The Forward Five – Tuesday, 3/17/20

10 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Last night’s Beshear update – summary and video
Rather than try to post each individual story, which would be overwhelming, here in one place is a summary of Governor Beshear’s afternoon update from Monday, provided in bullet form by Kentucky Health News. (Our thanks to them for this excellent service.) Also, we have included the entire press conference video for viewing. (Forward Kentucky)

Repub leadership announces KYGA plan; Dems release statement
In a statement released this afternoon, the Republican leadership of the two chambers of the legislature announced their plans for the General Assembly going forward. Two hours later, the Democratic leadership in the House released their own statement regarding the plan. (Forward Kentucky)

Mitch McConnell is quietly urging federal judges to retire ahead of 2020 election
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is quietly making phone calls to senior federal judges and urging them to step aside ahead of the 2020 election. A source familiar with the Kentucky leader’s thinking described Monday how McConnell is personally reaching out to judges appointed by past Republican presidents.

“Yes, he has made calls,” said a longtime McConnell confidant who asked for anonymity in order to speak freely. McConnell is making the requests because he wants time to replace the judges with new conservative-minded jurists, the source indicated. (Courier-Journal)

McGrath releases new ad, places more ad buys; McConnell campaign calls her out
Amy McGrath’s campaign has made new ad buys and has a new ad out. The McConnell campaign is calling her out for running ads during the coronavirus outbreak. The new ad is included in the story. (Forward Kentucky)

Elected officials release results of testing
A number of elected officials attended the Speed Art Museum’s “Speed Ball” on March 7th. One of the attendees, philanthropist Christy Brown, has tested positive for the coronavirus. In response, those elected officials have been tested and have released their results.

  • Congressman John Yarmuth reported on Twitter: My #COVID19 test results came back NEGATIVE. I plan to continue working from home and will avoid going out in order to do my part as we all work to practice safe and precautionary distancing to help defeat this pandemic.
  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tested negative as well, and said he would continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of his exposure on March 7, per the health department’s guidance.
  • Governor Andy Beshear also attended the event, and reported he had been tested and the results were negative.
  • Senator Rand Paul also attended, but there is no report as to whether he has been tested.

KYGA20 Run-Down
Reminder – The General Assembly was not in session on Friday or Monday, in order to lessen the possibility of infection. Both House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene 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)


Want to stay informed about the virus? Spend this money NOW. – If you want solid info about the coronavirus, there are some steps you should take. Read our list of where to put your $$ to stay informed. (read)


[new] Coronavirus could get U.S. to vote by mail – As we deal with a pandemic as well as an important election, states and Congress are looking at an option already practiced in some places: vote by mail. (read)

[new] 🔥 KYforKY unveils new state seal – A moment to lighten your day – The web site Kentucky for Kentucky has unveiled a new state seal appropriate for our current coronavirus reality. (read)

[new] 🔥 Kentucky’s high court postpones virtually all court cases statewide because of coronavirus – Virtually all courtrooms in Kentucky will be shut down until April 10 to protect employees and the public from the coronavirus. (read)

[new] KY Dems postpone party re-org meetings – The Kentucky Democratic Party has postponed their every-four-years party reorganization, due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. (read)

🔥 Kentucky auditor reviews Bevin’s aircraft usage and calls for transparency – Following a review of former Gov. Matt Bevin’s use of taxpayer-funded aircraft, state Auditor Mike Harmon is advocating for legislation to increase the transparency of flights taken by top executive branch officials. (read)


[new] Beshear, coronavirus, and the Y2K Paradox – As Governor Beshear and his administration take on the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky, they (and all of us) need to remember the Y2K paradox. (read)

Does more unite Bernie and Joe than divides them? – As much as people think differently, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have more in common than you might think. Berry Craig lays it out for us. (read)


🔥 New video show “The State of Kentucky” begins – We’ve added a new content channel to the Forward Kentucky family: a live video show called “The State of Kentucky.” Here’s our first episode, with guest Anna Whites! (view)

[podcast] House GOP passes budget, HB 475 failure fallout, and COVID-19 response – This week, E.A. Duncan joins Robert to talk through some major issues in a huge week for news: the budget, the LOST bill, and Beshear’s response to COVID-19. (listen)


[new] Good decisions vs right decisions – an important distinction – Years ago I read a book about military decision-making, and the author made a point I have never forgotten: the difference between “good decisions” and “right decisions.” As we work through the coronavirus pandemic, that distinction seems especially important. (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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