Five Things to Know Today
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It includes the “five things to know today,” of course. But, it also includes a list of the latest content on the site, with a “flame” to indicate the ones that are getting the most attention. When there are items on our event calendar, it includes them. And, during the General Assembly, it includes updates out of Frankfort.
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Today’s Five Things to Know
2/9 update — KY to get 6% more vaccine doses next week; numbers continue to trend down
Gov. Beshear praised Kentuckians for their efforts in thwarting the spread of the virus, announcing that case numbers and the positivity rate keep trending down, and the federal government is sending more vaccine. (Forward Kentucky)
Auditor Harmon cites issues within unemployment system
A report released Tuesday by State Auditor Mike Harmon found numerous issues within Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance System. Overall, the report, known as the Statewide Single Audit of Kentucky, or SSWAK, had 25 findings, half of which dealt with the Office of Unemployment Insurance and the UI fund.
Due to the high volume of claims and new federal unemployment programs during the pandemic, the report found OUI leadership made decisions that violated federal law and sacrificed program integrity in an attempt to more quickly get payments to unemployed individuals. (Kentucky Today)
Senate passes historical horse racing; Turfway horsemen speak up for the bill, saying ‘save our jobs’
As the Kentucky State Senate passed SB 120, Turfway Park horsemen are making their case for the importance of protecting Historical Horse Racing (HHR). They say protecting historic horse racing is critical to saving Kentucky jobs, including their own.
HHR’s future in Kentucky is uncertain following an opinion issued by the Kentucky Supreme Court in September. At risk is a significant revenue stream that has produced some of the best racing purses in the country, prompted track owners to make considerable facility investments and bolstered a year-round racing circuit that Kentucky horsemen have come to depend on. (NKY Tribune)
Indivisible group puts up “Stop the Lies” billboard in McCracken County
The group Four Rivers Indivisible paid for a new billboard along Lone Oak road that says “#Stop the lies. Stop the terrorism. America’s 2020 election was free and fair.” They said in a Facebook post that the billboard was in honor of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he suffered during the Capitol riot on January 6.
Legislators seek passage of ‘Red Flag Law’
Supporters of a so-called “Red Flag Law” are making another push to get legislation passed in Kentucky. Republican Senator Paul Hornback and Democratic Senator Morgan McGarvey will introduce a bill that allows police or family members to petition a court to remove guns from a person who may be a danger to themselves or others. The proposed legislation is called Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention (CARR). Leading the effort to drum up support for the bill is Whitney Austin, a Kentucky woman who survived a mass shooting in Cincinnati. It also has the backing of Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Similar legislation has failed in past General Assembly sessions, mainly due to opposition from gun rights advocates. (West Kentucky Star)
Stay up to date with the General Assembly
Here are links to all our resources for staying current on what’s happening in Frankfort.
- KYGA21 Daily Update – A daily post listing actions on key bills, and the complete calendar for that day. (Today’s post)
- ForwardKY Bill Trackers – A set of bill trackers, from all bills to key legislation. Sort, group, track, and research the bills that matter to you. (Link)
- Visual Bill Tracker – A simple way to see our key bills move through the process. (Link)
- Legislator Scorecard – See which legislators are supporting progressive bills, and which ones are not. Explore their voting records, and see how they voted on individual bills. (Link)
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] Ky. bill would let people with felonies access KEES scholarships – State House lawmakers are trying, again, to pass a bill allowing students with felony convictions to use their Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, or KEES, funding. (Brief)
[New] Audit: Kentucky unemployment office ignored 400,000 emails, violated federal rules – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and skyrocketing joblessness, Kentucky’s unemployment office failed to read more than 400,000 emails asking for help with claims, a state audit has found. (Brief)
Remember — Repubs DON’T want you to vote … but they don’t care if you get the virus – And before you think that is either hyperbole or harsh, let’s take a look at the facts. (Commentary)
🔥 White supremacists target UofL campus; students fight back – Students at UofL have seen acts of vandalism, racially-motivated hostility, and flyers and stickers promoting the right-wing extremist group Patriot Front. But the students are fighting back. (News)
Don’t know where to get vaccinated? You’re one click away from finding out – When I became eligible for my COVID vaccination, I wanted to find a place to get it soon and close. By using the KY web site, I got my shot sooner and closer than I expected. Here’s my story. (News)
Senate OKs bill for refusal of mandatory vaccination in epidemic, after removing broader exemption for required school shots – A bill that would give Kentuckians the ability to opt out of a mandatory vaccination during an epidemic passed out of its committee and the full Senate in just two days; it now heads to the House for consideration. (News)
Across the U.S., Republicans have already introduced over 100 voter suppression bills this year – Ari Berman reports on the GOP’s ongoing nationwide push to make voting more difficult — particularly for communities of color and other Democratic-leaning constituencies — and in some cases to empower state legislatures to overturn election results. (Backgrounder)
🔥 The performative politics of AG Cameron – an interview with Rep. Attica Scott – Rep. Attica Scott says that instead of “performative politics” by the AG and the legislature, we need real reform. It’s time for all the lawmakers, including Republicans, to step up and pass Breonna’s Law and the Maternal Care Act. (News)
🔥 KY Repubs stand w/ QAnon supporter in House vote; chair of KDP responds – All five Republican members of the U.S. House from Kentucky voted in support of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green in her fight to keep her committee assignments. (News)
🔥 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)
🔥 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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