Kentucky will shut down an expensive fuel testing lab run by the Department of Agriculture.
The lab was meant to test the quality of fuel from pumps across the commonwealth. It was the brainchild of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, who promised other states would eventually sign contracts with the lab and generate significant revenue. However, those contracts never materialized and the lab has been a money guzzler.
Because of that, current Commissioner James Comer is shuttering the facility and outsourcing fuel testing to a private company. Comer expects to save money with the change.
Comer says the change won't affect his office's responsibility of testing fuel and maintaining fuel pumps throughout the Commonwealth.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is lending his name to a conservative gun rights group that's targeting fellow Republicans.
The group, the National Association for Gun Rights, is running ads against two Congressmen in Virginia, including House Minority leader Eric Cantor, saying they gave in too easily to President Obama's gun control measures. They also say the National Rifle Association is too willing to compromise on gun rights.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has picked up endorsements from nearly all state-level Republican lawmakers in Kentucky.
The McConnell campaign announced the endorsements on Monday from 64 of Kentucky's 68 Republicans serving in the Legislature.
McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said the lawmakers will help establish a campaign operation covering all 120 Kentucky counties. Their endorsements, Benton said, shows that the Kentucky GOP is unified heading into next year's Senate election.
Among the lawmakers making endorsements was Senate President Robert Stivers who said McConnell's leadership is needed to "fight against big government and get our fiscal house in order." House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover also endorsed, calling McConnell "a tireless advocate for our conservative values."
McConnell doesn't yet have a major challenger to his re-election. The filing deadline is next January.
Many of the bills Kentucky lawmakers passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session are still awaiting action by Governor Steve Beshear.
Beshear has not yet signed or vetoed high-profile bills that would prepare Kentucky to grow industrial hemp, allow alcohol sales on election day and simplify voting for military service members stationed overseas.
Supporters of industrial hemp have questioned whether Beshear intends to sign the hemp bill. If he vetoes it, he won't be at any risk of having his veto overridden, since the legislature has adjourned for the year.
Beshear has until Saturday to either sign the bills or veto them outright. However, state law says that if Beshear doesn't act, the bills become law anyway.
With more than a year before the next elections, new political action committee has formed to help Republicans gain control of the Kentucky state House.
The PAC—Pro-Jobs, Pro-Kentucky—was formed earlier this month by Scott Jennings, a longtime Kentucky GOP political operative and Mike Adams, a former political director for the Republican Governor's Association.
Pro-Jobs, Pro-Kentucky's goal is to support state legislative candidates who support economic growth in the Commonwealth, according to fillings with the Internal Revenue Service. The PAC also filed with the Federal Election Commission to be able to raise money.
In a statement, Jennings said unhappiness with Frankfort led to the creation of the PAC.
A Politico profile of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign describes the effort as using a "scorched earth" policy against any potential challengers.
McConnell has already aired $200,000 in TV and radio ads and has approached state Republican lawmakers in the state in an effort to "lock down" support in his party. The U.S. Senate Minority Leader could potentially face a primary challenge from the right, in addition to a potentially well-funded Democratic opponent in the general election.
With actress Ashley Judd announcing this week that she will not challenge McConnell, many political observers will now renew their focus on the possible Senate candidacy of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The key issue for a new Louisville-based political action committee is candidates' use of reproductive rights as a campaign issue.
Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC was born from the recent controversy when University of Louisville Hospital attempted to merge with Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Critics of the merger raised concerns about CHI's adherence to Catholic religious directives—that certain reproductive health practices, such as tubal litigations, wouldn't be permitted at University Hospital.
The new PAC is chaired by Honi Goldman, a Louisville media relations executive and a critic of the CHI-University Hospital merger. (CHI and University entered into a partnership last year.)
Goldman said the group will support candidates who realized there are bigger issues to deal with than reproductive ones.
Democrat Crit Luallen is reaching out to the United Mine Workers of America more than two years ahead of a potential gubernatorial bid in 2015.
Luallen, a former two-term state auditor, talked to UMWA members in Lexington on Thursday about her support for organized labor and for coal mining.
Union members gave a not-so-subtle hint about their early gubernatorial favorite by inviting Luallen to attend the Lexington meeting. She was the only one of a large field of potential candidates invited.
Luallen, who served as a senior aide to former Gov. Paul Patton, has made no secret of her interest in running in 2015. Reaching out to miners is a crucial first step in a major coal-producing state like Kentucky.