The Forward Five – Monday, 3/9/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Repubs unveil two-handed budget — ‘On the one hand, but on the other hand’
The Republicans in the Kentucky House unveiled their budget proposal for the next biennium, and most observers described it as a two-handed budget (“On the one hand, there’s this good feature here. But on the other hand, there’s this not-so-good feature here.”) Here’s the capsule summary of their budget, which passed the House on Friday and is headed to the Senate. (Forward Kentucky)

“We do count” – Dems blow up vote on const amendment on taxes
The Democratic minority in the Kentucky House made a point on Friday, and the Republicans didn’t like it. The end result? A bill that everyone expected to pass instead died on the floor. (Forward Kentucky)

Kentucky declares public health emergency after coronavirus case. Here’s what it means
After Kentucky health officials confirmed the state’s first coronavirus case Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear declared a public health emergency. It came just hours after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also announced a first confirmed case and declared its own public health emergency. Here are the details of Beshear’s declaration. (Courier-Journal)

States have ‘immense’ powers to fight coronavirus
Local and state public health officials wield extraordinary powers in emergency situations such as the current coronavirus outbreak: close schools and private businesses, shut down mass transit, cancel concerts and sports events, call up the National Guard, and forcibly quarantine individuals or groups. “The authority is immense, and it is extensive.” (Forward Kentucky)

Watch, then SHARE this new Bloomberg ad
Mike Bloomberg may be out of the race, but his communications team is still putting out solid stuff – except now it’s aimed squarely at taking out Trump. Watch the latest ad here, then either use our sharing buttons or YouTube’s to get it out there. Good work – let’s share! (Forward Kentucky)

KYGA20 Run-Down

Three anti-abortion bills advance out of legislative committees – Three abortion bills advanced in the legislature last week, one to give the state’s attorney general more power to enforce abortion laws, one to require fetal remains to be buried or cremated after the procedure, and one to give the state auditor power to audit reports about abortions. (Forward Kentucky)

Animal abuse reporting bill passes Senate – Legislation that would untie veterinarians’ hands to report animal abuse has advanced to the House. The measure, known as Senate Bill 21, would allow veterinarians to report the abuse of animals under their care. Veterinarians are currently prohibited by law from reporting abuse of animals under their care unless they have the permission of the owner or are under a court order. SB 21 passed by a 35-0 vote. It now goes to the House of Representatives for its consideration. (Richmond Register)

Newspaper legal ad measure hidden in House revenue bill, prompting outcry – A measure critics say could put some small Kentucky newspapers out of business was quietly tucked into the package of Republican-backed House budget bills approved Friday, outraging some Democrats who said it had been sneaked in at the last minute.

The dispute involves an effort by some lawmakers to let public agencies such as county governments or school boards publish notices online rather than pay for a legal ad in the local newspaper. But irate lawmakers said they already had reached a compromise on the matter through a separate bill passed last month that would require public agencies in smaller communities to publish legal ads in the local newspaper rather than online. (Courier-Journal)

Human trafficking bill advances to floor of KY House – A bipartisan bill that has been called a “comprehensive approach” to human trafficking prosecution and prevention has advanced to the floor of the Kentucky House. “Human trafficking is something that is becoming more prevalent in our society and we’re starting to see it crop up in different areas,” Miles said, adding that growth in human trafficking has led to new approaches to combat the crime at the federal level, and through proposals like HB 2. (Richmond Register)

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] Senate passes bill to address surprise medical billing, send it on to House – Legislation to offer patients some protection from surprise medical bills passed the state Senate on Friday. Senate Bill 150 seeks to stop the practice by requiring insurers to cover surprise billing, sometimes called balanced billing. It happens when a patient receives medical care – often unwittingly – outside of their insurer’s network. Subsequently, the doctor or hospital bills the patient for the amount insurance didn’t cover. (read)

[new] Massie opponent issues statement on coronavirus – Alexandra Owensby, who has a doctorate as a nurse-practitioner and is running against Thomas Massie for U.S. Congress, issued this statement about the coronavirus coming to Kentucky. (read)

🔥 [new] Senate Republican leaders go after Andy Beshear’s power with three new bills. – Republican leaders used their last day to file bills to take aim at Gov. Beshear, a Democrat, by filing bills limiting the powers of the governor. (read)

[new] Bill banning paddling in Kentucky schools idle but not dead yet, education chairman says – A bill banning paddling in Kentucky schools is still in play, according to the senator in charge of its immediate future. (read)

[new] Adams, Nemes introduce bill to expand voting, lower election costs – Rep. Jason Nemes, with the support of Secretary of State Michael Adams, has introduced a bill to expand voting access while at the same time lowering election costs for counties. (read)

Could a restaurant tax help Kentucky cities fix budget woes? Why some are opposed – A bill backed by the mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities would give more cities and counties the option of imposing a local restaurant tax. (read)


[new] Keep your eyes on the prize: Dump Trump and Ditch Mitch – Too many “my-way-or-the-highway” attitudes can ruin a team’s chances at the Fall Classic, or rob a party of the presidency. (read)

🔥 Biden, Bernie, and Liz – some thoughts – When I analyze a candidate, I look at three things: their policies, their effectiveness as a candidate, and their effectiveness in the office if elected. So, with only hours until Super Tuesday, here are my thoughts on the three leading candidates. (read)


[podcast]School choice movement, local sales taxes, Democratic presidential primary, and Lamar Allen interview – This week’s show includes discussion of bills the Trump admin thinks KY should pass about school choice, local taxes, the Dem presidential primary, and an interview with Lamar Allen, a Dem candidate in the 56th District. (listen)


What’s with the “via” add-on? – Here’s why you might see “via some-outlet-or-another” at the end of our posts on social media. (read)

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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