Robert Stivers

Ky. Senate Leader: No Promise Chamber Will Consider Cigarette, Opioid Taxes

Mar 2, 2018
Stu Johnson

The leader of the state Senate is making no promises on whether proposals to increase the cigarette tax and create a tax on pain pills will be considered in his chamber.

On Thursday, the Republican-led state House of Representatives passed a revenue bill that would increase the cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack and create a 25-cent tax that distributors would have to pay for each dose of opioid pills sold in Kentucky.

New Pension Bill Expected to Be Dropped This Week

Feb 14, 2018
Stu Johnson

Republican leaders of the state legislature say a new proposal to overhaul the state’s public retirement systems will be unveiled later this week.

With fewer than three weeks before Election Day, Kentucky lawmakers on opposing sides of the aisle have differing views about the likelihood of a change in the state's House majority.  The GOP has been eyeing the 100-member chamber for years.

Stu Johnson

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is urging lawmakers from 15 southern states including his own to be competent, capable, and bold.  Bevin offered his thoughts to participants at the 70th Southern Legislative Conference meeting in Lexington.  “We have increasingly in this country become agnostic as it relates to any number of things, our mores, our values, our principles, our convictions, our love of liberty.  We’ve become fairly apathetic,” noted Bevin.

State Budget Negotiations Continue

Mar 25, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Kentucky House and Senate leaders are continuing negotiations on a compromise $21 billion two-year state budget.  Conferees worked through a number of issues Friday, but no firm decisions are expected just yet.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says each side has key sticking points.  “We have large philosophical differences in how we should spend these tax dollars, obviously between the two chambers, and I don’t know if those are insurmountable,” said Stumbo.

Kentucky Lawmakers Continue to Work a State Budget

Feb 26, 2016

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he expects a floor vote on a state budget in mid-March.  It would fall after special elections to fill four vacant house seats, which could result in an even split in the number of House democrats and republicans.  Stumbo maintains that a constitutional majority of members or 51 votes is not required until the final vote on the budget.  The speaker says he expects the Kentucky legislature will pass a budget this session.  “We’ll have a legislatively enacted budget, I think, and it will be up to the governor if he wants to veto it or whatever he wants

Kentucky Senate Priority Education Bill Wins Easy Passage

Feb 18, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    The top legislative priority of Kentucky’s Republican led Senate easily won approval Wednesday and now moves on to the Democratic House.  Senate Bill One passed on a vote of 25 to 12, primarily along party lines.

Senate Republicans Continue to Refine Priority Education Bill

Feb 8, 2016

Kentucky Senate Republicans are still at work on their priority bill and it could be a few weeks before the measure is sent the floor.  Senate Bill 1 would create a new review structure for state education standards and student testing.  Senate President Robert Stivers says the legislation is undergoing further review.  “We’re still talking through it and working through it because it is an important policy change, but not only that but it is a big policy change,” said Stivers.

Budget Address and Filing Deadline This Week in Frankfort

Jan 25, 2016

February 26 is a significant day in the 2016 Kentucky general assembly session for two primary reasons.  It’s the day lawmakers hear the two year budget suggestions from new governor Matt Bevin.  It’s also the candidate filing deadline for various races including the House of Representatives.  The political party makeup is closely divided between democrats and republicans.  Senate President Robert Stivers believes it will be hard to hold the party line.  “Neither party in my opinion will be able to hold all their members on every vote where there’s a constitutional majority needed,” said S

Louisville Metro Public Health can provide new syringes to people regardless of whether used syringes are exchanged, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Louisville’s health department is operating what’s called a needs-based negotiation model, which provides multiple clean syringes regardless of whether participants bring in dirty ones.

The opinion issued Monday was requested by Senate President Robert Stivers,  a Republican from Manchester.

Senate Republicans: Kentucky Is Ready For Conservative Priorities

Dec 2, 2015

Galvanized by Republican Matt Bevin’s election as governor and a dwindling Democratic majority in the state House, Senate Republicans will this week decide 10 bills to prioritize during the upcoming legislative session.

The GOP has a 27-11 majority in the state Senate.

Though the official shortlist of bills hasn’t been made, on Wednesday GOP leaders said they’ll be pushing for a familiar collection of legislation for right-to-work policies, charter schools and tort reform. The 2016 session starts next month.

Senate Democrats and Republicans Debate Process on Floor

Feb 6, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Democrats in the Kentucky Senate sent a formal letter to the chamber’s president expressing concern about the pace of bill consideration.  Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones says the majority party’s method is not in line with a representative democracy.  "Since the republicans took control of the state senate, the process has been a fast track, railroad type process to moving legislation," said Jones.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


For the sixth time, supporters of a bill calling for ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders will work for approval in the Kentucky General Assembly. 

Advocates say education and awareness of the device's benefits could rule the day this session.

Eastern Standard "Live" from the State Capitol

Feb 2, 2015
Richard Turner

As the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly re-convenes, what issues are on your mind? The Local Option Sales Tax? A statewide smoke-free policy? An increase in the state's minimum wage? We're taking the show on the road to the State Capitol to speak with House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers.

We’re interested in your comments and questions before the show by email to wekueasternstandard at gmail dot com or on the phone at 859-622-1657.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Governor Steve Beshear Wednesday night delivered his final State of the Commonwealth address.  House and Senate leaders offered positive comments regarding Beshear's tenure.  

Governor Beshear's eighth State of the Commonwealth Speech ran a little over an hour and was interrupted by applause from legislators more than 35 times.  Beshear spoke about leading Kentucky through a historic recession, as well as achievements in education, and insuring Kentuckians through the state's health care exchange.

Top Kentucky elected officials say a measure could remedy the costly issue of elected county jailers who have no jails to run—slashing their pay scales.

Ky. Legislature Mid-Point Update on Eastern Standard

Feb 8, 2014

As the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly approaches the mid-point, what has the state's legislative branch achieved so far this year?  What is likely to be accomplished by the end of this 60-day session?  These are questions we will pursue in this week's show, originating "live" from the State Capitol in Frankfort.