So where does the Ky. budget bill stand?

Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ – FRANKFORT, Ky. – As university presidents and advocates for other state programs protest Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed 9 percent funding cuts, deadlines are fast approaching for lawmakers to start shaping a final state budget. But the uncertainty over the balance of power in the Kentucky House and the nature of Bevin’s budget…

Political newcomer takes on former Scott County magistrate in 62nd district House race

by Don Weber, @DonWeber_cn2 – GEORGETOWN – The 62nd District House race features Democrat Chuck Tackett, a former Scott County magistrate and farmer and businessman, against political newcomer Phillip Pratt, owner and operator of Pratt’s Lawn and Landscape in Georgetown. Tackett, who lost to current Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles in 2014, feels that the experience of that campaign…

Bevin asks about deficit; Obama flips script

by Joseph Gerth, @Joe_Gerth – On Monday at a National Governors Association meeting with President Barack Obama, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin asked about the federal debt. Obama turned the tables on him and launched into a defense of the Affordable Care Act, which Bevin opposes and has worked to dismantle Kentucky’s health insurance exchange that was created under…

Lawmaker: Only working farms should get farmland preservation tax break

BY LINDA BLACKFORD AND JOHN CHEVES – lblackford@herald-leader.com jcheves@herald-leader.com FRANKFORT — A Lexington lawmaker said Tuesday she plans to file a bill that would stop land developers and owners of large suburban estates from receiving a tax break meant for saving productive farmland. A Herald-Leader investigation published in recent days found scores of examples of the tax…

Rally at Capitol backs Planned Parenthood

by Deborah Yetter, @d_yetter – FRANKFORT, Ky. – Supporters of abortion rights and better public education on sexual health held an upbeat rally Tuesday, seeking to rekindle enthusiasm for a cause that has erupted in controversy in recent weeks. Scores of boisterous backers, many in hot-pink Planned Parenthood T-shirts, were among those filling the Capitol Rotunda to cheer on speakers who…