Kentucky Political News Headlines

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KY Primary Election Results


2018 Primary Election Results

Kentucky voters went to the polls today to determine party nominees for the General Election in November. There were 51 state legislative primary races with 19 incumbents facing primary challenges. Based on unofficial results, we have provided this spreadsheet, with House & Senate primary tabs, showing the outcome of tonight's elections. In addition, we want to highlight a few key races:

- Anti-Incumbent sentiment hit the State House with 4 incumbent State Representatives losing their primary election. Horlander (D-Louisville), Shell (R-Lancaster), Morgan (R-Richmond), and Couch (R-Hyden).

- The surprise of the evening was the defeat of House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell losing by 115 votes to high school teacher Travis Brenda. It appears this race was the focal point of advocacy for the teacher's unions, who are upset with the pension reform legislation that the legislature passed during this most recent session.

- The anti-incumbent bug didn't seem to hit the State Senate, where all 5 incumbent State Senators with primary races won.   

- Two former State Representatives won primary elections tonight, Democrat Cluster Howard in the 91st and Bill Farmer in the 88th. Both will have opponents in the General Election. 

- There were several congressional primary elections as well, but most attention was on the 6th Congressional district. Incumbent Andy Barr (R-Lexington) successfully won his primary. The focus, however, was on the Democratic primary to determine his challenger in November. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray ran against political newcomer and former Marine pilot, Amy McGrath. Gray was thought to be the frontrunner, however, McGrath defeated Gray in a 6-way primary garnering 49% of the vote. The Barr-McGrath race will likely draw national attention as Democrats see this as a place to possibly pick up a seat, but Barr will be well financed with a campaign fund of over $2 million.

We will have more analysis in the days ahead. 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bill Lists - Day 59

From Government Strategies:

During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, you can view the following bill lists updated nightly.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

KY Legislative Update - Day 59


One to Go...

The KY General Assembly convened today for the 59th legislative day of the 2018 Regular Session, after returning from the ten-day veto recess break. Priorities for both chambers included consideration of vetoes issued by Governor Bevin. As we've previously reported, earlier this week Governor Bevin vetoed both the budget bill (HB 200) and the tax reform bill (HB 366). He had previously vetoed legislation allowing for a phase-in of pension contributions by local governments and school districts (HB 362). As thousands of protestors gathered in Frankfort again today, the House and Senate voted to override all three of these gubernatorial vetoes. HB 200, HB 366, and HB 362 all stand as passed by the General Assembly.


The House and Senate will meet tomorrow, April 14, for the final day of the legislative session. They plan to consider what is described as "clean up" legislation to make several changes to the tax reform bill and perhaps the budget bill as well. Both the House and Senate will convene at 9:00 am and must adjourn sine die by midnight, as required by the Constitution. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bill Lists - Veto Recess

From Government Strategies:

Though the General Assembly hasn't been in session, over the veto recess bills are acted on by the Governor, so we wanted to send out updated lists with actions through Thursday, April 12.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

KY Legislative Update - Day 58


Day 58 - Budget & Tax Bills
Amid thousands of protesting teachers, the House and Senate voted on a budget and tax plan today. After reaching an agreement between the House and Senate Republican conferees over the weekend, the Conference Committee met and unveiled their tax reform proposal in HB 366 and their 2-year spending plan in HB 200. The Free Conference Committee Report for HB 200 and HB 366 did pass both chambers today and has been delivered to the Governor. 

Access the FCCR to HB 200, a summary of FCCR to HB 200, FCCR to HB 366 and summary and scoring analysis of HB 366. A few details of note we wanted to highlight in each bill:

The conference committee budget was truly a combination of the budgets from the Governor, House, and Senate. A few items of note:
- Fully funded teacher and public employee pensions
- Increased SEEK per-pupil funding level at $4000, restored SEEK transportation funding at current levels, restored funding to many of the additional school support services like FRYSC's.
- Restored some of the cuts to postsecondary education by putting those dollars into the performance-based funding formula
- Included language that the General Assembly must approve private prisons.
- Agreed with the Governor's recommendation for increased funding to improve social worker pay and technology improvements.

The revenue bill accompanying the budget, HB 366, included $234 million in FY 2019 and $244 million in FY 2020 in new revenue that was used to restore some of the cuts described above. Some notable provisions: 
- The bill includes a fifty cent cigarette tax increase
- Imposes the sales tax to some services, including the following:  landscaping services, janitorial services, pet grooming, small animal vet services, fitness and recreational centers, industrial laundry services, golf courses and country clubs, dry cleaning services, pet grooming, linen supply, diet and weight reduction centers, overnight trailer campgrounds, bowling centers, limousine services and extended warranties. Also included is the labor and services associated with the repair and replacement of parts for tangible personal property. The pollution control equipment sales tax exemption is eliminated.
- Corporate and individual income tax is reduced to 5%. 
- On business taxes, the bill establishes a tax credit for the local inventory tax and applies a single-factor apportionment formula with market-based sourcing. 

In other action, the legislature took action on several legislative priorities:

- SB 5 - Related to transparency for Medicaid PBM's
- HB 1 - Changes to adoption and kinship care programs
- HB 3 - Related to essential skills programming in local school districts 
- HB 400 - Related to direct shipment of spirits
- HB 362 - Allows for the phase-in of employer pension contributions for KERS and CERS.
- HB 203 - The Judicial Branch budget
- HB 204 - The Legislative Branch budget
HB 202 - The Road Plan

The General Assembly adjourned this evening until Friday, April 13 and indicated they plan to hold the session's final day on Saturday, April 14. When they return, they plan to take action on any remaining bills and consider overriding any gubernatorial vetoes that may be issued over the next 10 days. 





Bill Lists - April 2

From Government Strategies:

During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, you can view the following bill lists updated nightly.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

Road Plan receives final passage, goes to governor


For Immediate Release
April 2, 2018


Road Plan receives final passage, goes to governor

FRANKFORT—A two-year state Road Plan that would authorize over $2.4 billion for bridges, repaving and other highway needs throughout Kentucky over the next two fiscal years is on its way to the governor's desk after receiving passage in the Kentucky House.

House Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation Chair Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence, said before a House vote on House Bill 202 last month that the measure would invest nearly $1 billion in bridge and road work while bolstering economic development.

"This legislator knows our rural roads and our people in our rural communities need help, and we're going to take care of them," Santoro said.

Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chair Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, praised the legislation when it was amended and unanimously passed in the Senate on March 22.

"This is a road plan that is balanced," McDaniel said. "We have seen a lot that are not in the past. It takes an exceptional amount of discipline to put forward a plan like that. And frankly, in many ways, an exceptional amount of courage."

Also on its way to the governor is House Joint Resolution 74, which contains projects in the last four years, or "out years," of the state's six-year Road Plan. Projects in the out years of the plan are prioritized but not yet funded. HJR 74 was amended and passed unanimously by the Senate last month.

HB 202 and HJR 74 received final passage in the House today by votes of 76-14 and 75-15 respectively.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

State lawmakers adjust 2018 session calendar


For Immediate Release
March 27, 2018


State lawmakers adjust 2018 session calendar
Senate and House will next convene on Thursday

FRANKFORT -- Lawmakers have decided to convene the Senate and House on Thursday, March 29, instead of Wednesday, March 28, as originally planned.

Lawmakers serving on a free conference committee are expected to continue state budget negotiations tomorrow.

The updated 2018 General Assembly calendar can be viewed here: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/calendars/18RS_calendar.pdf


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