2019 Kentucky General Assembly

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Kentucky’s attorney general has joined Indiana, Tennessee, and 15 other states in urging a federal appeals court to uphold an Ohio law that bans abortions when the unborn child has Down Syndrome. 

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  A three-judge panel initially invalidated Ohio’s law, but the entire Sixth Circuit, which has more than a dozen judges, recently agreed to rehear the case. 

The brief argues while current law allows a woman to have an abortion, she doesn’t have the right to decide whether a child lives or dies based on a perceived disability.  The brief says those types of abortions are discriminatory against the unborn child. 


Dealing with GOP Legislature Next Challenge for Beshear

Nov 8, 2019
Ryland Barton

Preparing to assume the Kentucky governor's post after his election showdown with incumbent Matt Bevin, Democrat Andy Beshear faces perhaps an even bigger challenge ahead — dealing with a Republican-dominated legislature determined to set its own agenda.

Although Bevin has refused to concede after Tuesday's results showed him trailing by more than 5,000 votes, Beshear has pivoted toward preparing to govern ahead of the Dec. 10 inauguration. Beshear has started reaching out to GOP lawmakers whose help he would need to pass many of his proposals.

"It's time to come together and to get to work," Beshear said at a postelection press conference.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has vetoed a bill that would have provided some financial relief to regional universities and agencies like local health departments that are facing massive increases in the amount they have to pay in to the state pension system.

Bevin also said he intends to call a special legislative session to address the issue before July 1 of this year.

House Bill 358 would have allowed the agencies to exit the pension systems and create their own retirement plans, but would have increased the state’s unfunded pension liability, which is currently among the worst in the nation.

The American Lung Association and other health advocates will gather in Frankfort on Thursday in hopes of rescuing legislation that would make all of Kentucky's public schools 100% tobacco-free.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s signature piece of legislation this year is stalled in the waning days of the 30-day session of the General Assembly.

HB 11 would prohibit cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and vaping items both during and after school hours.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky’s attorney general is being asked to investigate a recount for a disputed seat in the state House of Representatives. 

Democrat Jim Glenn won the 13th District House race in Daviess County by one vote in last year’s election, but a recount over the weekend resulted in a tie with Republican DJ Johnson. 

In a letter to Attorney General Andy Beshear dated Feb. 6, Representative Glenn’s attorney, Anna Whites of Frankfort, asks for an immediate investigation into the February 2 recount in Owensboro.  Whites argues that Johnson's attorney illegally meddled in the recount by asking the Daviess County Board of Elections to review a ballot they previously rejected. 

Trust for Life

Kentucky has one of the nation’s fastest-growing organ donor registries, but a change in driver’s license rules could hamper that growth. 

Most organ donors register when they receive or renew their driver’s license.  When Kentucky begins rolling out new standard licenses and voluntary travel IDs in March, drivers 21 years and older have the option of renewing their licenses every four or eight years. 

J. Tyler Franklin

An eastern Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would ban women from receiving abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which takes place as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

The proposal would be one of the most restrictive abortion policies in the country. Similar measures have failed to pass other states or been struck down by courts.

Rep. Robert Goforth, a Republican from East Bernstadt, said he recognizes the bill will likely draw a legal challenge, but that he wants the legislature to take a conservative stand.

Colin Jackson

Kayden is an energetic five year old—though he’ll tell you he’s actually five-and-a-half. He lives in Russellville with his sister, Kaleigh, their grandmother, and her husband.

Kayden and Kaleigh are just two of the estimated 96,000 Kentucky kids living with a non-parental relative or a close-family friend--known as “fictive kin”--in the last three years. The KIDS COUNT Data Center estimates nine percent of Kentucky children has been under kinship or fictive care since 2016.

The two went to live with their grandmother, Kim Guffy, four years ago after an emergency protective order violation.