Bluegrass Politics Covering Kentucky politics and government Wed, 31 May 2017 18:26:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bluegrass Politics blog has moved. Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:24:06 +0000 UK Student Government sponsors Oct. 12 forum with down-ticket candidates Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:38:02 +0000 Absentee Voting in Nov. 3 General Election Now Open Fri, 18 Sep 2015 19:06:22 +0000 WEKU to air programs with gubernatorial candidates Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:56:16 +0000 Matt Bevin names Jessica Ditto communications director Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:30:57 +0000 Federal aid for July storm damage available for 3 more KY counties Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:23:15 +0000 Michael Dossett said. “The incorporation of Breathitt, Perry and Fleming counties immediately makes available federal resources to impacted citizens for their long-term recovery efforts.” Beshear issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for all of Kentucky on July 13. The state's Emergency Operations Plan and the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center were activated. During the disaster, Beshear also issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging in the sale of goods and services in the state, and implemented other provisions to protect Kentucky consumers. Additional information on KYEM’s Recovery Branch and FEMA’s assistance programs can be found at where you can also ‘like’ and ‘follow’ KYEM on Facebook and Twitter. --Jack Brammer]]> State’s new fiscal year gets off to good start Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:48:37 +0000 Jane Driskell said Monday the state’s General Fund receipts for July, the first month of fiscal year 2016, rose 4 percent compared to July 2014 receipts. Receipts in July for the General Fund, which pays for most state programs, were $738.8 million. The official revenue estimate for this fiscal year calls for revenue to rise 1.0 percent compared to last fiscal year’s actual receipts. Based on July’s results, General Fund revenues need to increase 0.8 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet the official estimate. Driskell said, “We are very pleased that the first month of the fiscal year maintained the same momentum that produced $165 million in unbudgeted revenues in fiscal year 2015. “This month’s sales and use tax collections grew at a higher than expected rate and helped offset declines in other accounts. “Nevertheless, the sales tax acts as a barometer of current economic conditions, such as consumer sentiment, disposable income, and future prospects of gainful employment. This is a continued sign that the underlying economy is moving in a positive direction.” Among the major accounts, individual income tax receipts rose 1.1 percent, sales tax revenues grew 8.6 percent, corporation income tax collections rose 48.2 percent, cigarette tax collections jumped 10.6 percent and lottery revenues increased 3 percent. On the down side, property tax receipts fell 16.8 percent and coal severance tax revenues declined 12.2 percent. Driskell also announced that Road Fund revenues for July totaled $127.6 million, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to last July. She noted that the modest growth in receipts was expected. “A timing issue helped bump up motor vehicle usage tax receipts while motor fuels tax collections declined at the pace we expected,” she said. The official Road Fund revenue estimate for this new fiscal year calls for revenue to increase 2.1 percent compared to last year’s actual receipts. Based on the first month’s receipts, revenues must increase 2.1 percent for the rest of the fiscal year to meet budgeted levels. Among the major Road Fund categories, motor fuels tax receipts fell 13.2 percent, motor vehicle usage tax increased 25.3 percent and license and privilege taxes grew 11.2 percent The Consensus Forecasting Group, a panel of independent economists, will meet later this month to begin establishing revenue estimates for the next two-year budget that will be approved in the 2016 General Assembly. ]]> Drew Curtis plans to file Monday as independent for governor Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:31:02 +0000 Drew Curtis of Versailles plans to officially enter this year’s race for governor on Monday as an independent candidate. Curtis, founder of, an Internet news aggregator, said Friday he has collected about 8,000 signatures, about 3,000 more than the 5,000 needed to get on the ballot. Curtis’ wife, Heather, will be his running mate. Tuesday is the last day a candidate can get on the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election. The two major candidates for governor are Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway, both of Louisville. ]]> Beshear seeks federal disaster aid for July’s flooding Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:51:34 +0000 Steve Beshear has asked President Obama to issue a major disaster declaration and provide emergency assistance to persons in four counties recovering from last month’s flooding. Letters supporting Beshear's request also were sent to the White House from U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers and Thomas Massie. Strong storms from July 11 to July 20 caused heavy rain and flash flooding, which claimed lives, washed out roads and forced people from their homes in several communities, Beshear said. In his letter to Obama, Beshear noted the four deaths attributed to the flash flood that destroyed the mountain community of Flat Gap in Johnson County. Beshear is asking for a major disaster declaration of assistance for people in the counties of Carter, Johnson, Rowan and Trimble. ]]> Family Foundation plans Aug. 22 ‘Religious Freedom’ rally Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:12:40 +0000 Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation in a release Monday. “Their rights and the First Amendment are too important to sit back and only hope.” Ostrander was referring to Gov. Steve Beshear’s direction to county clerks to do their job after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that same-sex marriages were legal in all states. A few Kentucky county clerks said their religious beliefs prohibit them from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The ACLU of Kentucky has sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, and is awaiting a decision by a federal judge. Ostrander said his organization is inviting to the rally “everyone who will stand with the county clerks and for the First Amendment to come to the Capitol and deliver their message in person. “And our message is that the Supreme Court decision on marriage, now final, should not be used to erode any of the cornerstone birthright of every American – religious liberty.” Ostrander said Beshear has not done enough to protect the religious liberties of the state’s county clerks. He referred to a 2013 state law that outlines protections and the government’s duty to accommodate citizens when it has a compelling interest that conflicts with sincerely-held religious beliefs. In this case, Ostrander said, the compelling interest is issuing marriage licenses to heterosexual and same-sex couples alike, but there has been no accommodation for the clerks. ]]>