politics

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is urging U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Bowling Green to support passage of the federal budget.

In a letter to Sen. Paul, the Chamber advocated lowering the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code. Spokesperson Kate Shanks said they wanted to make it clear that the business community supports making these steps toward tax reform, and the chamber is hoping the Bowling Green Republican will join them in those efforts.

J. Tyler Franklin

A panel of economists has voted to officially reduce the prediction of how much money Kentucky will bring in this year.

The move means Gov. Matt Bevin now has the authority to make budget cuts to fill an estimated $155 million deficit.

In August, the Consensus Forecasting Group initially predicted that the state would have a $206.2 million shortfall, prompting Bevin to direct most state agencies to make plans for cutting spending by 17.4 percent.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans — regardless of party — favor tightening restrictions on firearms, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

But significant partisan divides remain — and perhaps relatedly, they exist alongside divides in knowledge about guns in America.

Eight-in-10 Americans told the pollsters they favor bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and "bump stocks," an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic weapon.

Lisa Autry

A public school teacher in Warren County has launched a bid to unseat Kentucky State Senator Mike Wilson.  

Jeanie Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 32rd district that covers all of Warren County.  At her campaign announcement Monday outside Cherry Hall at Western Kentucky University, Smith said the state must invest in working families. 

"Kentucky families are working hard and playing by the rules, yet the deck is stacked against us," said Smith.  "We deserve to live in a state where hard work is compensated with fair wages, and it's time that the wealthiest Kentuckians start paying their fair share."

Smith told WKU Public Radio that she thinks the current tax structure is unfair and wants to be part of the conversation when lawmakers address tax reform.

At the marathon Senate Budget Committee hearing this week, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., strolled in like a man who had just quit his job and was ready to tell the boss what he really thinks.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear were back in court on Wednesday, this time over a challenge to the governor’s reorganization of several education boards this summer.

Beshear argues that the governor illegally suspended laws passed by the legislature when he issued an executive order adding four non-voting advisors to the Kentucky Board of Education and replacing boards that deal with certifying teachers and establishing curriculum standards.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have outlined their plan for the most sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code in more than three decades.

They're proposing deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates, saying that will help supercharge a slow-growing economy.

"We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said Wednesday during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Kentucky Leaders Respond After GOP Pulls ACA Repeal

Sep 26, 2017
NPR

The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act has failed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday announced he is pulling the Republican health care bill.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would have eliminated the mandate that people buy insurance or pay a fine. It also would have done away with subsidies that help people purchase insurance and it would have scrapped the national exchange, Healthcare.gov.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the influential Foreign Relations Committee, will not seek re-election in 2018.

He is the first senator to announce retirement plans ahead of next year's election cycle.

"I also believe the most important public service I have to offer our country could well occur over the next 15 months," Corker said in a statement, "and I want to be able to do that as thoughtfully and independently as I did the first 10 years and nine months of my Senate career."

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Republicans are once again waving the white flag on health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he is pulling the Republican health care bill because it does not have the votes.

Rather than endure another embarrassing vote that sees his caucus come up short, the senators agreed in a closed-door meeting to shelve the bill.

The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year — it doesn't have the votes needed to pass the chamber.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she will oppose the bill, authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Collins' decision means three Republicans have now publicly said they are against the bill — and that is one more than the GOP could afford to lose.

Thinkstock

In the wake of chaotic civil unrest across the country, a Kentucky lawmaker is filing a bill to keep protesters in the state from wearing masks or bringing weapons to public rallies.

A previous version would have exempted firearms from the weapons ban, but the bill has been revised.

Rep. Wesley Morgan, a Republican from Richmond, said he filed the legislation in response to reports of people wearing masks at protests around the country.

Senate Republicans' latest plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system ends with a massive shift of federal money from states that expanded Medicaid — and are largely dominated by Democrats — to those that refused to expand.

Republicans' complex health care calculations are coming down to simple math.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to vote for a bill that aims to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and drastically reshape the Medicaid system. McConnell's office is planning to bring the bill up for a vote next week.

After learning that President Trump is working with Democratic congressional leaders on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, furious Trump supporters burned their Make America Great Again hats.

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