The Forward Five – Wednesday, 2/12/20

9 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Braidy leadership testifies, but doesn’t reveal much
The Braidy leadership team testified to the Senate Appropriations & Revenue committee on Tuesday morning. There were many questions on everyone’s mind, with the main ones being “Are you going to build? When, and how? How much more money do you need?”

All of these questions, and more, were on the minds of the committee, and most of them got asked. Unfortunately, not all of them got answered. (Forward Kentucky)

Federal judge hears arguments over Kentucky Board of Education seats in case against Beshear
A federal judge heard the latest legal bout Tuesday between ousted state education board members and the man who axed them, Gov. Andy Beshear. In a hearing over a motion that could reinstate the old board, Judge Greg Van Tatenhove seemed skeptical that the fight rose to the federal level. (via C-J) (Forward Kentucky)

Sanders wins New Hampshire, but barely
Rundown of the news out of the New Hampshire primary, with 83% of precincts reporting:

  • 25.7 % – Bernie Sanders
  • 24.4 % – Pete Buttigieg
  • 19.8% – Amy Klobuchar
  • 9% – Elizabeth Warren
  • 8% – Joe Biden
  • Two Democrats (Andrew Yang and Mike Bennet) have dropped out of the race.
  • Turnout much greater than in 2016.

Mitch McConnell’s challenger Amy McGrath opposes ‘Medicare for All,’ free college in new ad
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath is coming out against “Medicare for All” and free college tuition in a new TV pitch that strikes a moderate tone in a conservative state in her potential battle with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The 60-second spot started airing Tuesday and begins with the now familiar story of her military service as a Marine fighter pilot.

But what’s catching eyes is her stiff-arm of more left-leaning proposals being touted by other Democrats running for president as well as Senate in the Bluegrass State. (Courier-Journal)

Mitch McConnell slams ‘blunt and clumsy’ Iran war powers resolution, urges it be shot down
Sen. Tim Kaine’s resolution would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action with Iran following the death of Qassem Soleimani. (Courier-Journal)

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.

Kentucky lawmakers advance a bill to reduce their separate, fatter pension benefits – Weary of headlines about how generous and solidly funded their legislative pension plan is compared to the one for state workers, Kentucky lawmakers are advancing to the House floor a bill that would make some changes.

House Bill 270 would transfer the 45 lawmakers who have taken office since 2014 into the state workers’ pension plan at Kentucky Retirement Systems, the one that’s only 13 percent funded and has a $14.2 billion shortfall. Anyone elected to the General Assembly in the future would join them there. (Herald-Leader)

School principal hiring bill moves to House – Legislation that would place the power of hiring school principals into the hands of their superintendents passed the state Senate Thursday by a 20-15 vote. The measure, known as Senate Bill 7, would remove that responsibility from school-based decision making councils. Under SB 7, superintendents would have to only consult with the councils. (Richmond Register)

Kentucky House committee advances bill to increase taxes on vaping, tobacco products – The bill would add a new 25% wholesale tax on vaping products and raise taxes on non-cigarette tobacco items, estimated to raise $50M over two years. (Courier-Journal)

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] Why are all these legislatures interested in testosterone? – “Endogenously produced levels of testosterone”? That’s not a phrase that you would expect to hear in the halls of Kentucky’s state capitol. Where did it come from? (read)

[new] If McGrath loses, what happens to the money? – Scads of $$ being raised by Amy McGrath and two PACs. If she winds up NOT winning the primary in May, what happens to all the money? (read)

[new] Bill to let physician assistants prescribe controlled substances passes House on fourth try – The state House has passed a bill to let physician assistants to prescribe highly regulated drugs, a step advocates say is needed to improve health-care access in rural Kentucky, the only state where PAs lack such authority. (read)

Union members visit the Capitol to see ‘how unions and politics coincide.’ – Union members from across Kentucky had a “day at the Capitol” to visit with their reps, see how things work, and meet with Governor Beshear. (read)


🔥 Dear Dems – Stop fighting each other and focus on the REAL enemy – Berry Craig is worried that Dems don’t realize what they’re doing, and uses an old meme to call it out. (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)


🔥 [new] HB 1 is misguided at best, an attack on the poor at worst. Here’s why. – HB 1 is supposed to “improve” our help for the poor. But, some of it is misguided, and some of it is an outright attack on the people it is trying to help. (read)

[new] Nancy Pelosi, a county attorney, and public records – Public records preservation rarely makes headlines. But two major public records preservation stories made headlines last week—one state and one national. (read)


[podcast] HB 1, Bouchard out at Braidy, and Margaret Plattner interview – In this week’s show, we cover House Bill 1 (complicated!), Bouchard’s ouster at Braidy, and pension relief for quasis. And, we interview Margaret Plattner, running in House District 33. (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.

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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