Paul endorses Shenita Rickman in 33rd Dist. state Senate race

by Nick Storm, @NickStorm_cn2 – LOUISVILLE — A newcomer to politics, Shenita Rickman, received the backing of Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Monday in her efforts to defeat longtime Sen. Gerald Neal. Rickman’s challenge to Neal represents the Kentucky GOP’s attempts to attract the African American population of west Louisville. Republicans in the state Senate currently hold a…

LRC’s shift to one-to-one compensatory time policy “just makes sense,” agency’s director says

by Kevin Wheatley, @KWheatley_cn2 – FRANKFORT — New Legislative Research Commission Director David Byerman faced a daunting task when he took over the LRC in October — reform an agency that had been blistered in a 2014 audit by the National Conference of State Legislatures. LRC’s handling of compensatory time was one of many issues highlighted in the NCSL report, with past directors…

Judge: Bevin’s executive order is like ‘a neutron bomb’

by Adam Beam, Associated Press –  FRANKFORT, KY. – A Kentucky judge compared one of Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive orders to a neutron bomb Wednesday in a case that challenges the governor’s ongoing purge of powerful state boards and commissions. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd said Bevin’s executive order abolishing the Workers Compensation Nominating Commission and…

Companies spend record $9.53 million lobbying Kentucky legislature

by Jack Brammer, jbrammer@herald-leader.com –  FRANKFORT — Companies and special interest groups spent an all-time high of $9.53 million lobbying Kentucky’s 2016 General Assembly, the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission reported Tuesday. That’s a 9 percent increase over lobbyist spending in 2014, the most recent 60-day lawmaking session. During this year’s session, a record 698 businesses and organizations registered to lobby.…

Gov. Bevin on removing former first lady from Ky. Horse Park Commission: Beshears “seem hung up on the idea of staying around”

by Kevin Wheatley, @KWheatley_cn2 – FRANKFORT — After former first lady Jane Beshear decried her removal from the Kentucky Horse Park Commission as an escalation in the feud between ex-Gov. Steve Beshear and first-year Gov. Matt Bevin, the current governor says it’s time for his predecessor to move on. Bevin abolished and then re-organized the Kentucky Horse Park Commission,…

Who says the GOP and Dems can’t agree?

by James Bruggers, @jbruggers – A Republican and a Democrat from the Kentucky General Assembly stood before a crowd on Tuesday and talked about how they did something unusual – they found common ground on an environmental issue. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said she’s “the touchy-feely tree hugger.” Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, “is the economic, fiscal guy –…

Hargens: JCPS salary study a reason to celebrate

by Allison Ross, @allisonSross – Jefferson County Public Schools’ superintendent said she thought people would “celebrate” the recent salary study that said the state’s largest school district is paying a “premium” in salaries to its employees. But instead, “it got interpreted differently,” Superintendent Donna Hargens said during a public forum Monday with Management Advisory Group Inc., the company that…

Reports: Fayette schools should reorganize central office

by VALARIE HONEYCUTT SPEARS, vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com –  A consulting firm hired at the direction of Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk suggests that the district’s central office be reorganized to support efficient operations, accountability for staff and an effective management approach. The firm Cross and Joftus found in an audit of district operations that schools have varied approaches to curriculum…