politics

WKU Public Radio

If approved, the proposal would extend the terms of Kentucky’s next governor and other constitutional officeholders by one year, giving the elected officials five-year stints.

Elections for Kentucky’s constitutional officers are now held during odd-numbered years.

Rep. Kenny Imes, a Republican from Murray, said he proposed the bill to save counties money on elections and break up the nearly constant barrage of elections in Kentucky.

Comer Reignites Rivalry with Bevin Over Tax Returns

19 hours ago
Twitter

Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer reignited an old political rivalry this week by publicly releasing his personal income tax returns and questioning why Gov. Matt Bevin has not done the same.

Comer was one of six members of Congress to release his tax returns as part of a story published Monday in Roll Call, a Washington-based publication. Comer told Roll Call he believes that when someone "files for the highest public offices" that the public has a right to know how much money they make and where it comes from.

Bevin Reluctantly Supports Senate Health Care Overhaul

23 hours ago
Alix Mattingly

Kentucky’s Republican governor said he reluctantly supports the Senate’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and blamed its shaky prospects for passage on “mushy moderates” who “don’t have enough spine” to pass the bill.

Kentucky was one of 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It did so under a previous Democratic governor who supported the law. The expansion added another 400,000 people to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, causing the state to have among the largest coverage gains in the country.

Updated at 8:10 pm ET

Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026.

That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has asked for his city to be exempted from California’s recently announced ban on state-funded travel to Kentucky.

The travel ban was announced last week by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who accused Kentucky of passing a law that steps on the rights of LGBTQ citizens.

In his letter, Fischer asked Becerra to consider exempting some cities from the restrictions.

“It is my belief that cities like ours should be rewarded for inclusive behavior, not penalized; a waiver would highlight our inclusivity and encourage other cities to follow accordingly,” Fischer said in his letter.

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

The attorney general of California has added Kentucky to a list of destinations banned from official state travel, saying a new religious expression law passed by the Kentucky General Assembly is discriminatory.

Senate Bill 17 was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin this spring. Supporters say the legislation bolsters First Amendment protections for religious speech in public schools and universities.

Opponents have criticized the new law for language that protects religious and political student groups from being punished for how they select their members.

J. Tyler Franklin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has unveiled the newest version of a bill to replace many provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Negotiations over the much-anticipated bill were held in private, with even some Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul criticizing the secretive process “with little time to fully evaluate the proposal.”

Paul issued a statement Thursday saying he wasn’t ready to vote in favor of the new bill because it doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is slamming efforts led by Senate Majority Leader and fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Paul said he won’t know how he will vote until the bill is released to legislators on Thursday, but he anticipates that McConnell won’t have the votes and will have to renegotiate the legislation with members of his own party.

Russia's efforts to interfere with last year's elections will be front and center during two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hear from current U.S. intelligence officials and state election experts.

Here are five questions likely to be on lawmakers' minds as they listen to witnesses and ask questions.

GOP's Health Care Rollback Collides with the Opioid Epidemic

Jun 20, 2017
Flickr/Creative Commons/Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

The Republican campaign to roll back former President Barack Obama's health care law is colliding with the opioid epidemic. Medicaid cutbacks would hit hard in states deeply affected by the addiction crisis and struggling to turn the corner, according to state data and concerned lawmakers in both parties.

The central issue is that the House health care bill would phase out expanded Medicaid, which allows states to provide federally backed insurance to low-income adults previously not eligible. Many people in that demographic are in their 20s and 30s and dealing with opioid addiction. Dollars from Washington have allowed states to boost their response to the crisis, paying for medication, counseling, therapy and other services.

Although President Trump has had a troubled relationship with big commercial lenders over the years, financial disclosure forms filed recently suggest he is still able to borrow money when he needs it.

While Trump's debts appear to be easily outweighed by his assets, government ethics experts say any sizable debt represents a potential conflict of interest for a president.

Wikimedia Commons

If Republicans in Congress move forward with their plan to replace Obamacare, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's ideas for the future of the program could also go up in smoke.

About 440,000 people were added to the state’s Medicaid rolls as a result of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order to expand the program in 2013, making more people eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.


Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear will be back in court soon as the Kentucky Supreme Court weighs in on whether the governor’s attempted overhaul of the University of Louisville trustee board last summer was legal.

A trial court ruled last year that Bevin didn’t have the authority to remove members or abolish state university boards. The governor appealed the decision and the legislature passed a law giving the governor broader powers to retool university boards.

Beshear has characterized Bevin’s actions as a “power grab.”

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is safe after a shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in northern Virginia. Five people were reportedly shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Scalise is reported to be stable.

On MSNBC Wednesday, Paul said he was in a batting cage at the time that shots rang out at the practice, which took place in advance of the annual Congressional baseball game on Friday.

U.S Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was at the Virginia ball field Wednesday morning when a shooter opened fire on a group of lawmakers. 

Speaking to ABC News, Paul said he was in a batting cage in right field when the first shots rang out.  Paul says he saw Congressman Steve Scalise go down, and that’s when he took cover behind a tree. 

Senator Paul estimated at least 50 shots were fired in quick succession.  When the gunfire began hitting the dirt around him, he says he decide to make a run for it, and climbed over some fences to get out of the area.

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