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…

UK found in violation of Kentucky open records law

by LINDA BLACKFORD, lblackford@herald-leader.com –  The University of Kentucky violated state law when it denied a request for details of meetings held by a committee that decides doctors’ salaries, the Kentucky attorney general’s office has ruled. According to a May 19 opinion from Andy Beshear’s office, the UK HealthCare Compensation Planning Committee is a public agency and “failed…