Kentucky House Republicans

Ryland Barton

A campaign finance expert says it doesn’t appear that former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover violated any laws when he secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint. 

A whistleblower lawsuit filed this week by a staffer for the House Republican Caucus claims Hoover used funds from campaign donors to settle with his accuser and to keep the matter out of court. 

John Steffen, executive director of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, says there’s a difference between campaign funds and campaign donors.

"If it's money contributed to his campaign, then that wouldn't be something he could use the money for," Steffen told WKU Public Radio.  "However, if an individual that's a typical donor to his campaign was to give him money just outright, that's outside the scope of campaign finance laws."

Ryland Barton

Republicans are officially the majority party in the state House of Representatives for the first time since 1921, putting the party in control of the legislature and the governorship for the first time in state history.

As expected, Jeff Hoover, a Republican from Jamestown, was elected House Speaker after serving as the leader of the minority party for 15 years.

On Tuesday, the first day of the legislative session, Hoover called for unity.

Kentucky’s House Republicans have unveiled the agenda they will pursue if the party wins a majority of the chamber this fall. The GOP has focused its attention this year on unseating Democrats in the state House.To help that effort, House Republicans have promised to address fiscal issues, taxes and government reform if elected.