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Kentucky Association of Food Banks/WKMS

The partial government shutdown is beginning to affect Kentucky food banks as federal workers struggle to live without paychecks. 

Federal workers in Kentucky who are furloughed and or working without pay are feeling the financial strain on their grocery budgets.  

“What we are noticing is a large increase in inquiries," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. "People are calling, they’re sending social media saying, 'I’m impacted by the federal shutdown. What do I need to do to get help?' That’s why food banks and food pantries are here, we are here to help between paychecks, as you’re waiting for your next paycheck to come.”


Ryland Barton

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne said in a statement issued Thursday that he “takes all allegations of a hostile work environment seriously” after allegations of sexual assault were publicized about state Rep. Jeff Hoover.

Osborne said he has asked the Legislative Ethics Commission if it was aware of details of the sexual assault and harassment allegations when it looked last year into claims made by a former staffer.

Ryland Barton

A high-ranking official in the Kentucky Department of Education is no longer employed by the state after an investigation published Tuesday detailed an allegation by a former legislative staffer that he made a sexually suggestive remark.

Kentucky Department of Education communications director Jessica Fletcher confirmed on Wednesday that Brad Montell — the department’s director of government relations and a former state representative — was no longer with the agency.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky Democratic Party is calling for Republican state Reps. Jeff Hoover and Michael Meredith to resign in the wake of an investigation published Tuesday detailing testimony by a former staffer alleging sexual harassment by the lawmakers.

The woman alleged that Hoover sexually assaulted her more than 50 times, and that Meredith screamed vulgar comments at her. The woman, identified in some court records as Jane Doe, made the allegations in a sealed deposition obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Kentucky Public Radio.

Ryland Barton

When the woman who would become known as Jane Doe started working for the Kentucky House Republican caucus in 2015, she remembers a senior staffer saying her responsibility was “to keep Jeff Hoover happy.”

At the time, the woman was 21. Ky. Representative Jeff Hoover of Jamestown was the leader of the Republican minority in the state House of Representatives. Within two years, Hoover would become the first Republican speaker of the House in nearly a century.


Beshear Files for Governor, Urges Opponents to Release Taxes

Jan 15, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has officially filed to run for governor, calling on his Democratic opponents to release their tax returns ahead of the primary on May 21.

Beshear is the second Democrat to file for the race, joining former state employee Geoff Young. Two other Democrats say they are running: state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and former Auditor Adam Edelen.

ONA News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

A group of Kentuckians is again suing the federal government over the re-approval of Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to the Medicaid program.

Twelve Kentuckians, represented by the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center and National Health Law Program, filed the suit in the same court that struck down the changes last summer.

A federal judge in June struck down Bevin’s plan to put in place “community engagement” requirements for Medicaid coverage that were set to go into effect in some parts of the state last year.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.

William Woods

Kentucky's Republican primary for governor is shaping up to be a three-man race.  William Woods of Grant County filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office on Monday.

Woods is a businessman from Corinth who ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2012.  He’s seeking the GOP nomination for governor alongside running mate Justin Miller of Florence. 

Woods’ campaign platform includes legalizing marijuana and casino gaming as ways to generate additional state revenue.  He’s in favor of keeping public employee pensions at full funding levels while eliminating pensions for state lawmakers. 

WFPL

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green plans to undergo hernia surgery at a private hospital in Canada because of injuries he suffered when a neighbor tackled him while he was doing yard work at his Kentucky home.

The Republican lawmaker is scheduled to cross the border for outpatient surgery scheduled sometime during the week of Jan. 21 at a hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, his attorneys said in a recent filing in Paul's lawsuit against Rene Boucher, who attacked Paul while the senator was doing yard work.

STEPHEN JERKINS / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam wraps up eight years in office at the end of this week. His tenure has been marked by some nationally recognized successes — like boosting college enrollment — and one big defeat: the failure of his Medicaid expansion plan, Insure Tennessee.

But in his final days, Haslam told WPLN senior editor Chas Sisk he wants Tennesseans to remember him for one main idea: his pragmatism.


Thinkstock

Leaders of the Kentucky legislature have formed a new group tasked with reviewing and analyzing the state’s pension systems, which are underfunded and have been the subject of controversial reform attempts in recent years.

The move comes after the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down the legislature’s last effort to address the pension issue by weakening retirement benefits for some current and most future state workers.

Facebook

A Republican-dominated board of Kentucky lawmakers investigating an Owensboro Democrat's election by a one-vote margin has obtained 17 unopened absentee ballots from the local county clerk's office.

Republican DJ Johnson lost to Democrat Jim Glenn by one vote in the November election for the 13th District House seat in Daviess County. Johnson has asked the Republican-dominated House of Representatives for a recount. His lawyers have focused on 17 absentee ballots that were not counted for various reasons.

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican lawmakers in the Kentucky legislature are advancing an abortion restriction that opponents worry could upend the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling that legalized abortion more than four decades ago.

Senate Bill 9 would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which takes place as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

The bill will likely be challenged in court because it undercuts longstanding rulings on abortion rights.

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is reviewing a new emergency regulation recently enacted by Governor Matt Bevin impacting public access to state buildings and facilities. The new rules require those wanting to assemble at a state building to submit an application ten days in advance of the event.

“And that could be potentially problematic because if you take an example of last year when there were more or less spontaneous reaction to and demonstration against the pension reform measure that seemingly wouldn’t pass muster under the new administrative regulation,” said Michael Abate, a Louisville based attorney with experience in media and constitutional law.


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