Posts Tagged ‘Ky General Assembly’

2014: Bring It On

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I’m not a big fan of “The Best of…” or “12 Favorite Photos of 2013” or “2013: The Year of the…” (insert your favorite superlative here). But even before we say goodbye to the old year, we’re busily preparing to cover the Frankfort political scene when the General Assembly convenes in just a few days.

Are you ready?

In a round of end-of-old-year/first-of-New Year conversations, Gov. Steve Beshear appears eager to welcome legislators back to Frankfort. I spoke with him for One to One and he spelled out an ambitious agenda for the upcoming session, including more funds for the Kentucky education system, state budget concerns that must be addressed, and his thoughts about comprehensive tax reform.

Here’s an excerpt where Beshear discusses his number one priority:

The governor also talks about the difficult, behind-the-scenes work that will be required to address tax reform during the session.

Finally, Beshear explains the challenges he and legislators will face in crafting a new state budget.

You can watch my One to One conversation with Gov. Beshear on Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET.

Kentucky Pension Crisis as Metaphor

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Legislators on Kentucky Tonight not only brought their verbal skills to the table Monday night; the discussion was replete with metaphors and analogies too, as both Democrats and Republicans took stabs (oops!) at explaining why the General Assembly hasn’t passed a much- needed public employee pension plan.

With only two days remaining in the session next week, both houses are mired in a debate over details of the plan and how pensions will be funded in the future.

Kentucky is staring a billion dollar unfunded liability in the current plan right in the face with no solution in sight. Negotiations between desperate House and Senate ideas are supposed to take place this week in order to avoid a special session of the legislature which the governor says he might call if a bill is not agreed to by March 26th.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer was the leadoff man last night, followed by Rep. John Tilley, Sen. Morgan McGarvey and Rep. John “Bam” Carney. Thayer began the discussion with a brief re-cap of pension legislation up to this point:

There were other bills discussed last night—hemp, fixes to “pill mill” legislation passed last year, raising the high school graduation age from 16 to 18 and others which you can see and hear by viewing the full program.

Pill Mill Bills on Kentucky Tonight

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

After a successful Telefund 2012 campaign, we’re back on KET this Monday night with an important discussion and debate on Kentucky’s pain pill epidemic.

As this year’s session of the General Assembly enters its final days, two competing bills aimed at solving the state’s growing problem with prescription drug abuse will face lawmakers.

House Bill 4, sponsored by Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, would move control of the electronic prescription monitoring program to Attorney General Jack Conway’s office. Speaker Stumbo says the move will strengthen the oversight of pill and some pain clinics that experts agree claim the lives of nearly 1,000 Kentuckians a year.

The competing bill comes from the State Senate. Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Senator Jimmy Higdon, would leave control of the drug monitoring system called KASPER, the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System, with the state health department.

It’s likely the two bills are headed for a conference committee compromise between members of the State House and Senate. The important aspect of the debate is that it casts attention and action on the Commonwealth’s growing drug abuse problem and everyone is in favor of that.

Our guests include State Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; State Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway; Dr. Shawn Jones, president of the Kentucky Medical Association.

It will be good to be back with you on Kentucky Tonight. Remember, you can call in or contact us online or by social media at 8/7 pm CT on KET.

Viewers with questions and comments may call 1-800-494-7605, send email, including name and town or county, to, or use the message form at Viewers can also submit questions and comments on Twitter @BillKET, #kytonight, or on Kentucky Educational Television’s Facebook page.

Kentucky Tonight programs are archived online, made available via podcast, and rebroadcast on KET and KET KY. Archived programs, information about podcasts, and broadcast schedules are available at

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951