Matt Bevin

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Kentucky’s only abortion provider is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling in favor of the state’s new ultrasound abortion requirement earlier this year.

On behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic, the American Civil Liberties Union has been suing to try and block Kentucky’s law that requires doctors to show patients an ultrasound before performing an abortion.

The ACLU argues that the 2017 measure violates doctors’ free speech rights by requiring them to describe the ultrasound even if patients demand them not to. The law has been defended by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin didn’t do anything wrong in 2017 when he overhauled several state boards that deal with public education.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Bevin over the actions, arguing that the governor had circumvented the legislature’s lawmaking authority by appointing non-voting charter school advisers to the Kentucky Board of Education and totally replacing boards that deal with certifying teachers and establishing curriculum standards, among other changes.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has joined 15 other states in supporting a Trump administration rule that would allow small businesses to sign up for health insurance plans that don’t comply with protections required by the Affordable Care Act.

The policy, which has been blocked in federal court, would allow small businesses or groups of people to sign up for “association health plans” that are exempted from covering prescription drugs, emergency services and mental health treatment — all provisions that insurance companies are required to provide under the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats Show Unity Amid GOP Squabbles in Kentucky

Jun 7, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

While Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has run into resistance from Republican lawmakers on pension legislation, and faced a messy dispute with his lieutenant governor, his Democratic challenger has forged alliances with his ex-rivals as the campaign starts taking shape.

Bevin and his Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear, have previewed themes likely to play out in their fall campaign in a red state race that could offer clues about the mood of the electorate heading into next year's presidential election.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin and leaders of Kentucky’s legislature are going back and forth over who’s in charge of rallying support for a new pension bill.

Bevin vetoed an earlier version of the legislation, which seeks to provide relief to regional universities and “quasi” state agencies like health departments that are facing a massive increase in pension costs starting next month.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton took to Twitter on Friday to ask for prayers as she battles “dark forces” following the firing of her deputy chief of staff.

In the Tweet, Hampton said that “person(s) unknown initiated unauthorized personnel action” ending the employment of Adrienne Southworth, who had served as Hampton’s deputy chief of staff since the administration took office in 2015.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin still doesn’t have enough support for his version of a pension bill that would provide relief to some state universities and small agencies that are facing massive increases in the amount they have to contribute to the pension systems.

Bevin still says that he will call a special legislative session for lawmakers to vote on the bill before July 1, when the spike in pension contributions is set to begin.

J. Tyler Franklin

Incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has won a closer-than-expected primary election and will face Attorney General Andy Beshear during this year’s race to be Kentucky’s next governor.

The two men have been political rivals since taking office more than three years ago with Beshear, a Democrat, filing a series of lawsuits against Bevin over executive orders and a controversial pension bill.

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With one week until the primary election, Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor made their pitches for why they should be their party’s nominee during a debate on KET Monday night.

It’s the third televised event during this year’s race to see who will take on the winner of the Republican primary, which includes incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin and three Republican challengers. Democrats will participate in two more televised forums this week.

All three Democratic candidates voiced support for increasing state revenue to provide more money for state programs like public education, Medicaid and the state worker pension system, but candidates differed on how they would do it.

Liz Schlemmer

School choice is a big buzzword in education policy, and in many parts of the country, opinions on it usually run along party lines. Republicans tend to be for school choice, and Democrats against — however, that’s not the case among all of Kentucky’s candidates for governor.

School choice covers a wide range of policies that all do one thing: give students more support to attend schools outside the realm of traditional public education. Relative to other states in the South and Midwest, Kentucky has been slow to adopt school choice measures like charter schools and scholarship tax credits.


Sydney Boles

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing. Unemployment in the Ashland area is still around 6.3 percent, well above the state average. Career center employees said workers are anxious about the closure of longtime employer AK Steel, which announced in January it would close its Ashland plant this year.


Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky Abortion Law

May 13, 2019
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A federal judge on Friday struck down a Kentucky abortion law that would halt a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies. The state’s anti-abortion governor immediately vowed to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. ruled that the 2018 law would create a “substantial obstacle” to a woman’s right to an abortion, violating constitutionally protected privacy rights.

Kentucky’s only abortion clinic challenged the law right after it was signed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. A consent order had suspended its enforcement pending the outcome of last year’s trial in which Bevin’s legal team and ACLU attorneys argued the case.

Judge: Pension Plan Analysis Wrongfully Withheld From Public

May 10, 2019
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A Kentucky judge shed light on Gov. Matt Bevin's original plan to revamp the state's pension systems in a ruling that said officials wrongfully concealed a financial analysis of the proposal.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd's ruling Thursday delved into details of the actuarial report, saying the findings "call into question the effectiveness" of Bevin's pension proposal.

Liz Schlemmer

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet filed a notice of removal Thursday, seeking to move a lawsuit Attorney General Andy Beshear and the Jefferson County Teachers Association filed in state court to federal court.

The lawsuit sought to block subpoenas the Kentucky Labor Cabinet issued to 10 school districts to seek attendance records that could identify school employees who called in sick to protest during the last legislative session.

Ryland Barton

The Kentucky Department of Education has handed over records to the Labor Cabinet that could identify teachers who participated in a sickout at the state Capitol that closed Jefferson County Public Schools for six days this spring.

Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Fletcher confirmed the department received a subpoena from the Labor Cabinet Thursday demanding the records by the end of the day.

KDE had the attendance records in hand. In March, KDE itself had required 10 school districts, including JCPS, to send documents regarding the days schools closed due to the protests. At that time, Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis said the department would not directly punish teachers, but indicated in a press release that the Labor Cabinet could investigate the matter and seek to fine teachers up to $1,000.

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