The Forward Five – Friday, 2/7/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

‘Rogue leader in the Senate’: McConnell slammed by Pelosi over Trump impeachment acquittal
Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have made several people very happy by securing the acquittal of President Donald Trump, one of the his biggest political rivals had choice words for the Kentucky Republican. (Forward Kentucky)

#MitchMcConnellIsTheTypeOfGuy trends on Twitter after Senate votes to acquit Trump
As usual, Twitter had a lot to say about the impeachment proceedings, and the hashtag #MitchMcConnellIsTheTypeOfGuy started trending after Trump was acquitted. (Courier-Journal)

Kentucky’s overcrowded county jails would get relief under two bills in Frankfort
Faced with dangerously overcrowded county jails across Kentucky, two lawmakers are sponsoring bills that would make it easier to transfer prisoners to jails with open beds and to give larger state payments to jails that offer rehabilitation programs and more rigorous standards. (Forward Kentucky)

Majority leader says Kentucky Senate likely to pass sports betting bill if House approves
A key Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate said he believes that chamber has enough votes to pass a sports betting bill — if it first passes the House. (Forward Kentucky)

Five years later, Jefferson Davis statue still stands in KY Capitol without context
Nearly five years after a state panel voted to keep a controversial statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the Kentucky Capitol and instead produce educational materials for the public about all the building’s statues, there still are no materials.

“I am not a least bit surprised,” Raoul Cunningham, former president of the Kentucky chapter of the NAACP and a member of the NAACP national board of directors, said Thursday. “I think the educational materials plan was done as a measure to placate us who wanted the Davis statue removed. A stalling tactic, if you will, until we went away. It’s a shame the statue is still there.” (Herald-Leader)

KYGA20 Run-Down
More bills are being filed, and more bills are moving, even as work gets underway on the budget. Rather than pull any of these stories 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.

Pension and pay measures advance in House – A House committee Thursday advanced bills that would close the Legislators’ Retirement Plan, change how pension liability costs paid by public employers are calculated, and amend statutory language on any future state employee annual cost-of-living raises. (Lane Report)

Bill adding crisis intervention hotline information to student IDs passes Senate – A bill, sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel (D-Louisville) that would provide crisis intervention hotline information to public school and college students was approved by the Senate today. Senate Bill 42 requires hotline information for suicide prevention, sexual assault, and domestic violence on school-issued student identification badges for public schools, grades six through twelve; and all Kentucky university-issued student IDs. Secondary schools that do not issue student IDs are not affected. (Kentucky Forward)

Hatton files updated bill to stop ‘rate shock’ – House Democratic Caucus Whip Angie Hatton has announced that she is strengthening her legislation that seeks to keep utility rates from rising too rapidly. Currently, her House Bill 126, which she filed on Jan. 7, would give the Public Service Commission authority to order rate reviews every five years if a state-regulated utility does not take that step. This bill also calls on PSC to consider affordability when deciding whether to approve any rate increase requested by these same utilities. Under the changes, the bill will additionally require that the utilities perform a management audit before asking PSC for a rate increase. (News-Express)

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.

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

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


[new] Beshear: Rules weren’t followed when gun activists entered Kentucky Capitol – Gov. Andy Beshear said gun-rights activists who brought their weapons into the state Capitol last week were allowed to do so, though security did not properly enforce rules prohibiting masks and requiring the weapons be safely secured. (read)

[new] Anderson County BOE member calls out clerk on voter ID stance – A member of the Anderson County Board of Elections is calling out Anderson County Clerk Jason Denny for comments he made in last week’s Anderson News about voter ID legislation in Frankfort. (read)

[new] Kentucky’s sports betting bill is stalled in the House of Representatives. How come? – By all measures, a bill to legalize sports betting in Kentucky sailed through the early part of the 2020 legislative session. There was little debate over the bill in committee and the vote was unanimous. By mid January, House Bill 137 was waiting to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. Then it stalled. Why? (read)

[new] Iowa caucuses did one thing right: Require paper ballots (unlike Kentucky) – Amid everything they did wrong, the Iowa Democratic Party did one thing right: It required that votes be counted on paper, and then tallied electronically. (read)

🔥 Rand Paul names alleged whistleblower in Senate speech – After Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read Paul’s question naming the person who Republicans believe to have been the whistleblower on Donald Trump’s impeachable Ukraine call, Paul took matters into his own hands. (read)

Bill requiring armed school resource officers passes House committee – The House Education Committee approved a school safety measure Tuesday that requires school districts to have armed school resource officers. (read)

🔥 Some Kentucky schools still paddle students. Bill advances that would ban spanking. – Kentucky would no longer be one of 19 states that still spanks children at school under a bill that was approved by a legislative panel in KYGA20. (read)

Bi-partisan Senate bill proposes statewide fairness law – Eighteen municipalities across Kentucky have adopted nondiscriminatory LGBTQ “fairness” ordinances, and now, nine senators want to make it statewide. (read)

Bill to let physician assistants prescribe passes first hurdle – A bill to allow physician assistants to prescribe drugs, a step advocates say is needed to improve health-care access in rural Kentucky, is finally moving through the legislature. (read)


[new] In impeachment, McConnell and Paul are the embarrassments that keep Kentucky blushing – Could there be anything more embarrassing and depressing than being from Kentucky this week? (read)

The unbridgeable chasm – We are now a nation, as we were in 1860, with two completely different and completely incompatible views of America. (read)

Bill to eliminate public notices is penny-wise and pound-foolish – HB 195 seeks to eliminate public notices in local newspapers. It would lower transparency, and make it harder for the public to hold officials accountable. It’s a bad bill – here’s why. (read)

🔥 Are Dems about to hand Trump a second term? – Murray State University historian Brian Clardy warns that Democratic disunity could hand Donald Trump a second term. (read)


Mitch McConnell takes care of the miners – Senator McConnell likes to talk about how much he has done for the coal industry and coal miners in Kentucky. Aaron Smith has some insight into just how that has worked out for those miners. (view)


 What you won’t hear (but should) in Trump’s SOTU – Brave New Films brings us a #SOTU video outlining how Trump is looting taxpayers, doing back door deals, and using the presidency as a marketing tool. (view)

🔥 [podcast] Budget address and legislative update with Cassie Chambers Armstrong – Cassie Chambers Armstrong joins Jazmin as the pair discuss Governor Beshear’s budget address and an update to the legislative session. (listen)

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.

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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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