Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! Today is April 15, normally known as Tax Day. Of course, this year the filing deadline has been extended due to the pandemic, so you procrastinators have some time to put off filing a little longer. (I, on the other hand, got our taxes done and filed early this year, which shocked everyone, including me.)
For the political junkies among us, though, April 15 is important for another reason: It is the last day the General Assembly can meet this year. Before midnight tonight, they must adjourn sine die. (“Sine die” is a Latin phrase noting that a meeting adjourned for good, without a day set to resume. Literally means “without a day.”)
Of course, until midnight tonight, the legislature can do a lot of good, or a lot of bad. They did a few bad things yesterday, including overriding the Beshear veto of the voter photo ID bill. Fortunately, they made some good changes to a bad bill, which Dr. Josh Douglas lays out for us in a story on the site.
Shameless plug – We will have state Senator Morgan McGarvey on “The State of Kentucky” show this Friday, to give us his take on the final days of the session. Live-stream on Facebook and YouTube at noon, and posted on the site later that day.
And finally – I sent out the general newsletter a few days ago, and so far about 40% of you have opened it. But, only 10% have completed the survey within it. So, I’m going to send the newsletter again to everyone who hasn’t opened it. If that’s you, please open it. And if you did open it but didn’t do the survey, please do so. Your feedback is important.
We’re now over 2,000 confirmed cases in the state, and over 100 deaths. And, by most models we are still on the upswing of the curve. So, keep taking care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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First death of a long-term-care worker, governor pleads for PPE – the 4/14 update
Updates from Beshear 4/14 presser, but also many updates from around the world, including models of reopening, possible new tests, and more. Kentucky Health News has expanded these updates to include many other news items, so they are must-read posts even more. (Forward Kentucky)
Kentucky legislature overrides 5 of Gov. Beshear’s vetoes, passes Marsy’s Law
The vetoes overridden by the legislature included SB 2, which requires Kentuckians to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Other vetoes overrides, so these bills now become law:
- SB 5, requiring a local government council to approve any tax increase proposed by a special taxing district, such as a sewer district or library board
- HB 195, which waived the requirements for local governments in counties with less than 80,000 to post legal notices in their local newspaper
- HB 336, which moves back the deadline on when candidates for governor must choose a running mate from January to August of an election year
- HB 150, which codifies that statements about liability insurance in the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law do not constitute the law or public policy of the state
Other veto overrides are expected today. More info in the story at the C-J. (Courier-Journal)
Josh Douglas lays out actual details of voter photo ID bill
With all the reaction to the final passage of the voter ID bill, we thought it wise to share some actual details of the bill. Dr. Josh Douglas does that in this post. (Forward Kentucky)
Opposition grows to Confederate flag in western Kentucky
The newly-raised Confederate flag in Marshall County is drawing various forms of opposition from individuals and groups, including the NAACP and a former county commissioner. (Forward Kentucky)
(related) Changing flags doesn’t change the facts – This is an excellent and thorough examination of the “heritage versus hate” argument around the Confederate flags, and the history behind it. Worth the read, and worth bookmarking. (Forward Kentucky)
Court orders Kentucky senior living ex-worker with COVID-19 to stay home with monitor
A former employee with Treyton Oak Towers who has tested positive for the coronavirus has been ordered quarantined at home with an electronic monitor, according to an April 13 order from Jefferson Circuit Court.
Louisville’s Treyton Oak is among several Kentucky senior living communities that have been hit especially hard by the highly contagious virus, with 23 residents and 12 employees having tested positive. Six residents have died.
The former employee, whose name was redacted from the court records, is the latest of several Kentuckians who have been ordered to remain at home after refusing to voluntarily do so, according to court records and local officials. (Courier-Journal)
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] 🔥 C’mon Kentucky – our census rates stink, especially in rural areas. Let’s do better! – Less than half of Kentuckians have completed their census – and it’s even worse in many rural areas. Surely we can get over 50%! (read)
[new] 🔥 Trump says he determines when states reopen; Beshear says “the buck stops with me” – Monday update: Over 2,000 cases, over 100 deaths; Kroger testing begins; some modeling shows Kentucky successfully flattening the curve. (read)
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)
🔥 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)
🔥 CNN chyron editor goes for broke – Apparently, someone at CNN has had about enough of President Trump’s rambling, wandering pressers on the coronavirus crisis. Check out these chyrons. (read)
🔥 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)
— 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 —
[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)
[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)
- 🔥 C’mon Kentucky – our census rates stink, especially in rural areas. Let’s do better! (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 (1,000+ 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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