Greg Stumbo http://wkyufm.org en Kentucky's Democratic, GOP Legislative Leaders Unite Against New EPA Regulations http://wkyufm.org/post/kentuckys-democratic-gop-legislative-leaders-unite-against-new-epa-regulations <p></p><p>Kentucky’s two top-ranking lawmakers have &nbsp;some choice words about new coal emissions regulations announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency.</p><p>Republican Senate President Robert Stivers and Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo are slamming the proposed rules, which will cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.&nbsp; .</p><p>“You can’t formulate energy policy for a growing country like ours, if you’re not going to consider, as part of that solution, your most abundant resource," Stumbo said. "It doesn’t make any sense at all, it’s a dumbass thing to do, and you can quote me on that.”</p><p>Stumbo added that he didn’t think that the rules will affect the outcome of the November House elections, where Democrats hope to retain a narrow majority over Republicans.</p><p>The regulations are subject to public input and will be officially enacted a year from now. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:20:35 +0000 Jonathan Meador 49106 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky's Democratic, GOP Legislative Leaders Unite Against New EPA Regulations Humane Society Urges Stumbo to Bolster Kentucky's Cockfighting Laws http://wkyufm.org/post/humane-society-urges-stumbo-bolster-kentuckys-cockfighting-laws <p>The Humane Society of the United States is calling on House Speaker Greg Stumbo to strengthen the state’s cockfighting laws.&nbsp; The request from Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle comes after a cockfighting ring was recently busted in McDowell, Kentucky. Three of Stumbo's distant relatives are accused of running the operation.&nbsp; John Goodwin is the director of animal-cruelty policy at the Humane Society.<br /><br />“Kentucky has one of the weakest cockfighting laws in the nation. The USDA’s affidavit said that is why people were coming from so many other states to the cockfights,” said Goodwin. “This is a lose-lose for animals and Kentucky’s communities, because this law is so weak it’s attracting this criminal element to Kentucky. They need to make it a felony, turn off the magnet and keep these criminals and animal abusers away from Kentucky.”</p><p>Kentucky is one of only nine states where cockfighting isn't a felony offense. It carries a misdemeanor charge in Kentucky, even though attending a fight is now a federal felony.<br /> Thu, 08 May 2014 23:29:52 +0000 Jonathan Meador 47774 at http://wkyufm.org Humane Society Urges Stumbo to Bolster Kentucky's Cockfighting Laws Now That Conway's In, Who Else Might Run for Kentucky Governor? http://wkyufm.org/post/now-conways-who-else-might-run-kentucky-governor <p></p><p>The list of confirmed 2015 Kentucky candidates for governor grew Tuesday, when Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/its-official-jack-conway-will-run-governor-2015" target="_blank">announced he was running </a>for the office.</p><p>He joins Republican and former Louisville Metro Council member Hal Heiner, <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/heiner-kicking-2015-kentucky-governors-race" target="_blank">who announced earlier this year</a> his gubernatorial bid.</p><p>Kentucky political observers will now turn their attention on a handful of other potential candidates for governor.</p><p>Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has said he is strongly considering a run for Governor, but only if Democrats hang on to their majority in the state House.</p><p>Stumbo was the running mate for gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lundsford in 2007, a ticket that lost the primary to Steve Beshear and Daniel Mongiardo.</p><p>Other potential Democratic 2015 candidates include state Auditor Adam Edelen and former U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler, who is currently executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council.</p><p>Former state Auditor Crit Luallen announced last month that she won’t run for governor.</p><p>On the Republican side, the most high-profile would-be candidate appears to be Agriculture Commissioner and Monroe County farmer <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/james-comer-proud-and-after-picture-kentuckys-agriculture-department" target="_blank">James Comer</a>. Tue, 06 May 2014 22:42:23 +0000 Kevin Willis 47666 at http://wkyufm.org Now That Conway's In, Who Else Might Run for Kentucky Governor? Paul: Increasing Minimum Wage Would Hurt "Minorities and Kids" http://wkyufm.org/post/paul-increasing-minimum-wage-would-hurt-minorities-and-kids <p>Senator Rand Paul says raising the minimum wage would negatively impact job prospects for minorities and children.</p><p><a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/rand-paul/2014/04/28/rand-paul-west-end-knocks-minimum-wage-hike/8421717/" target="_blank">The Courier-Journal reports</a> that while speaking Monday night to a group of business owners and officials in Louisville, Sen. Paul said Congress could help the poor and unemployed by cutting corporate and personal income taxes in struggling areas.</p><p>The Bowling Green Republican has introduced a bill that would create what he calls “economic freedom zones” in zip codes where at least one-quarter of the residents live at or below the poverty line.</p><p>That move comes amid a debate at both the federal and state governmental levels over whether the minimum wage should be hiked. Congress is considering whether to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.</p><p>Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-advocates-higher-minimum-wage-kentucky" target="_blank">sponsored legislation</a> this year that would have increased the state’s minimum wage to that same level over the course of three years. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 16:16:08 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 47302 at http://wkyufm.org 2014 General Assembly Session in Review: Who Won? Who Lost? http://wkyufm.org/post/2014-general-assembly-session-review-who-won-who-lost <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By law, the only piece of legislation that the 2014&nbsp; Kentucky General Assembly had to pass was a two-year state budget.</span></p><p>All else, as Will Rogers put it, is applesauce.</p><p>And with a session that began with a bang and ended with a whimper, it's what happened in between that House Speaker Greg Stumbo says lawmakers should be "proud" of.</p><p>Specifically, that they passed a compromised version of Gov. Steve Beshear's $20.3 billion state budget. House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, however, took to the editorial page of The Courier-Journal to vent about what he dubbed a "lackluster" session.</p><p>But the truth probably lies somewhere between the extremes of "proud" and "lackluster."</p><p>Many political observers noted a reluctance among lawmakers to tackle controversial measures—chief among them tax reform—because of the impending November elections that will prove as a test for House Democrats to retain their slim eight-seat majority.</p><p>Here's a look at the winners, losers and downright lost causes of the 2014 General Assembly.</p><p><strong>WINNERS</strong></p><p>The coal industry—A slate of coal-friendly bills easily cleared the legislature, including one that allows coal-fired power plants in the state to regulate their own carbon emission standards at lower-than-federal-levels. Lawmakers also approved a bill that provides a new round of tax incentives for coal and coal-related industries to subsidize their purchase of new equipment.<br /> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 22:40:55 +0000 Jonathan Meador 46848 at http://wkyufm.org 2014 General Assembly Session in Review: Who Won? Who Lost? After Late Night, Lawmakers Wrap Up Legislative Session http://wkyufm.org/post/after-late-night-lawmakers-wrap-legislative-session <p><span style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">This year's Kentucky legislative session is now over. Though many bills failed due to lack of compromise or attention, House Speaker Greg </span>Stumbo<span style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"> says lawmakers did what was expected of them from taxpayers by passing a two-year state budget.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">But that chamber’s highest ranking Republican, Jeff Hoover, decried tactics by Democrats to amend bills at the last minute without giving Republicans enough time to study them. Lawmakers debated new amendments and legislative procedure right until the stroke of midnight.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Among the failed bills was a measure that would raise penalties for heroin traffickers and legislation that would restore voting rights for felons.</span></p><div style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:13:45 +0000 Jonathan Meador 46667 at http://wkyufm.org After Late Night, Lawmakers Wrap Up Legislative Session Stumbo Reverses Course, Now Says He Supports Local Option Sales Tax Bill http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-reverses-course-now-says-he-supports-local-option-sales-tax-bill <p>A series of bills that would amend the state constitution and implement a local option sales tax to fund city and county projects has won support in the Kentucky House of Representatives.</p><p>House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Thursday he now supports the bill following a conversation with Gov. Steve Beshear, and expects it to head to the House floor for a vote.</p><p>House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says the bill will likely be voted on Friday in order to give the Senate enough time to discuss it.</p><p>“I know that the issue is being worked right now, and don’t know myself … exactly where the vote count is, but I know there’s a lot of work going in by a lot of people to see if the votes are there to be able to bring it out here and debate it and see if it can more forward," said Adkins, a Democrat from Sandy Hook.</p><p>One House Republican had some strong words for Stumbo regarding his apparent about-face.</p><p>“It shows that he’s playing every side that he can," said Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover of Russell Springs. "He’s concerned about the political ramifications in November, and he’s playing every side that he can on every issue that he can and this is another example.”</p><p>If passed, the measure would go before voters this November, and would implement a 1 percent sales tax on top of Kentucky’s 6 percent sales tax to fund local projects. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:46:08 +0000 Jonathan Meador 45423 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo Reverses Course, Now Says He Supports Local Option Sales Tax Bill Lawmaker Says Big Spending by Tobacco Company Lobbyists Threatens Smoking Ban Bill http://wkyufm.org/post/lawmaker-says-big-spending-tobacco-company-lobbyists-threatens-smoking-ban-bill <p></p><p>Tobacco companies have spent nearly $70,000 in the first month of the 2014 General Assembly, according to lobbying data from the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission</p><p>And the sponsor of a bill that would ban smoking in public places and some private businesses says that that money is sowing doubt over its chances in the House.</p><p>Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat, is the sponsor of the statewide smoking ban bill, which has languished on the House floor for over three weeks. She says that tobacco lobbyists routinely influence rural legislators and leadership of both parties to avoid tackling the issue.</p><p>“This does not surprise me, because they want to make sure that legislators who have a tobacco farmer in their backyard, they want them to believe that any tobacco farmer will be greatly offended if they support a health issue related to smoke-free.” Sun, 02 Mar 2014 20:05:17 +0000 Jonathan Meador 44523 at http://wkyufm.org Lawmaker Says Big Spending by Tobacco Company Lobbyists Threatens Smoking Ban Bill Stumbo: Many Lawmakers Still Uncertain About Statewide Smoking Ban http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-many-lawmakers-still-uncertain-about-statewide-smoking-ban <p></p><p>Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says that mustering legislative support for a&nbsp;bill that would ban smoking in private businesses and public areas is “an uphill battle.”</p><p>Stumbo says that the bill, sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom, has only a handful of Republican &nbsp;votes and about 30 Democratic votes.</p><p>He says despite his support, some lawmakers are apprehensive about the ban.</p><p>“The people in Prestonsburg already have it, for example. If I vote for it,&nbsp;the people out in the county, who might object to it, didn’t get that same local option treatment that the city people, that the folks in the city did. And we’re running into a lot of that.</p><p>A spokeswoman for Gov. Steve Beshear confirmed that he is working to persuade lawmakers individually to drum up support for the bill, which has languished in the House for nearly three weeks without a vote.</p><p>Over 30 localities across the state currently prohibit smoking in public areas and in&nbsp;some private businesses. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:53:15 +0000 Jonathan Meador 44348 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo: Many Lawmakers Still Uncertain About Statewide Smoking Ban Stumbo Says He Won't Appear at Arnold Ethics Hearing, Despite Subpoena http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-says-he-wont-appear-arnold-ethics-hearing-despite-subpoena <p>House Speaker Greg Stumbo is invoking the state constitution as his reason for not appearing at next week’s legislative ethics hearing looking into sexual harassment allegations against former State Representative John Arnold.<br /><br />Stumbo received a subpoena from Arnold’s lawyer, but says the constitution exempts him from appearing while the General Assembly is in session. Stumbo also tells the <a href="http://www.kentucky.com/2014/02/21/3101559/stumbo-says-he-will-fight-a-subpoena.html">Lexington Herald-Leader</a> that he has no knowledge of the complaints against Arnold, other than what he’s read in the news media.&nbsp;<br /><br />Arnold, who resigned last September, continues to deny allegations that he sexually harassed female LRC staffers.<br /><br /> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:11:28 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 44161 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo Says He Won't Appear at Arnold Ethics Hearing, Despite Subpoena