KYGA19 Live: Day 1

Word has it that Rep. Jim Glenn will be allowed to take his still-disputed seat. At the very least, he was alllowed to take a chair. A panel is supposed to handle the election question, with names drawn from a box on the clerk’s desk.


UPDATE: 1:28 p.m.

The Glenn/Johnson seating dispute is now being deliberated by the House Committee on Committees, beside the Speaker’s chair. KET has the House livestream.


UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

The House adjourns.  Until the final moments, it stayed embroiled in the decision whether to seat Glenn. Dems and GOP continue to rally via floor speeches. The argument comes down to whether the House’s 9-member panel–six Republicans and three Democrats–should be allowed to determine if Glenn will be allowed his legislative seat after his election. The panel’s composition:

Meanwhile, chamber leadership has been sworn in on both sides of the legislature. And Bevin has called for a special election to be held March 5 to fill former Sen. Ray Jones’ District 31 seat. Per the AP:

The Republican and Democratic parties will each nominate one candidate for the election. Independents and candidates from other political organizations can also file. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. on Jan. 15th. Write-in candidates must file a declaration of intent with the Secretary of State’s office no later than 4 p.m. on Feb. 5th.



Goforth is going for it: “People are tired of being ridiculed.”

Bill Estep’s got the video for the Herald-Leader:


Government Contract Review Committee

Student suicide and addiction watch – One thing to watch here is the contract between the state and Reach of Louisville to conduct behavioral health surveys among Kentucky students. The survey program has been in place since 1999, and Reach has held the contract for this since 2002, coordinating with schools. It’s almost entirely funded by federal block grant dollars. And in today’s case, they sought–and secured–contract approval for a $500,000 federal-dollar increase to expand anti-addiction curriculum.

Officials said updates were needed for the survey in 2014 when an uptick in student and military suicides became apparent. And they further received $31.4 million (mainly federal) for efforts in response to the opioid epidemic.

The committee approved the contract without objection.

From the committee’s personal survey contract amendment list found here:

The survey is administered in even numbered calendar years and involves over 150 school districts and 124,000 students. It is the Commonwealth’s primary source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among youth and is available to Kentucky’s school systems. Services will include statistical and survey administration support to the Department for the DBHDID, Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) in meeting the Federal requirements of the Synar Amendment, and Prevention Framework System (PFS) 2015.

The committee’s next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 12, on adjournment of both chambers.

On the agenda for the next meeting: The 7-month-long tangle between local governments and the state’s area development districts.


Late Capitolism: Open records at risk, Edelen in the ring

KyCIR isn’t letting this one slide, nor should they – “State Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, said in an interview with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on Monday evening that he’s listening to criticism about his proposed legislation. As written, it would exempt several state agencies and local officials from having to release personnel records, disciplinary records, financial information and other information to the public.” [KyCIR]

Public Service Commission doesn’t think poor people have anything worthwhile to add  – “the commission said it denied groups a chance to intervene in the case for two reasons: 1. The intervention of low-income advocacy groups was not likely to present facts that help the commission make a decision on the rate case. 2. The interests of low-income advocates were already represented by the Attorney General.” [WFPL]

Julian Carroll to carry a sports betting bill – Governor would appoint members to the proposed Kentucky Gaming Commission, Senate consent required. Carroll: “Sports betting is legal in Kentucky now. The only thing is it’s unregulated…The state is not going to make a lot of money out of it. But, the more important thing is it would be regulated. But, we could make up to $50 million a year out of it.”  [WKMS]

Edelen Launches Bid For Ky. Governor – Decent swipe at Beshear the Younger: “The only alternative to the current dysfunction and division in Kentucky is dynasty.” Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? [KPR]

Goforth’s in, beats Bevin to first bid – “The first Republican to make his candidacy for governor of Kentucky official will not be Gov. Matt Bevin but state Rep. Robert Goforth of East Bernstadt.” Announcement: Tuesday in London. Running mate: 2015 attorney general candidate and Lawrence County lawyer Michael Hogan. Note: Goforth’s been in the House less than a year. [IL]

Goforth’s filing another RTL anti-abortion bill, pining for its day in the courts – “The proposal would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion if there’s a fetal heartbeat (usually around 6 weeks) unless the woman has a medical emergency that would otherwise lead to death.” [WEKU]

GOP won’t tell Glenn if they’ll allow him to take his seat – “Jim Glenn said he plans to show up for work Tuesday when the Kentucky House of Representatives gavels in” [AP]

We’re out of space, and out of time – Stu says criminal justice reform’s “highly likely to be a topic during the upcoming general assembly session.” Audio under the cut: [KPR]

Tweet of the Day:

Late Capitolism: Thayer and Bevin tit-for-tat, Scott out of 2019 race

Scott declines gubernatorial bid – “In a Facebook message Saturday, Rep. Attica Scott mentioned financial obstacles and her desire to spend time with her daughter, who soon will be headed to college. Scott says there are still “many barriers for working class folks and single moms” to run for higher office.” The Louisville Democrat says she’ll withhold an endorsement “until a gubernatorial candidate steps forward with a ‘clear agenda’ to eliminate poverty and promote racial justice.” [AP]

‘I once got a call from my own phone number’ – Brammer writes: “Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, has pre-filed a bill for the 2019 legislative session, which begins Tuesday, that would require anyone who makes a phone call seeking a solicitation or contribution to list his or her true caller identification number or leave it as unknown.” Interesting Bratcher quote here: “I’ve gotten a call from the Speaker of the House in North Carolina, who wants it. The Indiana attorney general is interested in it. I don’t think any other state has this.” [H-L]

Bevin and Thayer’s tense tit-for-tat – Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer in an AP story: “I agree with Gov. Bevin on the severity of the pension crisis, and I appreciate his sense of urgency in trying to solve it. But I think it’s important to set the record straight that legislative leaders tried very hard to convince him not to call that special session.” Bevin’s response: Thayer’s “a friend and passionate legislator,” but “his statement simply is not true… personal opinions and inaccurate comments will do nothing to fix the pension crisis.” [AP]

Crop reports cancelled, Ky USDA Offices hit by fed shutdown – Good luck on those commodities markets. USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service in Kentucky is closed. So is the USDA Rural Development Kentucky Office. Their recorded message: “We are on furlough due to the lapse in federal government funding. Please leave a voicemail or email. Please note that we do not have access to email or voicemail due to the current lapse in funding. We look forward to returning your message once funding has been restored.” Mammoth Cave National Park (and the Green River Ferry) is also down. [KPR]

West Ky. counties’ income droppedThe Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2017 report’s out. “Fulton, Ballard, Graves, Marshall, Livingston, Lyon and Crittenden counties all saw a household income drops anywhere from 2-7%. Carlisle County saw the greatest decrease between nearly 8-26%. But, McCracken, Trigg and Calloway counties saw an increase in median household income.” We’d probably know more but, as Inman points out, “specific data is currently unavailable due to the partial government shutdown.” That includes the U.S. Census Bureau. [WKMS]


Late Capitolism: Bevin must disclose screenshots, Senate GOP maps KYGA19 agenda

Bevin must disclose screenshots of blocked accounts – “Federal Magistrate Edward B. Atkins granted the ACLU’s request for Bevin to turn over screenshots of blocked users’ comments. He also ordered Bevin to disclose text and email messages about his social media policy and a list of keywords he uses to hide comments on Facebook. He denied the ACLU’s request to have Bevin testify.” [AP]

$23M road grant – “Calloway County is getting a $23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand U.S. Route 641 to the Tennessee state line. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the grant in a release on Thursday.” Funds to go toward the construction of a 5.7 mile, rural, four-lane divided highway, eventually connect with a highway being planned on the Tennessee side. React from Judge-Executive Kenny Imes and incoming State Representative Larry Elkins. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Keith Todd says the cabinet’s picking up the tab for the right-of-way and design work ahead of construction. [WKMS]

Bevin finally finds warm crowd – Unsurprisingly for the conservative area, Lindstrom said the governor’s Spencer County forum was packed and friendly. Peak gun-avoidance moment: “Bevin went on to say the removal of religion from schools has, in part, caused the increase in violence. ‘There is a direct correlation. There is. I would defy anybody to show me there isn’t… Look at just the increase–there has been a vacuum created. You take away any sense of higher authority, or morality, you take away the idea that there is a higher authority.'” [Pure Politics]

Guthrie on $26M I-65 interchange, new Congress – Funding the 2-year project: “A lot of people are saying, just increase the gas tax, to try to move it forward, but that means people who are driving with electric cars, whatever, won’t be paying for the road. So we’re trying to figure out what is the best way…” On the incoming Congress: “John Yarmuth will be budget chairman, so that’s a plus for Kentucky. I still wish we had our chairman in place. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but the fact that they’re going to be in charge and we have a Kentuckian in such an important position is a nice consolation prize I could say, and congratulations to John for that.” [Pure Politics]

Senate GOP maps KYGA19 agenda in Whitley – “Kentucky Senate Majority Caucus annual retreat was held Wednesday to Friday last week at Cumberland Falls. Members of the Kentucky State Senate Majority Caucus leadership team for the upcoming 2019 General Assembly session that begins Jan. 8 met with about 30 local officials prior to talking with the press on Nov. 28 at the Whitley County Courthouse and then heading to the retreat.” Attendance: Senate President Robert Stivers, President Pro Tempore Designee David Givens, Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, Majority Caucus Leader Julie Raque Adams, Majority Whip Mike Wilson and Senator Jimmy Higdon. [Times-Tribune]

Stivers, Huff in Williamsburg for Datastream presser – Datastrem is piloting an IT apprenticeship and certification program at Whitley and Hancock County High Schools. Some students will get scholarship opportunities at Morehead and University of Louisville. Rep. Regina Huff said since since 2005, Whitley County has received 579 computers through Dataseam’s cancer initiative in coal counties, and has supplied about 24,000 top of the line work stations to schools in 49 counties. Huff: “Over the next year two years, around 2,500 more work stations will be going into participating school districts. It is exciting that our district will be one of those recipients.” Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet Deputy Secretary Josh Benton singing Datastream’s praises.  [News-Journal]

Late Capitolism: Banks want tax cuts in KYGA19, Hemp’s almost here

Banks want tax breaks in KYGA19 — Kentucky Bankers Association wants lawmakers to tax banks like they do other corporations. “But estimates show that could cost the state $50 million a year in revenue at a time when lawmakers are struggling to pay off massive pension debts.” Senate President Robert Stivers supports it. [AP]

Witness tampering in MCHS shooting case? An evidentiary hearing to determine whether witness tampering occurred in the Marshall County High School shooting case is set for February 1st. The date was set in a hearing on Friday. [WKMS]

Bush Death React Roundup Quotes from several Kentucky and Indiana politirati. McConnell: “This devoted father and decorated patriot spent decades serving his country, from the skies above the south Pacific to our nation’s highest office.” [WHAS]

HCC president search finalists – The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has named three finalists in the presidential search for Henderson Community College. Finalists: John McCoy (Wallace State Community College dean), Shannon Kennedy (Cleveland Community College vice president), and Jason Warren (chief student affairs officer, Hopkinsville Community College). [WKMS]

Here comes hemp — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told a Kentucky farm group that federal lawmakers are close to passing a new farm bill that will include full legalization of hemp. Quote: “I’m not here to spike the ball in the end zone yet… But I think all the pieces are in place. And one of those pieces is the legalization of industrial hemp.” [AP]

Justice coal corps settle with regulators — Five of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family companies have paid their bills after agreeing to a discounted settlement over payment of coal transportation fees. [AP]

Coast Guard response to Ohio River fuel leak — The Coast Guard says it is responding to contain diesel fuel leaking from two sunken vessels on the Ohio River. [AP]

Courier Journal reporter who couldn’t type was actually spy — When 28-year-old Robert H. Campbell was hired as a Courier Journal reporter in December 1964, he couldn’t type and seemed to know little about writing a newspaper story. [CJ]