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.

Ryland Barton

Republicans in the Kentucky legislature are pushing to require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

Liz Schlemmer / WFPL

  Kentucky’s legislative session kicked off with lots of conservative red meat on Tuesday — gun rights advocates held a day-long rally outside the Capitol and leaders of the state Senate announced that their top two bills will be an anti-“sanctuary city” policy and a voter ID proposal.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the state will pay for thousands of Kentuckians to take the GED, a group of four tests that serve as an alternative to the high school diploma.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

A little more than two months after Kentucky voters weighed in on who they want to govern them for the next four years, the state’s new batch of constitutional officers were sworn in Monday morning.

Michelle Hanks

Kentucky’s congressmen and senators provided mixed reactions to the assassination of Iran’s powerful military leader Qassem Soleimani during a U.S. military airstrike on Friday.

Kyeland Jackson

Kentucky’s new Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the FBI to investigate controversial pardons issued by former Gov. Matt Bevin at the end of his term.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

  During a year-end interview, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said he’s focused on his second term in office and not currently planning a run for governor in 2023.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Andy Beshear has set a date for two special elections to fill vacancies in the state House of Representatives. The seats were vacated by two longtime Democratic representatives who joined Beshear’s administration shortly after he was inaugurated on Dec. 10.

Alexey Stiop, 123rf Stock Photo

State lawmakers return to Frankfort on Jan. 7 for the next legislative session when lawmakers have to write a new state budget. 

Wikimedia Commons

An eastern Kentucky lawmaker has proposed a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and dedicate tax revenues from the industry to the state’s cash-strapped pension systems.