The Forward Five – Friday, 2/28/20

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Over 300 faith leaders condemn anti-immigrant bills in letter to KYGA
Faith leaders from across the state have signed a letter calling on the legislature to stop progress on two bills seen as attacks against immigrants. The letter and the press conference were organized by the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Justice, and supported by numerous faith organizations across the state.

At a press conference Thursday, Rev. Ryan Eller of Define American announced that 340 clergy and other faith leaders had signed the letter, and that number was still growing. He noted that the campaign against the bills had happened without a big media push or advertising; instead, faith leaders were hearing about the letter, signing it, and then passing it on to others to sign.

He also shared that Church World Service told him that in their work fighting such bills across the country, no other state had as many faith leaders come together in opposition to the bills as Kentucky. (Forward Kentucky)

Wheeler condemns drag queens; KDP condemns Wheeler
State Senator Phillip Wheeler called out Gov. Beshear for posing with drag queens at the Capitol. Now the KDP is calling for Wheeler to resign, and Republicans to condemn his remarks. (Forward Kentucky)

Beshear: State monitoring 100 Kentuckians who have been to China for signs of coronavirus
The Louisville residents who are self-monitoring for coronavirus are considered ‘low-risk,’ the health department says. (Courier-Journal)

State Board of Education members ousted by Beshear won’t regain seats for now, judge rules
Former members of the Kentucky Board of Education will not regain their seats after a judge ruled their ousting does not require an immediate fix. (Courier-Journal)

Braidy can’t hire for now, but outlines plans for students
Braidy Industries is not able to provide promised jobs to students participating in a special program at this time, but it presented a promising plan on Tuesday. As students in the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community and Technical College near graduation, Braidy outlined support for each of them, including reducing costs. (Daily Independent via Kentucky Today)

KYGA20 Run-Down

‘Torture and abuse.’ KY bill would allow veterinarians to report harm to animals – Every year since 2007, Kentucky had finished dead last in a ranking of state animal-protection laws. Until this year. The state moved up to 47th in the latest ranking by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, based on the legislature’s move to outlaw sex with animals.

Kentucky still finished low in the organization’s latest report, however, and one key reason is that veterinarians — without a waiver, subpoena or court order — can’t report suspected abuse of an animal brought in by a client. There are efforts underway in this year’s legislative session to change that. (Herald-Leader)

Constitutional amendment giving KY cities, counties more taxing options moves forward – Kentucky’s cities and counties, which say they’re struggling to pay their bills despite a robust economy, would get more taxing options under a bill that is gaining momentum in the legislature. House Bill 475, a constitutional amendment that would give the General Assembly authority to allow new types of local taxes, won strong approval Thursday in a 15-0 vote by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. (Herald-Leader)

Kentucky Senate passes bill allowing voting rights restoration of certain felons – Senate Bill 62 would amend the state constitution to allow felons to have their voting rights restored after serving their full sentence, as long as they were not convicted of treason, sex crimes, violent crimes or crimes against children. The bill passed by a 29-7 vote and now heads to the House. If approved with 60 votes in that chamber, it would be placed on the ballot in November for voters to decide. (Courier-Journal)

KYGA Resources on Forward Kentucky
All of these are under the KYGA20 menu on the web site.

  • KYGA20 Story Page – All stories about the 2020 General Assembly on one page (go there)
  • Bill Trackers – Four bill trackers covering everything filed in Frankfort, including trackers for bills that have crossed over and bills that we consider “key bills” (go there)
  • Visual Key Bill Tracker –  Each bill has its own row, and shows the progress of the bill through the legislative process. Updated each morning. (go there)
  • Find My Legislators – Enter your address, and this tool finds all your state and federal elected officials, including contact information. (go there)
  • The Legislative Process – If you are confused by how a bill becomes law in Kentucky, this simple guide will make it all clear.
    (go there)
  • How to Be an Effective Activist – This PDF is chock-full of helpful information, including contact numbers, the basics of activism, and various tools you can use. (go there)

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] “Bloody Sunday” reenactment scheduled for Sunday in Frankfort – This Sunday, there will be a reenactment of the “Bloody Sunday” bridge crossing in Selma, Alabama – and a corresponding reenactment in Frankfort, Kentucky. (read)

KYBOE denies appeal from first-ever charter school applicant – The board rejected the application primarily because it relied on state funding, which has not been approved by the legislature. (via H-L) (read)

Kentucky may vote again on Marsy’s Law. It puts crime victims’ rights in constitution. – For the second time in two years, Kentuckians may get to vote on a constitutional amendment that would create a bill of rights for crime victims. (via H-L) (read)

🔥 Broihier adds Universal Basic Income to campaign platform – In a letter, press release, and video, Senate candidate Mike Broihier announced he is adding Universal Basic Income as a platform plank for his campaign. (read)

🔥 Critics: ‘Conscience’ bill lets Kentucky providers refuse abortions, trans care – Any health care worker could refuse to provide treatment that violates his or her conscience under a bill pending in the state Senate. (read)


[new] Christians, if you’re planning to go to heaven, you should learn to embrace a little Democratic Socialism – If we study the teachings of Jesus, we shouldn’t be afraid of the concept of Democratic Socialism at all. (read)

Medical marijuana is a no-brainer – If you’re looking for an unbiased discussion of the House’s decision to advance legislation to legalize medical marijuana, you’ve come to the wrong place. (read)

Every child deserves a loving home – Every child deserves a loving home. Sadly, some agencies ban people from adoption based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. And to make matters worse, these people who want to discriminate cite their Christian faith as a reason to discriminate. It’s disheartening to see people distort the Gospel to hurt children. (read)


🔥 It’s an experiment! – Our first “State of Kentucky” show as a Facebook Live video! Take a look and let me know what you think. If enough people like it, we’ll do these 2-3 times a week. And, send your suggestions and ideas to Thanks! (view)

🔥 [podcast] KY Wired, vape taxes, school metrics, and Suzanne Kugler – This week: KY Wired legislation, taxes on vaping, school performance metrics, and an interview with Suzanne Kugler, a Democrat running for Kentucky House in southeast Louisville. (listen)


A word about abbreviations – I recently had someone ask about certain words and abbreviations we use, so I thought I’d explain. (read)

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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