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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! We’ve got a four-day weekend in front of us, and for us political junkies, we’re going to need it. Why?
Because the 2021 General Assembly starts next Tuesday.
Thankfully, as is normal for a “short” session, they only meet for four days next week, then adjourn until February 2. In years past, the opening week was mainly about setting up committees, moving into offices, and so on. But, once the Republicans took control of both chambers, they have used the first week to pass their top bills (which are usually the most unpopular ones, as well as being bad policy and bad for Kentuckians).
Here are ForwardKY HQ, we are getting ready. We’re setting up the Bill Tracker for all the new bills, we’re setting up the daily calendar template we’ll use to show what’s happening in Frankfort that day, and we’re scanning the pre-filed bills to see which ones are good, which ones are bad, and which ones are train wrecks.
So, enjoy the long weekend. (But be safe, as the Gov has asked and as common sense dictates.) Then get ready for the political news firehose out of Frankfort to fire up in January.
We’ve already started taking our Super Plenamins.
Today’s Five Things to Know
12/29 update — Beshear worries that New Year’s on top of Christmas will reverse Kentucky’s recent progress on thwarting the novel coronavirus
Beshear said he worries that the New Year’s weekend, a four-day holiday for many Kentuckians, will lead to more infections like those he has reason to believe occurred during the Christmas holiday. (Forward Kentucky)
McConnell blocks vote on $2,000 checks, wants to add poison pills to the bill
McConnell blocked Schumer, Sanders blocked McConnell. No bills passed; lots of maneuvering. And the holiday is coming, as well as an election in Georgia. Watch this space; more games today. (Forward Kentucky)
Judge rules AG Cameron can intervene in lawsuit alleging mismanagement of pension funds
A Franklin Circuit judge ruled Monday that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron can intervene as a plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging severe mismanagement of public pension funds.
The lawsuit first filed in December 2017 by eight retirees in the Kentucky Retirement Systems alleged major hedge fund firms and former officials of the pension plan breached their fiduciary duty by mismanagement and arranging over $1 billion of assets in risky investments.
In July, the Kentucky Supreme Court found these plaintiffs did not have standing to file their claim because they were not personally harmed by the defendants’ actions, sending the case back to Franklin Circuit Court to be dismissed. Later that month, Cameron filed a motion to intervene in the case as a plaintiff and seek damages for losses the state incurred because of the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ordered the dismissal of the original plaintiffs’ complaints Monday due to lack of standing, but granted Cameron’s motion to intervene as a plaintiff, thus keeping the case alive. (Courier-Journal)
LMPD to fire two more officers tied to Breonna Taylor killing
The Louisville Metro Police Department intends to fire two more officers involved in the raid at Breonna Taylor’s apartment and her shooting death. They have sent pre-termination letters to the two officers, according to the lawyers representing the officers. (Forward Kentucky)
How federal legislation breaks down for Kentucky
Gov. Andy Beshear outlined on Tuesday how the new federal COVID relief act passed by Congress will impact Kentucky. He shared amounts and the funds and programs where the money would go. He also noted that if the $2,000 check bill passes, that would more than double the amount of money injected directly into Kentucky’s economy. (Forward Kentucky)
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Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New]🔥 The Wheel of Mitchfortune – If the two Republicans win in Georgia on January 5th, what will we see more of? Another season of that infamous show, The Wheel of Mitchfortune. (Animated Cartoon)
[New] It CAN happen here – Think it can’t happen here? Guess again … it’s happening now. What will we do about it? (Video)
[New] Trump’s false claims of stolen election evoke a dangerous historical precedent – Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen may seem like a bad joke on its face. But, this myth is taking hold among some on the right, and parallels a similar myth that lead to the collapse of a democracy. (News Analysis)
[New] Open government advocates release 10 wishes for the new year – As we head into 2021, the Open Government Coalition shares 10 wishes for the new year, all of which will help to make our government more transparent and more responsible. (Commentary)
House approves $2,000 checks, overrides Trump’s NDAA veto – The U.S. House took two important votes on Monday, approving a stand-alone bill to raise the COVID relief checks from $600 to $2,000 per person, and overriding President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. (News)
🔥 It’s time for a redistricting commission in Kentucky – It is well past the time when politicians should be allowed to be the people setting electoral districts. Kentucky — and perhaps every state — should set up independent commissions to do the job. (Policy)
Why must only Democrats reach out? – I don’t think anyone would have much luck winning many converts for Team Blue in my neck of the woods where “You can’t be a Christian and a Democrat” is an article of faith. (Commentary)
12/27 update — Beshear’s Facebook post shows generally stable virus numbers – Measures of the novel-coronavirus pandemic remained generally stable Sunday, as Gov. Andy Beshear made only a Facebook post giving the day’s numbers. (News)
🔥 State rep, who downplayed virus, in ICU with COVID – A KY House member who in the past has raised doubts about the seriousness of the pandemic has been in intensive care with COVID for a week. (News)
🔥 The mob presidency: Trump pardons Republican thieves, co-conspirators, and war criminals – On Tuesday night, President Trump issued pardons to persons convicted of fraud, of lying to federal investigators, and of war crimes. And he is probably not finished. (News)
Image by Steve Greenberg
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