Frankfort, KY – The Fletcher Administration says the state spent 1.9 million dollars last year, on nearly 53 hundred cell phones. Fletcher Chief of Staff Daniel Groves says that's one phone for about every seven state employees.
In a release issued by the Governor's office, officials said about 200 phones that were not being used have been located. The state was still paying for the unused cell phones, according to Fletcher spokesman Daniel Groves.
Frankfort, KY – Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher is asking for federal funding for Kentucky counties hit hard by five days of heavy storms. Fletcher is asking President Bush to declare a "major disaster" in Kentucky. The Governor sent a letter, stating that storm damages pose an immediate and long term threat to the well-being of thousands of residents of Kentucky.
Frankfort,KY – The man elected Chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party less than five months ago may have to fight to keep the job at the Democratic Party's state convention, which will be held June 19th. Bill Garmer says he's been the object of a telephone survey of convention delegates. The party's executive director, Eddie Jacobs, says one of the questions being posed is whether the delegates would prefer Garmer or the man he defeated for the Chairmanship in January.
Washington, D.C. – House Republicans have agreed on a bill to buy out tobacco farmers. The government would put about ten billion dollars into the five year buy out program. In return, tobacco producers would give up a depression era system that has propped up the price of leaf through quotas.
Frankfort, KY – Kentucky's Homeland Security Director says he would like to have more exemptions to the state's Open Records Act. Erwin Roberts, who heads the Office of Homeland Security, says documents such as vulnerability assessments shouldn't be accessible to the public. Roberts made the statements to an Interim Legislative Committee in Frankfort.
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky Department for Employment Services says jobless rates dropped in 97 counties in the most recent study of the state's job situation. For April of this year, six counties still had jobless rates above ten percent. However, in April of 2003, seventeen counties recorded double digit unemployment rates.
Frankfort, KY – The Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee has approved a study which will focus on the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System. CATS replaced the KIRIS system and was fully implemented in Kentucky in 2002.
Frankfort, KY – Governor Fletcher wants a judge to suspend a lawsuit that would test whether he can spend state money without an enacted budget. The lawsuit was filed last week by Attorney General Greg Stumbo. In papers filed in Frankfort today, the Fletcher Administration says the suit was premature.
The Administration argues that the state budget doesn't expire until June 30th. A hearing on the request to suspend Stumbo's suit is set for next week in Franklin County Circuit Court.
Frankfort,KY – Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are visiting Kentucky, examining weekend storm damage. Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence says state officials asked FEMA to check both tornado and flood damage in the state.
Pence has toured several storm-damaged areas of the Commonwealth and says homes were damaged in several parts of the state by high winds and flooding. State officials say the Sulfur community in Henry County was especially hard hit by high waters.
Frankfort, KY – State officials say 13 people died in crashes on Kentucky's roads over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The deaths were the result of ten separate wrecks, and only three of the thirteen people killed were wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. State police say alcohol played a role in four of the accidents.