The Forward Five – Thursday, 4/3/20

13 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! It looks to be a pretty weekend, so take advantage of the weather to get some vitamin-D-producing sunlight. BUT, be sure you practice strong social distancing while you’re at it.

We posted an op-ed from Rep. Attica Scott yesterday that encourages everyone to complete the census. Yes, in the midst of a pandemic, we all still need to be counted, because so many programs and so much funding depends on it. The story includes how to fill out your census if you haven’t done so, including online. I did ours, and it took about ten minutes. So, wash your hands, and complete the census!

Today’s “The State of Kentucky” show is full of great guests. We’ve got Rep. Joni Jenkins to talk about the budget just passed, Amy McGrath to talk about campaigning during a pandemic, and Dr. Becky Dutch to explain coronavirus testing and why it is so hard to get enough tests. It’s live on Facebook and YouTube at noon, or you can watch the recorded version later on our site.

Finally, in addition to our Coronavirus Info page, we have added a “Support Your Media” page to the site. It has links to subscription or membership pages for local papers, public radio stations, and the big state papers (Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader). And of course, it includes becoming a member of Forward Kentucky. We are going to be pushing people to visit this page and choose one or more media outlets to support. Please take a moment yourself to go there and support the media outlets (including this one) that are bringing you information you can trust.

Take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Support the People Bringing You the News
We all need information that is accurate and trustworthy, and even more in these days of a pandemic. But the media outlets giving us that good info need money to continue doing it. That is why we have put up a “Support Your Media” page on our site. On that page you can choose the media outlets you want to support by becoming a subscriber, becoming a member, or donating.

All of us in the journalism world need your support. So go to the page, pick out one or more outlets, and follow the links to add your financial support to the work. Do it now. Thanks!

Yes, I want to support good journalism!

Schools closed to 5/1, shoppers limited in stores – Beshear 4/2 update
Other bullets: 100 new cases, 11 new deaths, inmates being released to lower prison population, state parks closed to overnight guests. Read the update for a quick information catch up. (Forward Kentucky)

One-word change makes mail-in voting possible
Buried in a bill passed by the General Assembly on its way out the door is a single word added to a single Kentucky Revised Statute. The addition of that one word makes it possible for mail-in voting to happen in Kentucky. (Forward Kentucky)

While Kentucky faces PPE shortage, GE Appliances gives thousands of face masks to workers
Amid national and statewide shortages of personal protective equipment for health care workers, GE Appliances has ordered thousands of face masks for its workers who have been begging for a temporary shutdown of Appliance Park in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Photos circulating on social media show dozens of boxes labeled “face mask” clustered together at GE Appliance Park. One employee estimated that the shipment included 300,000 surgical masks. The more than 3,800 GE Appliance Park production workers began receiving these masks this week, and they get a new one every day, multiple employees have told The Courier Journal.

A plant spokesperson said GE Appliances is donating a portion of every shipment of masks to health care providers in its plants’ communities. A donation of 2,500 N-95 masks was given to University of Louisville Hospital last Friday, according to information she provided. (Courier-Journal)

Beshear signs bill strengthening human trafficking statutes
Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday signed into law legislation that would strengthen Kentucky’s human trafficking statutes. House Majority Caucus Chair Suzanne Miles, R-Owensboro, sponsored the measure, saying we have an education issue in the state of knowing exactly what human trafficking is.

“This bill is very specific on following federal guidelines,” she told reporters when she filed the bill on Feb. 28.  “We’ve also added a lot of signage in public areas, and I think that is where most of our human trafficking going to be, in public transportation areas.”

The signage, which includes the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, would be required in public restrooms at all airports, truck stops, bus and train stations, and truck stops. (Kentucky Today)

Jail populations down as corona creates ‘test run’ for bail reform
Steadily declining inmate numbers, judges issuing lower bonds and more suspects being cited instead of arrested. “It’s a forced test run” for bail reform. (Forward Kentucky)

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] Nearly 113,000 Kentuckians filed for unemployment last week, breaking record – Nationwide, some 6.6 million Americans submitted new jobless claims during the week ending on March 28, a second record-breaking week. (read)

[new] Beshear emphasizes staying at home, says revival was a site of spread – 4/1 update – Wednesday update from Gov. Beshear includes modeling data for Kentucky, updates on unemployment, cautionary note on revival causing infections. (read)

[new] KYGA passes “austere” one-year budget – Using social distancing and never-done-before voting methods, the KY General Assembly passed a budget on Wednesday that is being described as “bare bones” and “austere.” (read)

[new] Legislators take extraordinary measures to meet, vote. – The KY General Assembly reconvened today in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, using new rules and procedures to pass a budget. (read)

[new] Here’s what Kentucky will get out of the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill – Each state is expected to receive, at a minimum, $1.25 billion from the CARES Act. So, what does the Bluegrass State stand to gain? (read)


[new] Sadly, we will hang separately – People’s quality of life already depends so much on their ZIP code. Now their likelihood of death will, too. (read)

[new] Attica Scott reminds us all — Get counted, Kentucky! – In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Rep. Attica Scott reminds us of an important task we have to do – get that census filled out! (read)

Op-Ed:  During COVID-19, Kentuckians must be ‘watchmen at the wall’ for the vulnerable – Even as we try to protect ourselves and our families from the coronavirus, we must also be sure to protect those who are especially vulnerable to abuse. (read)

Lincoln, FDR, and Beshear – Crises can change politicians, and reveal things about them, said Al Cross. Other leaders who were doubted going in revealed their strength in crisis, and Andy Beshear is doing the same. (read)


How SNAP can help people during hard economic times like these – A record number of Americans are seeing their hours cut or losing their jobs due to the initial economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. How will millions of newly jobless families keep putting food on the table? (read)

The anatomy of the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill – Want to know what’s in the $2 trillion coronavirus bill? Here’s a great visual breakdown, along with an expanded description of who gets what relief. (read)


🔥 A short message from Andy Beshear – All across the state, and across partisan lines, people are increasingly appreciative of Governor Beshear’s leadership during this crisis. And, other states are taking notice as well. Aaron Smith captured the Gov reminding us of a few things. (view)


[new podcast] One-year budget, lege update, COVID-19 response, and Col. Pamela Stevenson – Lots of ground covered in this week’s podcast, plus an interview with Col. Pamela Stevenson, which includes a neat metaphor about diversity and ice cream. (listen)

 SOS Michael Adams, Rep. Charles Booker on the ‘State of Kentucky’ – On this week’s “State of Kentucky” show, we are joined by Secretary of State Michael Adams to discuss his ideas and plans around vote by mail, and by Rep. Charles Booker, candidate for U.S. Senate, talking about his campaign and how they’re working given the coronavirus crisis. We are honored to have both of them with us, and hope you’ll watch! (watch)


[new] A literal Sign of the Times – Need a chuckle? Here’s a sign on a door that reflects the times we are living in, shared by a co-worker of my brother. Chuckle, then pass it on. (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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