A Christian group building a massive wooden ark in Kentucky inspired by the biblical account of Noah is considering going to court to fight the state's rejection of the project's tax incentives.
President Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis says the loss of the tourism tax rebate would be costly for the Ark Encounter theme park project, but it will continue. Ham says in a statement that two public interest law firms would represent the group if legal action is taken. He says no decision has been made yet.
Kentucky's tourism secretary said Wednesday that the project isn't eligible for tax incentives because employees would be screened on the basis of religion.
Ham says federal and state laws support the group's intention to base hiring on applicants' religious preferences.
Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says he hopes bills to combat heroin abuse and encourage investments by telecommunications companies can win bipartisan support in next year's General Assembly session.
But Stivers says Senate Republicans will also push more contentious proposals to rein in regulations and prohibit mandatory participation in a workplace union. He acknowledged such proposals would face strong resistance in the Democratic-led Kentucky House.
Senate Republican leaders spoke with reporters Thursday during a Senate GOP retreat in Owensboro.
Lawmakers will be in session for 30 days next year, but Stivers says they can take on big issues during the abbreviated session.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says next year's governor's campaign won't affect Senate action. But he says Senate Republicans will promote an agenda that a GOP governor could embrace.
One Kentucky county isn’t waiting on Frankfort to pass right-to-work legislation.
The Warren County Fiscal Court Thursday took the first of two votes required to approve a right-to-work ordinance.
The vote was 5-1 with Magistrate Tommy Hunt casting the lone “no” vote.
The ordinance covers only private-sector workers, not teachers or other public employees. A final vote on the ordinance is scheduled for December 19.
According to the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Warren County would become the first county in the nation to adopt a local right-to-work law, which means workers would have the right to choose whether or not to join a union and pay dues without jeopardizing their employment.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce wants a full performance audit of the troubled Kentucky Retirement Systems.
Chamber President Dave Adkisson Thursday called on state Auditor Adam Edelen to look into KRS, which is rated as one of the most underfunded pension plans in the nation, with only about 45-percent of the assets needed to cover its retirement obligations.
Adkisson said his group is especially concerned about the burden placed on the actuary who advises the system.
“The assumptions they make lead to KRS recommendations, and a request for money that goes to the Governor,” Adkisson said during a conference call with reporters. “The Governor has to utilize that information to build his budget that goes to the legislature, and all of this is predicated on the assumptions of one actuary. And KTRS, the teachers’ retirement system, uses the same actuary.”
Adkisson says a KRS audit should also look into the amount of investment fees paid by the system, and how that compares to other states. An estimated 30-percent of KRS investments are held in hedge funds and private equity funds, which charge high fees and whose holdings KRS agrees not to reveal.
A company that makes brakes and safety systems for commercial vehicles is expanding its manufacturing operations in Bowling Green. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake says it’s making a nearly $8.5 million dollar investment to upgrade its facilities.
The expansion will include the hiring of 75 new employees and the addition of two additional machining centers. BSFB opened its Bowling Green facility in 2007 with 133 employees. By next year the company expects to have 440 workers in Bowling Green.
A plan to manage scenery at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area has raised some concerns with some.
The park's area supervisor, Tina Tilley, told WPSD-TV that officials worked with a landscape architect to develop a plan for visuals that will attract more visitors. She says she wants to create "peek-a-boo views" where hikers can see lake views or wildlife habitats.
Ronnie Mardis, who says his family has ties to the land, told the station he is worried about how much more logging, cutting and clearing the plan will allow.
Tilley said she has been "surprised by the angst" the proposal has raised, but thinks there's some misunderstandings about the park's goals.
The forest service is taking public comments about their scenery plan through Dec. 31.
WKU is preparing to add “all gender” restrooms to campus facilities in the coming months. Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Richard Miller says the decision was made in response to the university’s changing demographics.
"You're going to have a very diverse group of students on any college or university campus, whether it's members of the LGBTQ community or members of our international community," Miller told WKU Public Radio. "I think it's one of the responsibilities of an institution to try to address the needs of the various constituencies that they serve."
Dr. Miller stresses that the gender neutral restrooms will not be community restrooms. They’ll be private, and as for signage, the university is planning to designate them as simply “restroom.”