Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 10, 2014

First week of session mostly uneventful

FRANKFORT — The first week of the 2014 General Assembly might have been written off as uneventful but for the accidental firing of a lawmaker’s pistol in her Capitol office.

Fortunately, no one was injured and there were no charges after Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally discharged her pistol while unloading it. But the incident provided fodder for jokes in a week when no legislation passed either chamber.

On the evening of the first day of the 60-day budget session, Gov. Steve Beshear told lawmakers he would not stand by while continued cuts or flat funding put in jeopardy gains the commonwealth has made in education. He said he’d make “harmful” cuts to other programs if he had to in order to “re-invest” in education.

But he also told lawmakers he’ll offer specific proposals on tax reform and ask them to pass a constitutional amendment to allow voters to vote on the question of casino gambling. Such amendments have been proposed by a member of Republican Senate leadership — Caucus Chair Dan Seum of Louisville — and Democratic House Leadership — Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark of Louisville.

Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said he “sees a way forward” on gambling if the Senate will first act on a “clean amendment,” by which he means wording which says nothing in the state constitution prevents lawmakers from authorizing expanded gambling but without any guarantee for a specific industry such as thoroughbred racing.

Gambling and tax reform — as well as a budget with little extra money for education or increased costs in programs like Medicaid — will succeed or fail against a very political backdrop. All 100 House seats and 19 of 38 Senate seats will be on the fall ballot and Republicans think they have a shot at taking over the House which Democrats now control 54-46.

Cynics might be forgiven for thinking the election might have something to do with the respective chambers’ top legislative priorities. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers wants a constitutional amendment allowing a committee of lawmakers the authority to overturn executive orders by the governor.

Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimes zeroes in on women’s issues with latest ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 30, 2014