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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Yesterday was one of those “solopreneur” days.
We had a number of things at our house that needed to be dealt with, including some work being done inside the house. As a result, after doing the Forward Five, I wasn’t able to get back to editing till late in the evening.
Why am I telling you this? Because you will notice a large number of new stories on the site, beginning later today and continuing into the weekend, as I catch up on things. So don’t be surprised when the Featured Content box in Monday’s Forward Five looks like a whole week’s worth of news.
One piece that IS up on the site deserves your attention. If you care about the Democratic party, and KDP specifically, read the commentary about this year’s party reorganization. It is a tale from someone on the inside, and it lays out why some things have to change at the KDP. We hope the new chair, Colmon Elridge, enjoys success in making those changes … but part of moving forward is being honest about what needs to be changed.
Have a good Friday, and a good and safe weekend. I’m going to try to do the same. See you on Monday.
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Today’s Five Things to Know
2/4 update — Four regional vaccine sites announced
Working toward the day when there is enough vaccine supply for everyone, Kentucky is opening four more high-volume vaccination sites, bringing the state’s total to eight, with more in the works. Coronavirus metrics continue to decline, but deaths remain high. And, vaccines are going to pharmacies for persons 70 and older. (Forward Kentucky)
Bill putting new Kentucky teachers on ‘hybrid’ pension plan clears House
A bill to put new Kentucky teachers on a “hybrid” pension plan cleared the state House on Thursday, only a few hours after passing out of committee. Teacher pension reform attempts like House Bill 258, sponsored by Rep. C. Ed Massey, R-Hebron, are historically unpopular with educators, who want the pension system to be fully funded and left as is.
This year’s bill, however, has a tentative blessing from key figures in establishment education groups after lawmakers worked with them to craft the legislation. (Courier-Journal)
Kentucky lawmakers advance historical horse racing bill
Legislation to keep slot machine-like historical racing games in Kentucky got its first hearing in the General Assembly on Thursday. Senate Bill 120 seeks to codify historical racing in state law after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last year that the machines don’t qualify as “pari-mutuel wagering,” the gambling form traditionally used for betting on horse races.
Historical racing parlors have become lucrative businesses for some racetracks in Kentucky, which doesn’t permit traditional casinos. (WFPL)
U.S. House strips Marjorie Taylor Greene of committee assignments; all KY Repubs support Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon-believing, right-wing firebrand newly elected from Georgia, was taken off all committees yesterday by her peers in the House. The vote was 230-199, with 11 Republicans joining all the Democrats in voting to strip Greene of her committee assignments.
While Greene’s comments in support of various QAnon theories were troubling (as was her comment about wildfires being caused by space lasers), it was her statement that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “get a bullet in her brain” that drove the House to act. House Democratic leadership gave the Republican caucus a chance to deal with her on their own, but they refused. The Democrats then brought it to the floor, forcing all Republicans to vote on the record whether they stood with Greene or not.
As for standing with Greene, all five Republican members of the House from Kentucky voted in support of Greene.
KY House impeachment committee continues to meet in secret
After promising “full transparency,” the ad hoc impeachment committee in the KY House continues to do its work in executive session, with no report out and refusing to answer questions from the media.
The committee met on Thursday after the House and Senate adjourned for the day, and immediately went into executive session. They are scheduled to meet again this morning at 9 AM.
Upcoming Action Items
Taken from the ForwardKY event calendar
IUE/CWA Action Against Walmart (info)
Saturday, 2/6 ● Noon to 1 ● Walmart on Bardstown Road – 7101 Cedar Springs Blvd, Louisville, KY 40291
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] Overridden vetoes, impeachment hearings, and more – Jazmin and Robert discussed the legislature coming back into session and immediately overriding Andy Beshear’s vetoes, the impeachment committee’s meetings, a huge report on the Louisville Metro Police Department commissioned by Metro Louisville, and a COVID-19 update. (Podcast)
[New] 🔥 Why this year’s KDP reorganization is so important – The KY Democratic Party is in the process of electing new leaders, from local to state levels. This member of the KDP Executive Committee explains why this is so critical this year. (Commentary)
[New] Judge temporarily halts HB-1; Beshear issues statement – After the legislature overrode his vetoes, Governor Beshear immediately filed a lawsuit asking for three of the bills to be overturned. On Wednesday, a judge issued an injunction blocking one of the three. (News)
Bill advances that would raise the felony threshold for first time in over a decade – HB 126 advanced today out of the Judiciary Committee. The bill would raise KY’s felony threshold to something in line with other states. Included is a statement from KY Smart on Crime. (Press Release)
Biden is inheriting a wrecked economy, but Democrats have a record of avoiding recession and reducing unemployment – Historical data suggests that those who are concerned with the economy have reason to be fairly satisfied with the election results: The economy generally fares better under Democratic presidents. (Analysis)
🔥 Fighting for fairness in Kentucky – In the wake of executive orders across the country restoring LGBTQ rights, there is still an uphill battle being fought in Kentucky to ensure protections. We interview Chris Hartman on the outlook in our state this year. (Feature)
Jewish lasers – Steve Greenberg imagines a conversation between Marjorie Taylor Greene and the “Camp Auschwitz” guy. (Cartoon)
🔥 Governor files lawsuit to stop bills limiting his ability to deal with COVID – Immediately after the Kentucky General Assembly finished overriding all his vetoes, Governor Beshear filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of the bills limiting his ability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve got a detailed look at the governor’s filing. (News)
🔥 The GOP has lost its mind – and its soul – Part of the Republican party has become disconnected from reality. Another part has given up on the rule of law. And the rest of the party refuses to call them out on it. (Commentary)
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