The Forward Five – Tuesday, 3/10/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Beshear orders insurers to cover cost of coronavirus testing in KY
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced during a media conference at the state Capitol that he has signed an executive order that will require free coronavirus testing for Kentuckians with insurance once the test becomes available from commercial labs. (Herald-Leader)

Kentucky senator wants to limit spread of coronavirus by requiring paid sick days
A state senator wants the Kentucky legislature to approve legislation that would require employers to give employees paid sick leave in order to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Senate Bill 282, filed by state Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville, would make people who work in Kentucky for a particular employer for at least 30 days within a year, from the commencement of their employment, entitled to paid sick days. And it would require employers to provide at least 24 hours, or three 8-hour work days, of paid sick leave to individual employees each calendar year. (Courier-Journal)

THIS is why you want a functional, competent government
It’s easy sometimes to make fun of the government, and to claim that “good government” is an oxymoron. Guess what? This is not one of those times. (Forward Kentucky)

Guns in KY — Many are loaded and unlocked, even with children in the home
Kentuckians increasingly keep their guns loaded, and almost two-thirds who keep them loaded are not locking them up, according to a recent survey. (Forward Kentucky)

Mitch McConnell and the Do-Nothing Republicans
Want to know just how bad Mitch McConnell has been for our country and our democracy? Want to know just how much he has blocked, and how little he and the Republican majority have actually done? Then watch this video from Robert Reich, as he outlines the low-lights of the McConnell reign over the Do-Nothing Republicans. (Forward Kentucky)

KYGA20 Run-Down

KY House passes bill to combat human trafficking – The Kentucky House has passed a bill to bolster efforts to crack down on human trafficking. The bill passed 87-0 Monday, and goes to the Senate. Under the measure, signs displaying the national human trafficking hotline number would be posted in public restrooms in airports, train and bus stations, and truck stops statewide. The goal is to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking. (West KY Star)

A controversial school choice measure may be withering in the Kentucky legislature. – Legislation creating tax credits to bolster donations to private school scholarships may be blocked from a vote — by Republican lawmakers, supporters claim. House Bill 350, which is sponsored by House Majority Whip Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, is waiting to be called for its first vote in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. Some Republican lawmakers simply don’t want to take a vote on the bill, said one outside observer. They’d “rather not have to make people mad,” he said. (Courier-Journal)

CERS wants better representation over retirement plan – A bill proposed by the County Employee Retirement System to address their concerns about under-representation on the Kentucky Retirement Systems board cleared a House committee on Monday.

Bryanna Carroll with the Kentucky League of Cities says while CERS has 76 percent of the assets and make up 64 percent of the KRS membership, they only have 35 percent of the seats on the KRS board, 14 percent of the Actuarial Subcommittee, and no representation on the Investment Committee.

While CERS has proposed a complete split from KRS in the past, they now advocate a hybrid system, in which the KRS and CERS would have separate boards to administer their own systems. Both entities would be part of a new Kentucky Public Pension Authority which would provide personnel needs and perform other administrative duties agreed upon by the two boards. (KY Today)

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] How much do KY college students pay to support their sports teams? – How much of your tuition is going to support your school’s athletic dept? And, how dependent is the athletic dept on that money? We’ve got the numbers. (read)

[new] 🔥 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. (read)

[new] 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.” (read)

[new] 🔥 “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. (read)

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)

🔥 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)

🔥 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)


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)


[new video] 🔥 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 below, then either use our sharing buttons or YouTube’s to get it out there. (view)

[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)


[new] Should we be taking bigger coronavirus actions? – I have a simple question: Should we be taking bigger actions in regard to the coronavirus? For many, it seems the answer is still “No.” (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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