Republicans in the state Senate have proposed keeping most of the budget cuts sought by Gov. Matt Bevin, while rejecting House Republicans’ plan to raise about $500 million through taxes on cigarettes and pain pills.

The Senate’s version of the budget restores cuts Bevin had proposed for public school transportation funds, but colleges and universities would still see spending reductions.

Sen. Chris McDaniel, chair of the Senate budget committee, said the higher education cuts would go to fund several individual programs across the state’s college and universities.


Kentucky’s Justice Secretary says he’s not giving up on criminal justice reforms becoming a reality during this year’s legislative session.

But John Tilley’s comments come as a reform bill is stalled in a House committee.

House Bill 396 is the result of suggestions made by a committee appointed by Governor Bevin to find ways to lower Kentucky’s incarceration rate, and increase opportunities for addicts to receive substance abuse treatment.


The president of Western Kentucky University says the most recent budget reductions to offset a $15 million shortfall were less severe than anticipated, but warns more employee layoffs are on the horizon.

WKU President Timothy Caboni says the past several weeks spent reducing personnel across four campuses have been challenging.  The initial budget reduction estimates announced in February indicated that as many as 100 filled positions would need to be eliminated.  However, the actual number of full-time employees laid off was 62.  The university also cut 57 vacant positions. 

Kentucky LRC

Local officials and advocates say that rising pension contributions will cripple city, county and school district budgets if the General Assembly doesn’t pass a bill providing some relief this year.

Senate Bill 66 would place a 12 percent cap on how much those pension costs can increase over the next decade.

But Republican leaders of the legislature say they won’t pass a relief package without making changes to the state’s pension systems, which have an estimated $40 billion unfunded liability.

J. Tyler Franklin

A sweeping bill that would overhaul Kentucky’s foster care and adoption system is nearing final passage in the state legislature.

A key part of House Bill 1 would give the state more options to terminate the parental rights of negligent parents and try to reduce barriers for people who want to adopt.

The legislation would consider babies born with drug addictions to be “abused or neglected,” meaning the state could take steps to terminate parental rights unless the child’s parents take steps to get clean.


The Western Kentucky University men’s basketball team is on to the National Invitational Tournament quarterfinal round after winning consecutive NIT games for the first time since 1948.

The Hilltoppers won at Southern California Monday night, beating the Trojans 79-75 in Los Angeles. Senior forward Justin Johnson led WKU with 23 points and six rebounds.

Green River Area Development District

A few hundred senior citizens in the Green River region are on a waiting list for home-delivered meals because of tightened state and federal budgets. 

The Green River Area Development District, or GRADD, serves about 1,000 meals a day at senior centers and for in-home deliveries. 

GRADD Associate Director for Aging and Social Services Jennifer Williams said a substantial number of elderly residents who have requested home-delivered meals can’t be served.

Health care providers in Kentucky have a new tool to gauge how their prescribing patterns compare with their peers.  The state has launched a Prescriber Report Card that’s aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse.

The individualized reports are an enhancement to the state’s KASPER program-Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting.  KASPER shows all prescriptions for an individual over a specified time period, the prescriber, and the dispenser.

Becca Schimmel

Bottles of bourbon make their way through the assembly line at Maker’s Mark, one of ten distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail. They’re cleaned, filled, capped and then dipped in the company’s signature red wax, a tradition that started with the wife of the distillery’s founder, Bill Samuels.

"She took red sealing wax, she put it in her family's deep fryer right there in the kitchen, dipped the first bottle of Maker’s Mark right there in her kitchen,” a tour guide explained. “She brought it out to Bill Samuels Sr. as he was sitting there in the kitchen and he hated it. Well, you see who won."

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans say they still support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference even as the president continued his offensive Sunday against the investigation, as well as a recently fired high-ranking FBI official, Andrew McCabe.

Trump sent a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, in which he painted the Mueller-led special counsel probe as a politically biased witch hunt.


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Singer-songwriter Will Kimbrough and Louisville folk-duo The Other Years were musical guests on Lost River Sessions LIVE on Feb. 17 at the Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green.

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