Kentucky state lawmakers have failed to agree on a bill that would relax the state's school attendance laws because of the unusual number of snowstorms this winter.
State law requires school districts to have at least 170 days and 1,062 hours of classroom instruction each school year. But some school districts have missed more than 30 days this year because of snow, pushing the school year for some districts toward the end of June or even into July.
House and Senate negotiators could not agree Monday on when the school year should end. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the bill is so important, he'd be willing to appoint new negotiators to try again. Lawmakers have just eight legislative days left to reach a compromise.
In fact, more than 250 bills are in limbo as the Kentucky state legislature enters the final week of their session. Just 22 of the 824 bills filed this year have passed both the House and the Senate and, of those, only eight have become law.
Those who rent apartments and houses in the Bowling Green area now have a resource they can use to protect their rights as renters. The “Barren River Area Renters' Handbook” is the culmination of an 18-month-long project organized by The Homeless and Housing Coalition of South Central Kentucky.
The handbook comes from information compiled from several legal sources, including Fort Knox legal services and Kentucky Legal Aid, according to coordinator Dana Beasley Brown.
Brown says they worked with several organizations to complete the project, including WKU-Glasgow sociology classes which collected stories from renters with bad experiences.
“They put together a curriculum for a workshop to accompany the handbook. Through this workshop, we’re able to engage renters one-on-one and sort of walk through some common problems that renters face and how to avoid them by learning how to look at your lease carefully,” said Brown.
The workshops will be available for local organizations and their members. The coalition says there are more than 67,000 renters in the Barren River area. The book is available in English, Spanish, Swahili and Arabic.
Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Steve Beshear have announced the creation of a 15-member executive committee to lead their SOAR initiative. They held a joint press conference Monday at Hazard Community College to discuss the appointments. Rogers and the Governor will co-chair the panel, which will be composed of public officials and leaders from the private sector.
The congressman says the group will keep listening to ideas to boost the region’s economy and improve its quality of life.
One of the executive committee’s first tasks will be hiring a permanent director, which it hopes to do by September. SOAR stands for “Shaping Our Appalachian Region” and was created to help eastern Kentucky recover from the slump in the coal industry and the loss of thousands of jobs.