Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! What happened to spring? We’re covering plants and turning the heat back on. Hope you are staying warm and safe.
I sent out the all-subscriber newsletter last night, and it’s got some important items in it, including a feedback poll that I REALLY want you to complete. It only takes about three minutes. So, if you haven’t read that newsletter yet, please find it in your inbox and read it, then do the survey.
Speaking of surveys, we’ll have a story up later today on the census and how well Kentucky is doing on filling it out. I filled out ours online as soon as I got the notice, and it was easy-peasy. I’m surprised that the state is only at the 50% completion mark. So, if you haven’t done yours yet, go to 2020Census.gov and do yours today. It’s important, because it affects the support our state gets from the federal government (among many other things is affects).
The General Assembly reconvenes today to try to override some vetoes and to possibly pass new bills. Anything passed today can be vetoed by the governor and the leges can’t override (the danger of waiting to pass the bills). Will they override his veto of the voter photo ID bill? Or any of his line-item vetoes of the budget bills? Stay tuned.
The governor’s update yesterday included the news that our state has passed the 2,000-case mark, with over 100 deaths. So, keep taking care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Trump says he determines when states reopen; Beshear says “the buck stops with me”
The Monday update: Over 2,000 cases, over 100 deaths; Kroger testing begins; some modeling shows Kentucky successfully flattening the curve. Plus, a number of links to other stories, and the video. (Forward Kentucky)
Beshear issues line-item vetoes of budget bills
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear used his line-item veto authority Monday to strike limited parts of the massive state budget bills passed by Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature.
The vetoes did not remove any specific appropriations, the governor’s office said in a statement. Instead, the new governor struck language that would “limit his flexibility” to respond to the coronavirus crisis or would “hamper the normal activities” of state government, his office said. (Story includes details of what was vetoed. Read for background ahead of KYGA meeting today to override.) (AP News)
Stivers: Senate may take up bills not related to pandemic when legislature returns
Kentucky’s legislature will return to Frankfort Tuesday for the last two days of the 2020 session, with plans to not just override vetoes of Gov. Andy Beshear, but also to pass other legislation.
Beshear issued line-item vetoes for five budget and revenue bills on Monday — including the $11.4 billion, one-year state budget plan passed April 1 — adding to the five bills he previously vetoed in the past few weeks.
While the Senate president expected the legislature to take up a few bills related to the state’s response to the pandemic, Stivers also left open the possibility of his chamber voting through bills restricting abortion and amending the state constitution, saying the Republican caucus would have discussions before those decisions are made. (Courier-Journal)
Kroger health subsidiary begins coronavirus testing in deal with Kentucky
The state of Kentucky had a deal sealed with a lab in Covington to drastically increase coronavirus testing. It had pinpointed the location of a drive-thru test site weeks ago. But state leaders suddenly hit the pause button, worried whether supplies of protective equipment for workers and nasal swabs for collecting specimens for more than 200 people a day might stretch them too far.
Then, Cincinnati grocery giant Kroger reached out to Kentucky health administrators, offering a hand for free — with medical staff, PPE and the use of its sign-up portal. The assistance allowed Kentucky to roll out its first state-run drive-thru site on Monday in Frankfort, where 97 people received tests, and to lay plans for a second site coming Wednesday in Kenton County. (Courier-Journal)
Bernie Sanders endorses former rival Joe Biden for president
Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Monday, encouraging his progressive supporters to rally behind the presumptive Democratic nominee in an urgent bid to defeat President Donald Trump. (KY Today)
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)
— News —
[new] Over 99.8% of faith communities didn’t meet in-person; new testing program announced – Gov. Beshear made a point of thanking the 5,000+ faith communities who honored his request to not meet in person; plus, a new testing program sponsored by Kroger. (read)
[new] State forms COVID-19 task force for nursing homes, long-term-care facilities – State officials have formed a task force to advise them about how to prevent the coronavirus from devastating the state’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, which have already suffered 18 deaths from it. (read)
[new] 🔥 Visualization: The spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky in 21 days – Want to see how COVID-19 has spread across the state? Here is a neat visualization using two maps three weeks apart. Pretty dramatic. (view)
🔥 On this subject, the opinions of Paul, Massie, and KY GOP are worthless – Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and the KY GOP are attacking Beshear for his approach to large gatherings. Based on their actions, we should not care what they say. (read)
These Sanders voters know what they’re going to do – A story about an orphan, his family, the lessons he learned and shared with his children, and how those children are going to vote. (read)
🔥 Gov. Beshear is what Kentucky needed to fight voter suppression – Gov. Edward T. Breathitt made the history books for signing the landmark Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966. Gov. Beshear might not earn as much ink for vetoing SB 2, the Republican voter suppression bill. But he’s what Kentucky needs at this moment. (read)
— Policy —
🔥 Churches, COVID-19, and the First Amendment: An analysis – How do we balance First Amendment rights with the public good in a pandemic? Dr. Neal Turpin looks at the issues involved and lays out some principles. (read)
— Media —
[new show] 🔥 TSOK: Robert Kahne, Jazmin Smith, Dr. Alexandra Owensby, and Republicans in Wisconsin and Kentucky – Join us this week with guests Robert Kahne and Jazmin Smith to talk about their show My Old Kentucky Podcast. Then, we interview Dr. Alexandra Owensby, who is a health care professional in the midst of a pandemic AND a candidate running to face Thomas Massie in KY-04. Finally, our publisher Bruce Maples shares his thoughts about the the Wisconsin primary and the insistence by Republicans to vote in the face of a pandemic, and compares that to Kentucky Republicans and what they may do this coming week. (watch)
[podcast] COVID-19 lawsuits, PPE bidding wars, and interview with Shirley Flynn Mitchell – This week’s My Old Kentucky Podcast features multiple updates about the COVID-19 crisis, Justin Walker going to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and Shirley Flynn Mitchell interview. (listen)
Broihier releases “Thank you Bernie” video – After Bernie Sanders announced he was suspending his campaign, congressional candidate Mike Broihier released this video, thanking Senator Sanders for the difference he has made in the presidential campaign, and indeed in our national discourse. (view)
A video to thank our health-care workers – Brave New Films has released a video to say “Thank you” to all the health-care workers around the world who are giving their all while putting their own lives on the line. Watch, share, and say Thank You. (view)
[photo collection] 🔥 Kentucky in the coronavirus – a photo essay – Our three photographers have been doing what they do: taking pictures. So, we created a photo essay to show the striking effects of the coronavirus across Kentucky. (view)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Gov. Andy Beshear calls on 3M to release patent for N95 respirator amid pandemic (2,000+ shares)
- Beshear even firmer against gatherings, including small family ones (1,000+ shares)
- Beshear says about 17 churches planning services ‘can probably expect to see us’ (1,000+ shares)
- 🔥 Churches, COVID-19, and the First Amendment: An analysis (979 shares)
- Kentucky church leader vows to hold Easter services even after getting Beshear stop order (551 shares)
- On this subject, the opinions of Paul, Massie, and KY GOP are worthless (420 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.
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