The Forward Five – Wednesday, 2/19/20

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

First ‘Action Alert’ sent yesterday – did you get it?
We emailed our first Action Alert of 2020 yesterday, asking people to make two urgent calls about bills in Frankfort.

  • If you got it and haven’t called yet, please take about four minutes and make those calls. They really do matter!
  • If you didn’t get it and want to read it, you can go here.
  • If you aren’t on the Action Alert list and want to beupdate your email profile and add Action Alerts to your subscriptions.

Our goal is not only to report and comment – it is also to make a difference! Making these calls helps change things in our state. Join us in taking action!

Braidy Industries founder Craig Bouchard sues company after being ousted
Braidy Industries’ founder Craig Bouchard filed a lawsuit against the company he formed and several of its stockholders — including a limited liability company owned by Kentucky’s state government. (Forward Kentucky)

Flurry of amendments create another barrier for Kentucky sports betting bill
Lawmakers filed nearly a dozen “unfriendly” floor amendments last week to the bill seeking to legalize and tax sports betting in Kentucky. (Forward Kentucky)

#PresidentWarren trends on Twitter
Even though she is still third in the delegate count, Elizabeth Warren has been largely ignored by the media over the past week. So, her supporters decided to do something about it. (Forward Kentucky)

House Democrats quiet over Beshear’s call to stop using Jonathan Hurst
House Democrats are staying quiet over whether they will cut ties with a campaign consultant who was targeted in an FBI probe. (Forward Kentucky)

Registered voters at all time high in Kentucky
Secretary of State Michael G. Adams announced Tuesday a record total of 3,462,152 Kentuckians are registered to vote as of Jan. 31. Democratic registrants represent just more than 48 percent of the electorate with 1,678,538 registered voters. Republican registrants total 1,477,985, or almost 43 percent of voters, and almost 9 percent of voters are listed under other affiliations.

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.

Senate delays action on bill take away governor’s road project power – The Kentucky Senate delayed action Tuesday on a measure that would take much of the power of the Transportation Cabinet away from the governor and place it in the hands of a transportation board. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, the sponsor of the bill, has said this follows action by former Gov. Matt Bevin, who held 3½ years’ worth of discretionary road project funding before handing it out during his bid for re-election.

The measure provides for a transportation board with nominations by the Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Association of Counties and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Gov. Andy Beshear opposes the measure, saying, “We are establishing a good tone here in Frankfort.  One where we work together, and we come together to find common ground.” He says the legislation, Senate Bill 4, makes that difficult.

“It’s a bill that would strip the authority of me, a new governor, of the same authority that every other past governor, including Governors Fletcher and Bevin used.  If the emphasis is that Gov. Bevin did the wrong thing, well, I’m not Gov. Bevin.  I am ready to do the right thing and I believe I should be treated the same as any other governor.” (Kentucky Today)

Capping cost of insulin in Ky. receives bipartisan support – Gov. Andy Beshear and a bipartisan group of lawmakers want Kentucky to become the third state to pass legislation that would control the cost of insulin needed by diabetics. House Bill 12, sponsored by Rep. Danny Bentley (R-Russell), would cap the cost of insulin at $100 per month.  He is joined by more than 70 House members who have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. (Kentucky Today)

Bill addressing animal abuse reporting advances – Legislation that would untie veterinarians’ hands to report animal abuse passed out of the state Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this month. Senate Bill 21 would allow veterinarians to report the abuse of animals under their care, said Sen. C.B. Embry (R-Morgantown) who sponsored the legislation.

Veterinarians are currently prohibited by law from reporting abuse of animals under their care unless they have the permission of the animal’s owner or are under a court. “In fact, Kentucky is the only state where the veterinarian cannot report,” said Dr. Jim Weber, the legislative chair of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA). “In every other state in the country, a veterinarian either ‘may’ or ‘shall’ report.” (Richmond Register)

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] Bills to help health departments with pension costs pass House – Two bills that were presented as part of a “three-phase approach” to create a sustainable solution to local health departments’ pension crisis passed the state House Feb. 13. The third part of the plan involves the state budget. (read)

[new] ‘American Factory’ is a must-see movie – “American Factory,” this year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature, is one of the best labor movies this old union guy has ever seen. (read)

🔥 [new] Almost 100 organizations come out against House Bill 1 – From the editorial: “The theory that punitive measures are needed to get people off public assistance and into work is not backed by data.” (read)

Multiple groups demand Beshear veto “guns in schools” bill – Senate Bill 8, mandating that all school resource officers be armed, has passed the General Assembly and is on Governor Beshear’s desk. A number of activist groups are calling on the governor to veto the bill and send it back to the legislature for changes. (read)


🔥 [new] No, Republicans aren’t ‘knuckling under’ to Trump – Republicans are not cowering in fear of Trump. They clearly feel empowered by Trump. He frees them to reveal their darkest desire — which is to end democracy as we know it, and to cut any corners or break any laws necessary to get the job done. (read)

[new] Good intentions, bad bill: HB 174 curbs press freedom – “… unconstitutionally broad, contrary to the public interest, and departs from the strong tradition of transparency codified in the Open Records Act.” (read)


AI algorithms intended to root out welfare fraud often end up punishing the poor. – The evidence suggests incidents of user fraud in government welfare programs are rare. Mistakes in computer programs are not so rare. (read)

Should we move elections for statewide office to presidential election years? – SB 3 moves statewide office elections to presidential election years. Neal Turpin lays out the benefits, a few concerns, and some tactical questions. (read)


🔥 [new photo galleries] Anti-Mitch rally pix from TWO ForwardKY photographers – This past Saturday, an anti-Mitch McConnell rally was held in Louisville, put on by Mayday America and featuring special guests Cleanup Carl and the Trump Chicken. It also had a number of excellent speakers and musicians. Here are two photo galleries of the event, taken by Del Ramey and Nick Lacy. (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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