Ryland Barton

Kentucky Public Radio State Capitol Reporter

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues, Ryland's reporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. 

Ryland has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Commonwealth of Kentucky

  Kentucky’s Republican attorney general would be able to shut down abortion providers during the coronavirus pandemic under changes to a bill advancing in the state legislature.

Kentucky General Assembly Legislator Profile / legislature.ky.gov

  A Republican state representative has filed a measure that would allow people and businesses to sue the governor if they feel emergency restrictions are unnecessary, too broad or last too long.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

  With Kentucky’s economy slowing to a trickle during the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s already cash-strapped coffers and services are going to take a big hit.

Jacob Ryan, WFPL

 

  As the Kentucky legislature continues to meet during the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers advanced a bill that would require counties to purchase more secure voting machines whenever they replace their old ones.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

Republican leaders of the Kentucky Senate have unveiled their version of the two-year state budget. Like the version passed by the state House of Representatives last month, it scales back some of the programs proposed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.

It also includes a provision that would add about $1.1 billion into the pension fund for teachers over the next two years, but only if the legislature weakens retirement benefits for future teachers.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Kentuckians will be able to use more documents to obtain REAL ID licenses under a bill nearing final passage in the state legislature.

The measure would add property tax bills, current driver’s licenses and postmarked mail less than a year old to the list of documents Kentuckians can use to prove their identities to get the enhanced-security ID cards.

The bill comes as Kentucky is scrambling to get more citizens outfitted with REAL IDs and setting up regional offices around the state for citizens to obtain them.

Ryland Barton

  As Kentucky works to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear is urging the state legislature to either quickly pass a two-year budget or adjourn and return for a special session in the coming months.

Ryan Van Velzer

  Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that child care centers across the state must close by the end of Friday in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Kentucky is delaying its May primary elections by more than a month, the latest in a series of crowd restrictions announced to try and limit the spread of coronavirus.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that all bars and restaurants in Kentucky will close to in-person traffic starting 5:00 Monday evening in response to coronavirus.

Beshear also announced the first death due to the disease in Kentucky–a 66 year-old man from Bourbon County, who Beshear said had “numerous” other health factors.

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