Judicial redistricting bill passes Senate

by Don Weber – FRANKFORT – A bill which would implement a statewide judicial redistricting plan designed to reallocate judicial resources and relocate judges was passed by the full Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 23-13. Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, would also add 16 family court judges but remove 15 circuit and…

Bill to divide Kentucky Retirement Systems put on hold

BY DANIEL DESROCHERS, ddesrochers@herald-leader.com –  FRANKFORT — A bill that would divide Kentucky’s ailing pension systems was put on hold Thursday but will be considered again during an expected special law-making session later this year to deal with tax reform and pension funding, Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday. “The most critical thing is to make sure we get this right,”…

Louisville drug task force halted amid scandal

by Beth Warren , @BethWarrenCJ – An elite Louisville task force that intercepted shipments of heroin and other illegal drugs at UPS’ worldwide hub — considered a “primary” drug pipeline for the region — has been disbanded following a police scandal. Louisville Metro Police had led the multi-agency task force for more than a decade, until a probe by the…

New Authority Could Coordinate State Recreational Trails

by STU JOHNSON –  Proposed legislation to better coordinate recreational trail development, especially in eastern Kentucky coalfields, is moving through the General Assembly. A proposal to create the Kentucky Mountain Regional Recreation Authority passed the full House Monday. Debby Spencer is president of a Bowling Green-based development firm called We Make Things Happen. She said 20 county…

House panel approves bill on medical review panels, with some changes

by JOHN CHEVES, jcheves@herald-leader.com –  FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House will get a Senate bill that would establish “medical review panels” to intervene in malpractice or neglect lawsuits, with changes that its supporters hope will help it survive a constitutional challenge. The House Health and Family Services Committee on Tuesday voted 9-2 in favor of Senate Bill 4, sponsored by…

Why study bourbon if you can’t taste it?

by Bailey Loosemore , @bloosemore – Kentucky distilleries and breweries are in the middle of a building boom — and that means a lot of jobs will be added in and around the beverage industry. But will the state’s workforce be able to fill them? Universities across the state aren’t waiting to find out. They’ve implemented programs that combine…