Frankfort, Kentucky – The Kentucky House has passed a budget bill that protects funding for public schools. But, the measure calls for 2.6% cuts for other state agencies. The 2.6% cuts would apply to both 2003 and 2004. The measure approved by the House would protect funding for elementary and secondary education, justice programs, jails, prisons, and human service programs.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – A spokesman for the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System says many educators who plan to retire after 27 years should consider working a little longer. Member Services Director Bill Leach says rising health insurance costs and uncertainty about the future cost of living could make it more difficult to predict adequate retirement income levels. Leach says many teachers in the state have the mistaken impression that they will receive their maximum retirement benefit after 27 years of service.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – The Warren County Water District service area north of the Barren River is under a water shortage emergency following a barge accident. A 16 inch water main crossing the Barren River was ruptured over the weekend when the barge broke loose and slammed into the water main. Residents north of the Barren River are being urged to practice conservation in all use of their water. Non-essential water use for things such as car washing, driveway or pavement washing, and refilling of air conditioning cooling towers is being restricted.
Somerset, Kentucky – Authorities are investigating a plane crash in Pulaski County that killed three people. A twin-engine aircraft with seven people aboard crashed last night on approach to the Somerset airport, killling the pilot, co-pilot, and a child. State police say an injured woman is reported in serious condition at the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville. Three other children escaped with non-life threatening injuries.
Madisonville, Kentucky – Five people are dead following a morning house fire in Madisonville. Hopkins County Coroner John Walters says the victims include two adults and three children. The deaths appear to be due to smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze is being investigated by state arson officials.
Washington, D.C. – The Appropriations Bill passed by the U.S. Congress contains a pair of provisions in support of Kentucky tobacco farmers. The bill, approved by both the House and Senate last night, contains a total of 53 million dollars designated for the nation's tobacco growers.
Washington, D.C. – Spending legislation approved last night by the U.S. House includes funding for several Kentucky projects, including an access road for the proposed Kentucky Tri-Modal Transpark. A statement from the Office of Representative Ron Lewis indicates that the road will help to provide access to major highways such as 31-W and Interstate 65. The bill provides 1.7 million dollars for the Transpark access road.
Frankfort, Kentucky – Kentucky's Cabinet for Families and Children has become one of the first state-level agencies to voice support for a coalition against elder abuse. The Elder Justice Act was introduced on February tenth by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and John Breaux of Louisiana. That legislation requires FBI criminal background checks for nursing home aids, and the bill calls for better training for workers in the detection of abuse.
The Elder Justice Coalition includes several organizations trying to expand public awareness of elder abuse issues.
Frankfort, Kentucky – A House Committee has approved a bill that could eventually require the General Assembly to approve a budget every two years. House Bill 27 would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, allowing voters to decide whether lawmakers should be required to approve a budget.
Frankfort, Kentucky – Officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture say containers of the soft drink, Ski, will be shipped to Cuba later this month. The soft drink is expected to be the first of many agriculture products to be shipped to Cuba from Kentucky. The shipment is part of a seven million dollar agreement signed last September by Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Billy Ray Smith and Pedro Alvarez, the head of Cuba's food import agency.