closures are part of a cost saving measure. The Kentucky Judicial Branch shuts down on August sixth for the first of three furlough days this year. Leigh Ann Hiatt with the state Administrative Office of the Courts says the furloughs are part of the state’s budget reduction plan. “No judicial center or courthouse in Kentucky will be open that day. It also means, just in general, you can’t get a new driver’s license or one renewed,” said Hiatt.
Despite accounting mistakes and unforeseen disaster relief expenses, state government is closing the 2012 budget with another surplus. Originally, the budgetary surplus was 83 million dollars, now it's almost halved to 45 million dollars. State Budget Director Mary Lassiter informed lawmakers of the surplus at an interim committee meeting today. And she says the remaining surplus will be put into the legislature’s savings account.
A former financial planner for the Kentucky Pension Systems says an international banking scandal is leading to millions of dollars in losses for Kentucky agencies. Financial analyst Chris Tobe believes the pension systems have lost money due to the false interest rates associated with the LIBOR banking scandal.
Several buildings along Main Street across from Louisville Slugger Field have sat empty for more than a quarter of a century. Graffiti decorates the walls inside and outside of the complex, which state officials have deemed contaminated. The buildings also stand in the way of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
A Frankfort man fell asleep behind the wheel of his car at a busy local intersection and woke up to face charges of trafficking in pills, a prosecutor says. Joseph Smith, 35, was idling at the traffic light at a downtown Frankfort intersection on June 30, Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said Wednesday. “He’s just sitting there,” Cleveland said. “The police officer approaches because the light changes a couple times and he doesn’t move.”
FRANKFORT – Citing concerns that alcoholic beverage laws in Kentucky are outdated and sometimes contradictory, Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on the Study of Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.