The Forward Five – Tuesday, 3/18/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! We’re continuing to post the summary of Gov. Beshear’s daily presser, as outlined by the KY Health News folks. I encourage you to read it, at either our site or theirs; it is an excellent way to get the latest Kentucky coronavirus news.

Also, the General Assembly continues to meet and pass bills, in spite of calls to stop. The Senate released their version of the budget, and it is “less optimistic” than either the governor’s or House’s version. Read the H-L story for the summary, and the KCEP story for the details.

And finally, watch for our general newsletter later today. It will have details on our new live video show that happens tomorrow at noon, plus some other updates.

Thanks for being an email subscriber, and for reading.

Bruce Maples, publisher
(Send feedback  ●  Send tips)

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. In this update, they have also included some news items from other sources. Also, we have included the entire Beshear press conference video for viewing. (Forward Kentucky)

Here’s what made the Trump admin take the coronavirus seriously
After reading a report from the Imperial College of Medicine, the Trump administration got much more serious about COVID-19. What is in that report? A professor outlines the details, and they’re “horrifying.” (Forward Kentucky)

Senate targets teachers in ‘scorched Earth’ state budget, reduced by coronavirus
With COVID-19 wrecking the economy, the Senate budget committee late Wednesday approved a two-year, $22 billion state spending plan for Kentucky that is markedly less optimistic than the one Gov. Andy Beshear proposed in January.

“We will struggle, I think, to provide the revenue to do what I call this scorched Earth budget over the next 12 months,” state Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, told his colleagues. “We could be down $1 billion in revenues — and I think that’s a conservative estimate — from what we collected last year.”

Certain to provide controversy: Teachers would lose the guaranteed $2,000 pay raises Beshear promised them, and $1.13 billion in funding for their pension system would be held in limbo unless “structural changes” are made to reduce benefits for new hires. (Herald-Leader)

KCEP’s analysis of the Senate’s budget proposal
The KY Center for Economic Progress has released their first-look analysis of the Senate’s budget proposal, with details and graphs. Read it to dig into the details. (KCEP)

Amid COVID-19 school shutdown, KY will ask to cancel spring K-12 statewide tests
Kentucky will submit a waiver to the federal government to avoid K-12 testing this spring since all public schools are in a coronavirus shut down. (Forward Kentucky)

Rand Paul votes against emergency stimulus package amid coronavirus outbreak
Sen. Rand Paul argued for senators to pay for the $100 billion stimulus package by cutting funding for wars and “frivolous” programs. (Courier-Journal)

KYGA20 Run-Down

Kentucky lawmakers may make Braidy provide info or lose $15 million state investment – Lawmakers advanced a bill demanding information from Braidy Industries, which is still trying to secure financing to build an aluminum rolling mill. (Courier-Journal)

Bill to cut out role of benefit managers clears legislature – Legislation to cut out the role of pharmacy benefit managers in handling Medicaid prescription drug claims won final passage in the Kentucky legislature on Wednesday. (Herald-Leader)

FAFSA requirement advances to Senate – The acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form isn’t the easiest one to pronounce. Some say “FAFSA,” others “FASFA,” with a few pronunciations falling somewhere in between. No matter how they say it, all Kentucky public high school seniors would be required to complete and submit the free application as a state graduation requirement beginning in the 2021-2022 school year under a bill that today cleared the state House. (Falmouth Outlook)

SB 10 passes Senate – The Kentucky Senate has passed over SB 10, which would reorganize Beshear’s board of education, create political party requirements, ban governors from reorganizing future boards of education. (Ryland Barton)

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] McGrath announces online health website matching volunteers with needs – Senate candidate Amy McGrath has launched a statewide initiative to match healthy Kentuckians with those needing help during the current coronavirus crisis. (read)

[new] ACLU calls out legislature for meeting behind closed doors – The ACLU of Kentucky called out the General Assembly for continuing to meet, even as the Capitol is closed to Kentucky’s citizens. (read)

[new] 🔥 Massie blasts coronavirus precautions; opponents blast Massie for comments – Cong. Thomas Massie compared various government actions to the Japanese internment. His opponents responded with critiques of Massie’s comments. (read)

[new] Beshear calls on leges to choose 1 of 2 options; House Dems agree – Beshear to Republican leadership: Pass a budget now and go home, or go home and pass only a budget later. House Dems: We agree. (read)

🔥 Rep. Attica Scott: WHY are we reconvening when we don’t have to? – As our elected representatives were thinking about going back to Frankfort to meet in session, even though doing so could present health risks to many, Rep. Attica Scott took to Twitter to point out what logic and the state Constitution had to say about it. (read)

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. (read)


🔥 What’s more important than a budget or even people’s health? The SANCTUARY bill! – Coronavirus, budget, people’s health – none are as important as addressing a non-existent problem. Those Republicans surely have their priorities straight. (read)

Sunshine Week: Fighting a virus with truth and transparency – Governments, business, organizations – all are using a common weapon in dealing with the coronavirus: the disinfectant of the truth. (read)


[new video] 🔥 Broihier releases hard-hitting ad against #CoronaMitch – Mike Broihier has released a new ad attacking Senator Mitch McConnell for his support of Donald Trump and his inaction on the coronavirus pandemic. Watch it here. (view)

🔥 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)


🔥 The urgent items that brought everyone back to Frankfort – Since leadership insisted on bringing everyone back to Frankfort, I thought I’d see what urgent items were on the agenda for today. Here’s what I found. (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."

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

How Do We Maintain Our Activism in the Age of Social Distancing

Next Story

Positive stories to lift your spirits in the coronavirus pandemic

Latest from Newsletter

%d bloggers like this: