Kentucky Political News Headlines

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


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Gov. Bevin names Terry R. Gill, Jr. as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

commonwealth of kentucky

Commonwealth of KentuckyGovernor's Office

Contact: Amanda

Gov. Bevin names Terry R. Gill, Jr. as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2016) - Gov. Matt Bevin today announced the appointment of Terry R. Gill, Jr. as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. 
The Cabinet is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. Gov. Bevin says Gill is the right choice to help lead the Commonwealth to new heights.
"Kentucky is poised for unparalleled success in the years ahead," said Gov. Bevin. "Thanks to a new pro-business majority in the legislature and our focus on eliminating bureaucratic red tape, Kentucky is becoming more business-friendly by the day. Terry brings integrity, business competence and a passion for economic development that will foster a stronger environment for job creation in every region of Kentucky. The Commonwealth is on track to becoming the undisputed engineering and manufacturing hub of excellence in America."
Gill most recently served as President of OneTouchPoint, a $140MM marketing services organization. He was responsible for growth and M&A initiatives resulting in the creation of the largest privately held marketing services and technical printing company in the region. 
Prior to OneTouchPoint, Gill served as the Vice President of EnterpriseCorp, the arm of Greater Louisville Inc., which is focused on increasing the number of high potential companies headquartered in the Louisville and Southern Indiana market. Before coming to EnterpriseCorp, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of FetterGroup.  
Gill holds a BA degree in Marketing with a Minor in Economics from the University of Kentucky. In addition to his charitable and civic involvement, he is a Board Member and serves on the Investment Committee for AccessVentures, a Louisville based impact investment firm.
"It's an honor to join the Bevin Administration," said Gill. "This is an exciting time and I'm anxious to get to work assisting our existing business community with the resources and assistance needed to continue their growth plans while attracting new high-growth companies to Kentucky. Over the past year Gov. Bevin has set the stage for the Cabinet for Economic Development with initiatives to reduce needless red tape and assist in workforce development. We have a lot of work to do, but given the incredible assets we possess, I'm confident we will succeed in growing the state's economic base."    
Representatives of Kentucky's business community welcomed the appointment. 
"I can think of no better person to run the Cabinet for Economic Development," said Luther Deaton, Chairman, President and CEO of Central Bank. "Terry's business background and passion for growing Kentucky's economy and creating jobs will be a tremendous boost for the Commonwealth."
Jean Hale, Chairman, President and CEO of Community Trust Bank, agrees. 
"Community Trust Bank is a strong and active supporter of economic development and supports businesses at the local level throughout the state. We could not be more pleased with this selection," said Hale. "Having Terry lead the Cabinet for Economic Development will make a great organization even better."
Gill's appointment is effective January 1, 2017.
Since the Bevin Administration took office, more than 200 new manufacturing, service or technology-related facilities or expansions have been announced, which are expected to create nearly 15,000 new jobs and result in some $2.7 billion in investments in Kentucky. 


House Chairs

House Republican Majority Announces 2017-2018 Committee Chairs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 7, 2016) – Today, Kentucky's House Republican Majority Caucus announced its slate of members poised to chair House committees for the 2017-2018 sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Standing Committees:

Agriculture: Richard Heath, Mayfield

Appropriations & Revenue: Steven Rudy, Paducah

Banking & Insurance: Bart Rowland, Tompkinsville

Economic Development & Workforce Investment: Jim DeCesare, Bowling Green

Education: John Carney, Campbellsville

Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs: Kenny Imes, Murray

Enrollment: Donna Mayfield, Winchester

Heath & Family Services: Addia Wuchner, Florence

Judiciary: Joe Fischer, Ft. Thomas

Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations: Adam Koenig, Erlanger

Local Government: Michael Lee Meredith, Brownsville

Natural Resources & Energy: Jim Gooch, Providence

Small Business & Information Technology: Diane St. Onge, Lakeside Park

State Government: Jerry T. Miller, Eastwood

Tourism & Outdoor Recreation: Tommy Turner, Somerset

Transportation: Marie Rader, Mckee

Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection: Tim Moore, Elizabethtown

Budget Review Sub Committees:

Economy, Public Protection, Tourism & Energy: Jill York, Grayson

Personnel, Public Retirement & Finance: Brian Linder, Dry Ridge

General Government (Including Coal Severance): Suzanne Miles, Owensboro

Justice, Public Safety & Judiciary: Jason Nemes, Louisville

Primary/Secondary Education & Workforce Development: Regina Bunch, Williamsburg

PostSecondary Education: James Tipton, Taylorsville

Transportation: Sal Santoro, Florence

Health & Family Services: Russell Webber, Shepherdsville

Statutory Committees:

Administrative Regulation Review: Ken Upchurch, Monticello

Government Contract Review: Stan Lee, Lexington

Program Review & Investigations: Lynn Bechler, Marion

Capital Planning Advisory Board: Daniel Elliott, Danville

Capital Projects & Bond Oversight: Phil Moffett, Louisville

Public Pension Oversight: Brian Linder, Dry Ridge

Tobacco Settlement Oversight: Myron Dossett, Pembroke

Education Assessment & Accountability Review: Daniel Elliott, Danville

Medicaid Oversight & Advisory: Kim Moser, Taylor Mill

Special Committees & Task Forces

LRC Committee on Tourism & Development: Ken Upchurch, Monticello

Special Subcommittee on Energy: Tim Couch, Hyden

Federal Environment Regulation Impact Assessment Task Force: Tim Couch, Hyden

Free-Roaming Horse Task Force: John Blanton, Salyersville

Government Nonprofit Contracting Task Force: Brandon Reed, Hodgenville

Heroin Task Force: Danny Bentley, Russell

Workers' Compensation Task Force: Matt Castlen, Maceo

"House committee leadership reflects sound geographic diversity and robust experience in every area, which positions every Kentuckian to benefit from thoughtful, clear direction in lawmaking," said Speaker-Elect Jeff Hoover. "Our caucus approached committee chairs with deliberation to ensure each and every issue facing the Commonwealth gets the most thorough review possible. Our caucus is composed of a well-rounded group, and I think that's represented with these committee chair selections."

Under the new Republican majority, some changes in committee structure will occur to allow for streamlining.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

House Republican Leadership Announced

After a two-hour caucus meeting this afternoon, the House Republican Caucus announced their new leadership team for the 2017 General Assembly. 

Speaker-Elect Jeff Hoover
Speaker Pro-Tem-Elect David Osborne
Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell
Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher
Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade

The House Republican Caucus will have a retreat on December 7-9 in Bowling Green where it is expected they will announce committee chairs and committee rosters.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

KY Election Update

KY Election Update -- House Goes Republican

Voters cast their ballots today in Kentucky today for the Federal offices like President and U.S. Senate, but more importantly to determine the partisan control of the State House. Democrats held the House 53-47 heading into election day and were trying to hold on to the only Democrat-controlled legislative body in the South. Republicans, who control both the Governor's Mansion and State Senate, were looking to flip party control and hold all three policy making bodies in Kentucky. 

The unofficial results are below and winners are bolded.

State Election Results**

House Races
The Republicans now control the House and hold a 64-36 seat majority in the House. This is a net gain of 17 seats for Republicans, which is the largest swing in recent memory and much larger than anything anybody predicted. Obviously, there will be a lot of new faces in the State House in 2017, with 28 new members (23 Republicans and 5 Democrats) elected this cycle. 

House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown) was introduced to the GOP party faithful as the presumptive Speaker of the House in January. He takes over from Speaker Greg Stumbo (D) who was defeated in his House district tonight as well. 

Here is a rundown of the incumbents who lost and the new members of the House:

Incumbents who lost: (17 Democrats & 1 Republican)

Hubie Collins (D) by William Wells (R) 
Fitz Steele (D) by Chris Fugate (R)
Greg Stumbo (D) by Larry Brown (R)
Rita Smart (D) by Wesley Morgan (R)
John Short (D) by John Blanton (R)
Terry Mills (D) by William Reed (R)
Lew Nicholls (D) by Danny Bentley (R)
Tom McKee (D) by Mark Hart (R)
Cluster Howard (D) by Toby Herald (R)
Brent Yonts (D) by Melinda Prunty (R)
Tommy Thompson (D) by Matt Castlen (R)
Denny Butler (R) by Mackenzie Cantrell (D)
Martha Jane King (D) by Jason Petrie (R) 
Jim Glenn (D) by DJ Johnson (R)
Jeffrey Taylor (D) by Walker Thomas (R)
Linda Belcher (D) by Dan Johnson (R)
Chuck Tackett (D) by Philip Pratt (R)
David Watkins (D) by Robert Mills (R)

Winners of Open Seats or Primaries without contested General Elections:

Jason Nemes (R) vs Rob Walker (D) (Incumbent Crimm (R) beat in Primary)
Angie Hatton (D) vs Frank Justice (R) (Created by Combs (D) retirement)
John Sims (D) vs John VanMeter (R) (Created by Denham (D) retirement)
Kim Moser (R) vs Lucas Deaton (D) (Created by Kerr (R) retirement)
Chad McCoy (R) vs James DeWeese (D) (Created by Floyd (R) retirement)
Ken Fleming (R) vs Maria Sorolis (D) (Created by DeWeese (R) retirement) 
Alan Gentry (D) vs Eric Crump (D) (Created by Clark (D) retirement)
Attica Scott (D) ran unopposed after winning a primary over Riner (D)
Steve Riley (R) vs Danny Basil (D) (Created by Bell (D) retirement)
Rob Rothenberger (R) vs Cyndi Skellie (D) (Created by Montell (R) retirement)

Senate Races
Of the 19 seats up for election this cycle only 6 were contested and only one didn't feature an incumbent. At the end of the day, all 5 incumbents were returned to Frankfort and the open seat due to the retirement of Sen. Carroll Gibson (R) was won by Stephen Meredith (R) keeping the partisan balance the same 27 Republicans and 11 Democrats. The unofficial results are:

Damon Thayer (R) vs Charlie Hoffman (D)
Gerald Neal (D) vs Sherita Rickman (R)
Steve West (R) vs Charles Linville (D)
Albert Robinson (R) vs Janice Odom (D)
Morgan McGarvey (D) vs Larry West (R)
Stephen Meredith (R) vs Leslie Stith (D) (Open Seat created by Gibson (R) retirement) 

In addition, Rick Girdler (R) ran unopposed after winning the GOP primary in May to replace the retiring Chris Girdler (R).

Supreme Court
There was one contested seat on the state Supreme Court that was an open seat created by the retirement of Central KY Justice Mary Noble. The nonpartisan candidates were Glenn Acree and Larry VanMeter, who both serve on the Court of Appeals.

VanMeter defeated Acree 75%-25%

Federal Election Results**

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump (R) won Kentucky's 8 electoral votes by a large margin over Hillary Clinton (D).

KY - Trump (R) 63%
Clinton (D) 33%

U.S. Senate
Senator Paul won a second term in the U.S. Senate dispatching Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

KY - Paul (R) 57%
Gray 43%

Congressional Races
In 5 of 6 Kentucky districts, voters returned the current incumbents, 4 Republicans and 1 Democrat, to Washington for an additional term. In the 1st Congressional District, Jamie Comer won an open seat created by the retirement of Ed Whitfield (R).

1st - Comer (R) - 73%
Gaskins (D) - 27%

2nd - Guthrie (R) - Unopposed

3rd - Yarmuth (D) - 63%
Bratcher (R) - 37%

4th - Massie (R) - 71%
Sidle (D) - 29%

5th - Rogers (R) - Unopposed

6th - Barr (R) - 61%
Kemper (D) - 39%

**All election results above are unofficial and based on publicly reported vote tallies.

We will have more analysis in the days ahead. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor

Jessica Ditto


Budget proposal reduces debt and puts critical investment in high-tech job training, front-line workers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2016) – Tonight, in his first State of the Commonwealth Address, Governor Matt Bevin asked all Kentuckians and members of the General Assembly to stand united in improving the financial condition of the state.

"We have the ability to come together to make this state the best version of itself," said Gov. Bevin. "We are going to tap into the existing talent and skills of our state workers, and take care of those who protect the Commonwealth. However, we cannot move forward unless we address the crippling debt that is facing this state. We have got to focus on getting our financial house in order."

In his speech, Governor Bevin presented the Fiscal Year ("FY") 2017-18 Executive Budget proposal, which calls for an honest analysis of Kentucky's current financial situation and puts the state on a path to long-term fiscal stability.

Bevin continued, "This budget is a common sense effort to begin dealing with our pension obligations while also investing in critically important areas to better serve all Kentuckians. We have to tighten our belts in order to begin paying down the billions of unfunded liabilities. We must stop putting it on the backs of future generations."

Kentucky's two biggest financial challenges are the tens of billions in unfunded pension liabilities and the runaway costs of Medicaid. Modest increases in revenue projections are not keeping up with huge increases in demands upon the Commonwealth's General Fund. After years of kicking the can down the road, these unfunded liabilities are crowding out necessary investments in education, public safety, and vital social services for Kentucky's most vulnerable citizens.

Without decisive action addressing these issues, critical priorities like protecting the basic funding for schools, fulfilling the commitment to fighting the heroin scourge and substance abuse, and investing in workforce training to meet the demands of Kentucky's job creators will be sacrificed.

Governor Bevin's Budget Proposal adequately funds needed state services and will lead to more jobs, better educational opportunities, and better access to quality healthcare for all Kentuckians. 

The budget rejects the call for higher taxes on Kentuckians and the idea that the solution to the Commonwealth's debt problem is to take on billions of dollars in pension obligation bond debt. It fulfills Governor Bevin's commitment to the taxpayers to be better stewards of the money they send to Frankfort.

The Governor's Budget Proposal is downloadable at and video of the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Budget Address is available on