Late Capitolism: Abortion Day, Bevin locks out Capitol press, Edu bills fast-tracked

Abortion Day

It happens every year in the Capitol. But this year, with other state’s anti-abortion laws rushing up the judicial ladder, Kentucky lawmakers are taking the “spray and pray” approach, sending several measures out into the legislature in a bid to get at least one passed.

After striking out twice, GOP tries again to ‘effectively’ ban abortionSB9 and HB100 are being pushed with some priority here, as lawmakers look to get a bill in front of the SCOTUS and overturn Roe v. Wade. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown): “It would be the pinnacle of my career.” [C-J]

Yetter writes up the day’s anti-abortion rights proceedings, during which “…lawmakers outlined several bills they plan to pass this session. They include:

  • Senate Bill 9, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually at about six weeks. A similar measure, House Bill 100, has been filed in the House.
  • House Bill 5, to prohibit abortions for reason of sex, race or disability of the fetus.
  • Senate Bill 50, to clarify the law about reporting of abortions induced by medication.
  • And House Bill 148, which would ban abortions in Kentucky outright.”

Bill requiring doctors to report abortions induced by medication advances [C-J]

More abortion bans prepared for Kentucky, including one that takes effect at 6 weeks  [H-L]

The Fight for Women’s Rights [KET]

Capitol Restrictions

After pension protests, new rules restrict visitors to Kentucky Capitol [Messenger]

AG Beshear Reviewing Gov. Bevin’s Emergency Regulation Concerning Public Access to State Buildings [WKYU]

Bevin locks out Capitol press from presser – Gov. Matt Bevin’s well-known hostility toward the Capitol press corps continues. He held an RSVP press round-table in room 110 of the Capitol at 3 p.m., barring some local and Capitol media, while inviting others.

The event was held in one of the Capitol’s largest press conference rooms, and despite being visibly near-empty, the Bevin spox who turned me away said it was “at capacity.”

The spox then said the presser was intended for the state’s local and community media outlets. But that was obviously untrue; the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Scott Wartman was invited in. Wartman got word out that Bevin responded to a question about the lack of Capitol press. The story had changed.

But that couldn’t be true either. The Kentucky Gazette, the state’s oldest newspaper and political publication, was invited into the room. The Gazette is based in Frankfort and its publisher, public affairs reporter Laura Cullen Glasscock, is a respected Capitol regular.

And no, it wasn’t just me:

Some stories from those allowed inside:

  • Bevin: Legislature irresponsible for failure to pass pension reform [BG Daily News]
  • Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pledges he will run for governor despite rumors to the contrary [Cincinnati Enquirer]
  • Matt Bevin believes he can find a solution with Mike DeWine on Brent Spence Bridge. Tolls will be part of it. [Cincinnati Enquirer]


Bill stripping school councils of power to hire principals clears committee [WDRB]

Bills addressing principal hiring, teacher discipline on fast track [C-J]

Kentucky just got a one-year, $10,620,000 federal grant – The name is a $10 million mouthful: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Preschool Development Grant – Birth through Five (PDG B-5). Per a release from Bevin’s office: “Kentucky was one of six states to receive the highest funding amount.” [Press Release] 


Credit agency rebuts Gov. Matt Bevin’s warning about pension bill [C-J]

Comer comes after Bevin again: “when you insult everyone at the table and shove it down their throats, you can’t pass meaningful pension reform… I’ll bet you 70 percent of the Republicans in the General Assembly have called or texted me in the last six days to run for governor even if he runs” [C-J]

Chamber dinner coverage, barbs and all: Amid growing pressure, Kentucky governor vows to run in 2019 [AP]

Kentucky in Context

Fed Agency Says Kentucky Had 1 Coal-Mining Death In 2018 [AP]

Gallery: Protesters in Louisville rally against the partial government shutdown [C-J]

Courier-Journal photographers captured the government shutdown protest outside the federal building in Louisville. Get a gander, then subscribe. Photo: C-J

And Everything Else

Did truck carry 18,000 pounds of Kentucky hemp or marijuana? Oklahoma police stop rig. [HL]

Medical Marijuana? Senate President Says Not Without a Study [Pure Politics]

Speaking of potential revenue sources, General Fund receipts are in – Tax receipts were down 0.8% last month compared to last year (mainly due to income tax loss). And, as the C-J’s Tom Loftus said: “Revenue growth for first half of fiscal year is still 3.7% – a bit above expectations.”

  • From the official release: “Individual income taxes fell 8.7 percent in December. Year-to-date collections are down 2.3 percent. Earlier in 2018, the top corporate and individual income tax rates were decreased from 6.0 percent to 5.0 percent.”

Two more 2019 contenders are officially in the running

Former lobbyist James Sullivan received caught nearly 3 years for trying to bribe Longmeyer – Sullivan was also fined $25,000 by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell. Kentuckiest moment: “Longmeyer testified that he refused (the bribe) because he was already being bribed to keep the contract with another company.” [AP]

  • The Sullivan longread: He bribed Andy Beshear’s top deputy. Now he’s headed to prison for nearly 3 years. [H-L]

Will Drug Companies Be Held Accountable for the Opioid Crisis? [KET]

Did raising Kentucky’s cigarette tax affect smoking? This poll has the answer. [H-L]

Civil rights groups join lawsuit to fight Kentucky’s felon voter ban [C-J]

Sex with animals is no joke, senator says. But it’s legal in Kentucky [C-J]

Animal rights advocates plan rally in February for stricter welfare laws. The rally will take place at the Capitol building in Frankfort on February 6. [WHAS11]

Getcher Nazi trash outta my Cap: Another Cheves Catch: “House Bill 128, by state Rep. Reginald Meeks, would prohibit the sale or display of items related to racist ideology or items produced since World War II denoting swastikas or Nazi-related logos on state property.”


Comer may be GOP’s best bet for governor, Democrats’ worst nightmare [C-J]

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