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…

NextEra Energy gives big to McConnell superPAC

by Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ – Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC operated by close associates of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, continued to get more jumbo contributions in April from energy interests and Las Vegas. And it spent $773,000 in April successfully advertising for the election of GOP establishment-backed Rep. Todd Young in the Indiana…

GOP has $1.4 mil on hand, Dems only $100K

by Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ – The Republican Party of Kentucky got $124,350 in April from the Rand Paul Victory Committee – a political fund that raised money for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, U.S. Senate re-election campaign, and Paul’s own political action committee. Thanks to the transfer from the Paul Committee, the RPK was able to…

Dole listeria recalls grow Louisville lab

by Jere Downs, @JereDowns – When Eurofins microbiology manager Meghan Styke talks to food producers who send samples for testing to her new Louisville laboratories, chances are the sometimes deadly threat of listeria bacteria comes up. “The question I get is: ‘What should we be doing that we’re not?’” said Styke from the Eurofins facility that opened in…

Top paid lobbyists for 2016 session

by Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ – Through the first four months of 2016 many of Frankfort’s top lobbyists have already made much more money in lobbying fees than the $140,000 salary that Gov. Matt Bevin will make for the whole year. The nearly 700 corporations and associations that lobby the General Assembly are required to report exactly how much they pay each…

Contracts to test previously untested rape kits approved; 600 kits could be tested in next two years

by Nick Storm, @NickStorm_cn2 – After more than a year since 3,090 previously untested rape kits were identified, two contracts providing for the testing of 600 of what could be more than 5,000 untested rape kits has been approved by the Finance and Administration Cabinet. Since the audit performed by former Auditor Adam Edelen, kits have been collected…