The Forward Five – Wednesday, 1/15/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Our interview with new House minority leader Joni Jenkins: leadership, issues, bills, elections – and Republicans
As Joni Jenkins starts her first term as leader of the Dem caucus in the House, she sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Forward Kentucky, including leadership and how her style may contrast with Rocky Adkins’s style; her goals for the caucus; issues and bills facing this session of the General Assembly; and working with Republicans. (Forward Kentucky)

Beshear makes case for education funding in first State of the Commonwealth Address
In his first State of the Commonwealth Address Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear called on the legislature to reject partisanship and focus on education, health care and other urgent needs of Kentuckians.

“I believe Kentucky has a lot going for it and that the state of our commonwealth is strong,” Beshear said. “But there are so many needs, so many in crisis, too many families crying out for help. There is simply not enough time or enough bandwidth to solve these problems if we play partisan games.” (Herald-Leader)

Related: You can read Gov. Beshear’s address in this PDF.

Democrats will try to kick Reed off ballot
Local Democrats are looking to boot one of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination off the primary ballot. The Nelson County Democratic Executive Committee and the Nelson County Democratic Woman’s Club announced Monday night their support for challenging the candidacy of David Reed, a former Republican who switched party affiliations Dec. 30 and filed to run for state representative Jan. 6. (KY Standard)

Louisville’s Planned Parenthood free to seek abortion license, Beshear administration says
Reversing Gov. Matt Bevin’s decision, the Beshear administration says Planned Parenthood is free to seek the license for its Louisville clinic. (Courier-Journal)

Kentucky GOP files complaint against Amy McGrath’s campaign manager
Democrat Amy McGrath’s campaign manager called the complaint by the Republican Party of Kentucky “laughable.” (Courier-Journal)

KYGA20 Run-Down
It’s early days in this year’s Kentucky General Assembly, but bills are already being filed left and right. Rather than pull any of these into the “five things to know” section, we’re simply listing some of the stories in the media. Note that some of these may never even be heard in committee, while others may wind up on a fast track for passage.

New Kentucky school safety bill would require all safety officers to carry a gun – All school districts in Kentucky would have armed school resource officers under legislation unveiled Monday in the Kentucky Senate. (Forward Kentucky)

Sports wagering bill on deck before legislative committee Wednesday – A sports wagering bill will have its first consideration by a legislative committee this week. (Kentucky Today)

KY House Republicans make public assistance reform, human trafficking top priorities – Republican leaders in the House of Representatives announced two of their priorities for the 2020 legislative session Monday, putting their heft behind public assistance reform and preventing human trafficking. (Herald-Leader)

Proposed Kentucky law would give superintendents the final say over school principals – Currently, a council of teachers and parents select principals. But if Senate Bill 7 is passed, Kentucky superintendents would have the final say. (Courier-Journal)

Republican lawmakers join the fight to ban conversion therapy in Kentucky – Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington) introduced the bill, while Sen. Julie Racque Adams (R-Louisville) and Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) co-sponsored. (Courier-Journal)

Bipartisan group of Kentucky senators introduces bill to ban female genital mutilation – Victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) can cause problems during childbirth, behavioral problems and painful sex. (Courier-Journal)

GOP lawmaker wants state constitution to say Kentuckians have no right to an abortion – For the fourth time in more than 20 years, a Republican lawmaker is proposing to amend the Kentucky Constitution to make clear the state’s citizens have no right to an abortion. (Herald-Leader)

Legislators Introduce ‘Cure Bill’ – The House and Senate will take up companion bills this session that aim to have Kentucky join a group of states seeking a cure to major diseases. Sponsors argue the bill is needed to incentivize research into cures and not just treatments. The bill calls for Kentucky to join a multistate compact that was initiated by Ohio in July. Once it is formed, the group would offer prizes to cure major diseases. (KLC City Limit)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] Agenda for new state ed board: Search for new commissioner, decide education priorities – The new Board of Education meets this week with two bil goals: start the search for a new commissioner, and decide priorities. One big priority? Funding. (read)

[new] Group pushes Kentucky to spend additional $1B on education by 2026 – After a decade of plummeting investment in our public schools, an advocacy group has a big request for lawmakers – step up spending by $1 billion. (read)

🔥 [new] Andy Beshear picks nursing home exec as watchdog of troubled nursing home industry – To watchdog the troubled nursing home industry, Gov. Beshear picked an executive from a corporation that owns two dozen low-rated nursing homes around KY. (read)

Pike senator’s bills aimed at high insulin costs – A state senator representing part of Eastern Kentucky has sponsored two bills this legislative session that aim to address high treatment costs affecting hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians with diabetes. (read)

Republican introduces Marsy’s Law to General Assembly following Bevin’s pardons – Following hundreds of pardons from former Gov. Matt Bevin, a Kentucky Republican has introduced Marsy’s Law to the 2020 General Assembly. (read)

🔥 Sharp words exchanged between backers and critics of immigration bill in KY Senate – Amid criticism of an immigration bill that some say would separate families and increase racial profiling, supporters said it is needed for public safety. (read)

Beshear releases Braidy documents – Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday released documents related to Kentucky’s investment in Braidy Industries, ending years of open-records court cases. (read)


🔥 An open letter from a teacher to Kentucky legislators – In an open letter to all members of the General Assembly, the KY High School Teacher of the Year shares three things teachers need from their legislators. (read)

What do spicy tuna rolls have to do with open records? – There is much to be learned from government records – as long as you can get to them. Including who is spending money on spicy tuna rolls. (read)

🔥 Immigration? Voter ID laws? Kentucky Senate’s priority bills are jokes – You’d think Repubs would have stopped playing political games by now and focused on real problems. Instead, they put forward two joke bills as “priorities.” (read)


Three reasons the Voter ID bill is bad — and what we should do instead – SB2, the Voter ID bill, is a bad bill. Dr. Neal Turpin gives three reasons it is bad, and lays out what we should be doing instead. (read)


🔥  ‘The MAGA Church’ — a video by the Lincoln Project – The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican Never-Trumpers, has just released this video about Donald Trump’s relationship to Evangelical Christians. (view)

🔥 [podcast] Transportation, Booker-McGrath-Broihier, KYGA20 bills – This week, we talked about the state’s SHIFT plan and how it interacts with Metro Louisville’s “Move Louisville” plan. Also, Jazmin and Robert talked about Charles Booker’s decision to run for US Senate and about what the other Democratic candidates for US Senate have been up to recently. The General Assembly started on Tuesday, and Robert talked about the Senate’s priority bills. (listen)

🔥 [photo gallery] Anti-war protests in Paducah and Morehead — ‘Trump is finally a uniter’ – Kentucky’s major cities weren’t the only places where everyday citizens took to the streets to protest possible war with Iran. Two Forward Kentucky contributors sent us their coverage of anti-war protests in Paducah and Morehead, along with photos of the events. (view)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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