Kentucky Legislature

Planner and futurist Ivan Potter worries about the impact on Western Kentucky of certain 2014 KY General Assembly bills, including those involving eminent domain, the public service commission, the budget and nuclear waste. He discusses the Kentucky political outlook with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good.

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The Kentucky general assembly is about a third of the way through the 2014 session.  As is the case in most Kentucky legislative sessions, a great deal of the voting comes in the later weeks and days. 

A non-partisan team of seven economists from across the state, The Kentucky Consensus Forecasting Group, works up projections used for state budget development and long-range planning by the Governor and the Kentucky legislature.  Murray State Distinguished Professor of Economics in the Arthur J. Bauerfeind College of Business, Dr. Jim McCoy has begun work with the Group and we learn more about this, with Kate Lochte.

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A special Kentucky legislative committee investigating sexual harassment complaints against Democratic State Representative John Arnold of Sturgis will meet for the first time September 17th in Frankfort.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced the meeting today. Stumbo said the committee will elect a chairman and set up procedures for conducting the investigation.  Three female legislative workers have filed complaints against Arnold, alleging he touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments.

The special committee could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

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Kentucky lawmakers will  return to Frankfort on August 19th for a special session to address legislative and judicial redistricting.  In a press release issued Thursday, Governor  Steve Beshear said he wants lawmakers to have an agreement in place before the start of the session so that it lasts only five days and minimizes the cost to the taxpayers.

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Today on Sounds Good, we welcomed a panel of local representatives to speak about the issue of gun control from their respective areas of expertise. Our guests were Llena Chavis, licensed clinical social worker and a faculty member in Murray State's Department of Social Work; Dave Howe, Murray Police Department's Crime Prevention Sergeant; and Tracy McKinney, co-owner of First Choice Firearms in Murray. State Representative Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville was initially on the panel, but had to cancel to due to scheduling conflicts. Thank you to everyone who wrote to us or called in with questions.

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Starting a new job is usually a pretty stressful proposition. Now imagine that starting that new job involves having to tackle some of the most contentious issues facing the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We’ll speak with someone who doesn’t have to imagine that: former Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries, who now represents Kentucky’s 1st State Senate District. Also, Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston will rundown the top stories he covered last week in Frankfort.  Plus, we’ll learn about some big changes happening at Murray’s City Police Department.

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From NPR: Winning matters. Having earned a second term, President Obama will attempt to build on and expand the agenda from his first, launching new initiatives on tax policy, education and immigration. But having won the popular vote by a bare majority — and still facing a divided Congress — Obama may find it difficult to gather momentum for his policies.

A spokesman for Kentucky Senate President David Williams says Williams would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position. Williams and Beshear are bitter rivals. And rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer Williams an open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. Williams is a trial lawyer by trade. And earlier this week, Kentucky Public Radio reported that Senate Republicans have already picked a successor should Williams leave.

The Senate is expected Friday to consider a measure to attempt to fight human trafficking in the state.  The bill sponsored by Democratic Representative Sannie Overly of Paris passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday evening with changes recommended by public defenders.  It would make it a crime to patronize a minor victim of human trafficking, strengthen current laws to help prosecutors get convictions in human trafficking cases, create a special state police unit on human trafficking by training existing officers and establish a victims' trust fund.  Penalties under the bill coul

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