Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! Are you old enough to remember Tim Conway’s “The Old Man” from the Carol Burnett Show? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a video of it.)
That’s what the reopening plan for Kentucky reminds me of – which is a GOOD thing. Small steps, slow but steady progress, and check your balance as you go.
Unlike some other states (looking at you, Georgia), Kentucky is following a well-thought-out, measured, responsible plan for moving into our “new normal.” And, the plan is collaborative, with business groups and other elected officials taking part, unlike some other states. (Again, looking at you, Georgia, where the gov announced his plan to open high-touch businesses and restaurants without talking to the mayor of Atlanta.)
Speaking of our new normal, the fourth article in the “Dear Kentuckians” series is posted: Dear Kentuckians – Here’s the new normal for us as individuals. Masks, testing, contact tracing, quarantining – it’s all in there. Give it a read.
Small steps, but moving in the right direction. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear, Stack lay out timeline for reopening health care and other segments of the KY economy
This update is full of details, both for health-care facilities and for all of us. We encourage you to read the entire update to see which details apply to you, but here are some significant points:
- Announced four phases with dates and guidance for health care facilities to reopen
- Said that dates and guidance for other businesses are in the works, and will be announced over the next week or so
- Announced that everyone will be expected to wear masks when in public near others, as of May 11
- Said that all unemployment claims from March that had not been paid would be paid this week.
Also, there is a graph and a link to a story on the Washington Post about a spike in overall deaths in the U.S. that could be COVID-19 deaths but had not been counted as such. (Forward Kentucky)
More details on expanded absentee voting in primary
We have gathered additional details about the voting procedures for the June primary, including the expanded absentee voting. There’s still more to work out about the processes, including building the online portal, but the outline of voting in the primary is coming into focus. (Forward Kentucky)
Barr to prosecutors: Look for unconstitutional virus rules
Attorney General William Barr on Monday ordered federal prosecutors across the U.S. to identify coronavirus-related restrictions from state and local governments “that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens.” (Kentucky Today)
UK workers: President Capilouto, other top earners should take pay cuts to make up shortfall
More than 100 student employees and community members at the University of Kentucky have sent a letter to state and university officials asking President Eli Capilouto and other top-earning administrators to take pay cuts to make up for an expected $70 million shortfall in the university’s next budget.
“The University of Kentucky should follow the lead of the University of Louisville and cut salaries of the administrators at the top instead of laying off important staff and cutting promised funding to graduate students,” said Zeke Perkins, a graduate instructor in English at UK. (Herald-Leader)
The ads, they are a-flyin’
Even while we deal with a pandemic, political ads continue to be released. Here are two new ones.
McGrath releases ad … attacking Mitch’s ad
Senator McConnell recently released a campaign ad where he took credit for passing the CARES Act. In response, the McGrath campaign released their own ad, as well as a series of tweets attacking McConnell. (Forward Kentucky)
Booker releases “Not Mitch, Us” ad
Candidate Charles Booker just released a new ad focused on the grassroots nature of his campaign, called “Not Mitch, Us.” He noted that after the ad was initially released on Facebook, many people responded to the central message of the ad. (Forward Kentucky)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
— News —
[new] KYGA leadership sends LRC staff to help with UI claims; Dems applaud move – Legislative leaders have instructed the Legislative Research Commission director to arrange for LRC staff to help reduce the state’s backlog of unemployment insurance claims. (read)
[new] CARES Act to provide $193 million for Kentucky school districts – Kentucky will receive over $193 million to distribute among school districts to meet students’ education needs during the coronavirus pandemic. (read)
[new] ‘Reopen’ protest movement created, boosted by fake grassroots tactics – In recent days, there have there been public protests against continuing the coronavirus lockdown. The people who are doing the demonstrating may really be frustrated and upset, but new research, and journalistic investigation, is revealing that there are powerful forces behind them, egging them on, who want their influence to remain secret. (read)
[new] Beshear vetoes anti-abortion bill; legislature can’t override – Gov. Beshear has vetoed a bill that would have required health-care providers to give “medically appropriate and reasonable life-saving and life-sustaining medical care and treatment” to any infant born alive, including after a failed abortion. SB 9 would have also expanded the power of the attorney general to shut down abortion providers and keep abortion from being allowed as an urgent procedure under Beshear’s emergency orders in the coronavirus pandemic. (read)
[new] SCOKY provides additional guidance on judicial matters during pandemic – In two court orders, the Supreme Court of Kentucky laid out additional guidance and clarifications about judicial procedures during the COVID-19 lockdown. (read)
[new] 🔥 As he and Beshear take the first small steps to reopen the state, Health Commissioner Stack asks for ‘patience and tolerance’ – As Kentucky takes small steps toward reopening businesses, starting gingerly with much of health care, you can almost see top officials crossing their fingers. (read)
🔥 27 Kentucky counties receive federal disaster declaration – Twenty-seven Kentucky counties struck by severe weather earlier this year received a federal disaster declaration on Friday. (read)
🔥 ‘War Against the States’ — Yarmuth on McConnell – Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY03) issued a statement on Thursday in response to Senator Mitch McConnell’s recent remarks that he would rather see states and local governments go bankrupt than provide them with federal aid. Here is that statement. (read and listen)
Beshear, Adams reach agreement on expanded absentee voting for June primary – On Friday, April 24, Governor Beshear and Secretary of State Adams announced they had reached an agreement on greatly expanding absentee voting for the June primary election, and that the state Board of Elections would be drawing up guidelines for voting in that primary. (read)
🔥 Dear Kentuckians – Don’t get played – In these days of social media, getting played is a constant danger. Here are three ways that it can happen if we are not careful – and how to prevent it. (read)
It’s up to us now – Donald Trump’s tweet suspending immigration in order to “protect” the United States falls in line with a long line of xenophobic acts by our leaders. It is now up to us to decide what sort of country we choose to be. (read)
🔥 Dear Kentuckians – Don’t be stupid – After we get our facts straight, we can recognize statements that are, truthfully, stupid – and call them out. This article does just that. (read)
— Cartoons —
What modern-day heroes REALLY want – During this pandemic, we’ve taken to calling our front-line responders and essential workers the “heroes” of this crisis. Some people have even made capes for them. Aaron Smith, though, captures what many of these modern-day heroes are REALLY thinking. (view)
— Media —
[photo gallery] 🔥 Drive-thru testing in Louisville’s West End – a photo gallery – Del Ramey traveled to Louisville’s West End on Sunday to observe a drive-thru testing site and how the process worked. Here’s a gallery of what he saw there. (view)
🔥 Anti-Trump Repubs post new coronavirus ad: “Two Americans” – The Lincoln Project has released a new ad, focused on the coronavirus and the contrast between those who are sacrificing and those who are demanding. Watch it here. (view)
[show] TSOK – Native Americans and COVID-19; plus KY Senate 23 candidate Ryan Olexia – Join us for this week’s The State of Kentucky, as we talk with Tiffany Pyette about the challenges indigenous people are facing in dealing with the coronavirus. Then, we welcome Ryan Olexia, who is running for state Senate. (watch)
[podcast] COVID protests and end-of-session shenanigans – This week, Jazmin goes through all the new COVID-19 news, including updates about cases, testing, and the emerging protests that are appearing in Frankfort. Robert talked about the end of the legislative session, which saw a surprise abortion bill passed and the confirmation of all but one of Governor Beshear’s nominees to the Board of Education. Plus, Quick Hits! (listen)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- C’mon Kentucky – our census rates stink, especially in rural areas. Let’s do better! (23,000+ shares)
- Koch Brothers try to use COVID-19 to reawaken Tea Party movement (4,000+ shares)
- Confederate flags: Changing flags doesn’t change the facts (2,000+ shares)
- Lawmakers, state officials condemn threats to Beshear (2,000+ shares)
- ‘War Against the States’ — Yarmuth on McConnell (994 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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