Nearly half of Kentucky’s 173 school districts have increased local property tax rates as much as possible.
The moves come in light of education cuts at both the state and federal levels. Kentucky School Boards Association spokesman Brad Hughes told the Courier-Journal that “districts have no choice” but to turn to local taxpayers in order to find increased funding.
Eighty-one districts in the state have adopted tax rates that will increase revenue by 4 percent. Under Kentucky law, that’s the largest property taxes can be increased without being subject to voter recall.
School officials who have increased local property tax rates say they’re still coming out on the short end despite making the move. The Estill County School Board will see an additional $65,000 from a tax increase approved this year. But officials there are quick to point out that the district's primary state appropriation is down nearly $700,000 compared to 2009.
With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.
The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.
Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.
Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.
Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.
Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.
The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.
Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.
The Southeastern Conference will make a "historic announcement" Tuesday in Nashville. Music City is expected to be named the primary home of SEC basketball tournaments.
The Tennessean newspaper reports Nashville will host 12 consecutive postseason basketball tournaments, nine men’s and three women’s, starting in 2015. The venue will be Bridgestone Arena.
The SEC played this year’s men’s championship in Nashville and was already scheduled to return in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
Back in May, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the league would explore a primary site for the basketball tournaments, noting success with other permanent sites, in Atlanta for football and Alabama for baseball.
After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.
The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.
That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".
Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.