Kentucky Political News Headlines

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

KY Election Results - May Primary

Kentuckians went to the polls today to determine the Republican and Democrat nominees for Kentucky's Five Constitutional Officers. The unofficial results (97.5% reporting) and key takeaways are below:

1. It will be Gov. Bevin vs Beshear for the Governor's Mansion in November. Governor Bevin fended off a primary challenge from State Rep. Robert Goforth garnering 52% of the Republican primary vote to earn the GOP nomination. Attorney General Andy Beshear won a hotly contested Democrat primary with 38% of the Democrat vote.

2. Cameron wins contested race to be GOP nominee for Attorney General. The Republican primary for Attorney General was a hotly contested election, but ultimately ended up being won by Daniel Cameron who was supported by Mitch McConnell and openly expressed his support for President Trump's agenda. He will face Democrat nominee and former Attorney General Greg Stumbo in November. 

3. The leading vote getter in the May primary was a Democrat. In a state that trends heavy in voter registration and at the ballot box for Republicans it was Democrat nominee for Secretary of State Heather French Henry who was the leading vote getter in the May primary with more than 250,000 votes.

Unofficial Results (97.5% reporting)

Governor - GOP 
Matthew G. BEVIN / Ralph A. ALVARADO 130910 51.88
Robert GOFORTH / Michael T. HOGAN 99705 39.51
Ike LAWRENCE / James Anthony ROSE 8078         3.2
William E. WOODS / Justin B. MILLER 13642 5.41

Governor - DEM
Rocky ADKINS / Stephanie HORNE         123745 32.75
Andy BESHEAR / Jacqueline COLEMAN 142618 37.75
Adam H. EDELEN / Gill HOLLAND         102856 27.22
Geoffrey M. YOUNG / Joshua N. FRENCH     8584   2.27

Secretary of State - GOP
Michael G. ADAMS        91499 41.21
Andrew ENGLISH        60844 27.41
Stephen L. KNIPPER        40296 18.15
Carl NETT                        29378 13.23

Secretary of State - DEM
Jason S. BELCHER        46066 12.97
Jason GRIFFITH        45888 12.92
Heather French HENRY   251773 70.87
Geoff SEBESTA         11544 3.25

Attorney General - GOP
Daniel CAMERON 128530 55.31
Wil SCHRODER 103853 44.69

Auditor - DEM
Kelsey Hayes COOTS 91965 33.31
Sheri DONAHUE        129246 46.81
Chris TOBE                  54916 19.89

Treasurer - DEM
Michael BOWMAN       208954 66.41
Josh MERS               105694 33.59

Agriculture Commissioner - GOP
Bill POLYNIAK           40725 17.77
Ryan F. QUARLES 188462 82.23

Agriculture Commissioner - DEM
Robert Haley CONWAY 194325 60.19
Joe TRIGG                 128545 39.81

We will have more analysis in the days ahead. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

KY Legislative Update - Sine Die

Sine Die
The 2019 regular session of the General Assembly came to a close just before midnight when legislators finalized their work on several issues on the 30th legislative day. Among the items considered on the final legislative day, that were passed without the ability for the General Assembly to override any vetoes that may be issued, were: 

HB 458 - Was amended to become a supplemental revenue measure to clean up various tax changes that amend the tax bill passed earlier this session, HB 354. In addition, the General Assembly passed HB 346 with amendment to amend the budget to transfer funds from the Rainy Day fund to pay for the tax changes in HB 458.

SB 18 to require certain accommodations by employers for employees affected by pregnancy or childbirth.

- SB 175, which revised the school assessment and accountability system was passed after an additional amendment was filed today to broker a compromise on the issue.

- HB 11 to ban the use of tobacco in schools, unless the local school board opts out.

- HB 358 that allows quasi-entities and regional universities to exit from the current retirement system was passed after action by a Free Conference Committee.

In addition, the House and Senate did override two vetoes issued by the Governor earlier this week on HB 4 and HB 268. HB 4 amends the legislative review process of administrative regulations. The legislature opted to only override one of the Governor's two vetoes on HB 268, which made amendments to the 2018 biennial budget. The legislature opted to override the veto dealing with the grant procedures of Area Development Districts in seeking certain federal funds

When the General Assembly adjourned it did so until January 7, 2020 or until called into special session by the Governor. 

We will provide a final summary of the 2019 session in the coming days.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Time for Recess

The 2019 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly completed its 29th day and adjourned for the Veto Recess shortly before midnight tonight. The bills passed during this session now head to the Governor's Desk for consideration of veto action. The General Assembly returns for the 30th and final legislative day on March 28 to consider overriding any vetoes, bringing final action to any remaining bills, and sine die adjournment.

Before commencing the veto recess tonight the legislature brought final action to several bills after a marathon day of floor action. Noteworthy bills that passed this session include:

- SB 1, an act relating to school safety, Sen. Max Wise
- HB 354, a correction to the 2018 tax reform legislation, that included a fix to the misapplied sales tax on nonprofit admissions and changes to the bank franchise tax, Rep. Rudy
- HB 268, corrections to the 2018 budget that included funding for State Parks, Rep. Rudy
- SB 250 that would strengthen some powers of the JCPS superintendent, Sen. Julie Raque Adams
- SB 7 to clarify and allow arbitration agreements as a condition of employment, Senate President Stivers
- SB 100 net metering reform, Sen. Brandon Smith
- SB 4, an act relating to elections, Sen. Damon Thayer
- HB 4, an act relating to administrative regulations, Rep. Ken Upchurch
- Several Social Issues - We didn't list all of the bill numbers here, but the House and Senate spent a significant amount of activity this session on issue that passed like: allowing permitless carry of a concealed weapon, prayer and religious freedom in schools and universities, and several abortion bills.

Obviously we did not list all of the bills of interest from this session, but we will be following up with a weekly report on client specific issues as usual. If you have questions don't hesitate to contact us.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Session Set to Reconvene

The 2019 session of the Kentucky General Assembly recessed on January 11 after four organizational days and is set to reconvene on February 5 for the remaining 26 legislative days. Although the legislature has been in recess, there has been legislative and political activity that will set the stage for the remainder of the session.

Legislative Activity
- Continued meetings of the nine member House panel selected by a random process to review the challenge of Rep DJ Johnson to the one vote November election victory of Democrat Jim Glenn. On a six-three party line vote the panel has ordered a recount for the House District 13 election results. The recount was conducted by the Daviess County Board of Elections on February 2 and has resulted in a tie. Next steps will be decided in the week ahead;

- The Interim Joint Committee on Health & Welfare & Family Services met on January 23 and heard testimony from Medicaid Managed Care Organizations. Following the testimony, committee members directed a number of critical comments and questions to the MCO's. The meeting was also an opportunity for legislators to hear and comment on the allegations by Passport Health Plan that it's Medicaid reimbursement rates have been inappropriately reduced. The Senate Committee on Health and Welfare has scheduled a February 6 meeting to hear a presentation by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services regarding the rate changes affecting Passport;

- The bipartisan Public Pensions Working Group created by legislative leadership just before the recess to further study and make recommendations on reform of public employees' pension systems has held six meetings over the past 3 weeks and heard from a number of stakeholders and from the respective pension systems. No recommendations have been made by the group as of yet;

- The Senate Committee on Education held a discussion-only hearing on SB 1, Sen Max Wise's School Safety Bill. Following the committee meeting, Sen Wise predicted that SB 1 will move quickly when the session reconvenes and added that he expects few significant changes to the bill as filed as it moves through the Senate.

Political Activity
Significant political activity in statewide races occurred as the filing deadline for office passed on January 29. While the candidates for all statewide offices were set, those of particular interest, the race for Governor and Attorney General are as follows:

Governor/Lt. Governor
  • Matt Bevin and Ralph Alvarado—The filing by Gov. Bevin, naming State Senator Alvarado as his running mate ended months of speculation as to whether Bevin would seek re-election and whether he would retain current Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton as his running mate.
  • State Rep. Robert Goforth and Mike Hogan
  • Attorney General Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman
  • Former state Auditor Adam Edelen and Gil Holland
  • House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and Stephanie Horne
Attorney General
  • State Sen. Wil Schroder of Wilder
  • Louisville attorney Daniel Cameron
  • Former Attorney General and Former House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Bill Lists

There has been no official action on legislation since the General Assembly recessed on January 11. However, if you want to check in on bills that were filed and acted on the first week of the session, you can access them via these bill lists below:

Legislative Calendar
The Legislative Calendar for the session is available online, but here are a few upcoming dates to keep in mind under the current calendar:

February 5 - Regular Session Convenes

February 15 – Last day for new Senate bills

February 19 – Last day for new House bills

March 12 & 13 – Concurrence Days

March 14 -25--  Veto Recess

March  28 & 29 --  Two Final Legislative Days with Sine Die Adjournment scheduled for March 29

New Legislative Website
The LRC has fully launched their redesigned legislative website and it is available at It is quite different from the past layout so we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the new website.