Brought to you by
— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! One of the frustrating things about watching our state legislature work is that good bills often never move at all, while bad bills get priority treatment and pass quickly. With Republicans controlling both chambers, that problem has gotten even worse.
BUT, even with the Repubs in charge, sometimes good bills actually move, and even get passed. Often not the best bills, but at least ones that do some good. They usually have to have a Republican sponsor, because Dem-sponsored bills are dead on arrival.
I took a look last night, and wrote up a list of seven good bills that might actually pass. You can check it out below. It compares to the twelve bad bills that need to be “burned with fire and left to die,” which I listed a few days ago.
Things crank back up in Frankfort on Monday, so watch for the news to pick up as well. We’ll do our best to keep you current on the important stuff.
Stay safe, stay warm, wear your masks, and get your shot when you can. Neither winter nor the virus will last forever. At least, we hope so.
Today’s Five Things to Know
Judge in lawsuit over governor’s emergency powers tells Beshear and legislature to end ‘communications gap’ and compromise
Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Andy Beshear need to compromise on their dispute about the governor’s emergency powers, Judge Shepherd said Thursday. He also extended his temporary injunction until he rules, which should be in about ten days. (Forward Kentucky)
2/18 update — New vaccine sites; limited visitation for assisted-living facilities
Gov. Beshear offered some good news at his last news conference of the week: 28 more coronavirus vaccination sites, and some long-term-care facilities will be able to allow visitation. (Forward Kentucky)
Seven good bills that might actually pass KYGA21 this year
Believe it or not, here are some GOOD pieces of legislation that might actually get passed by this year’s General Assembly. (Forward Kentucky)
KRS board holds final meeting before CERS separation
Work continues to create an independent County Employees Retirement System (CERS) Board of Trustees, which is set to take control of the local pension system on April 1. The Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) Board of Trustees convened Thursday morning for its final meeting before the boards separate. After April 1, the KRS board will decrease to nine members and will only manage the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) and State Police Retirement System (SPRS). The newly formed CERS board will oversee the CERS pension and insurance trusts.
Legislators passed House Bill 484 in the 2020 session to establish independent governance of CERS within one administrative structure, the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA). KRS will transition to KPPA on April 1. (KLC City Limit)
Poll: Most in KY support automatic restoration of voting rights to former felons
The League of Women Voters of Kentucky released polling results Thursday that found 67 percent of Kentuckians support automatically restoring someone’s voting rights after they have finished their felony sentence. The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy between February 1 and February 4, found that 28 percent of Kentuckians opposed automatically restoring the voting rights. It surveyed 625 registered voters by phone and had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
A bill that would make that change, House Bill 232, is floundering. The proposed constitutional amendment, which would require voter approval in 2022 — would automatically give voting rights back to anyone who was convicted of certain felonies after they have served their prison sentence, probation or parole unless it was already restored to them through a pardon. The bill has not been assigned to a committee, signaling that it has little chance of passing as the legislative session hits its halfway point. (Herald-Leader)
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] Kentuckians who were paid too much unemployment could keep the money … if lawmakers act – The latest relief package allows states to forgive any UI overpayments. But Kentucky’s laws don’t allow it. Bills have been filed to change that, but can they get passed in the time remaining in this year’s session? (Brief)
[New] Why are Democratic presidents so good for the economy? – The pattern is clear. The economy performs much better under Democratic presidents than Republican. Here are some reasons why – and why Biden’s plan is the right plan for this moment. (Commentary)
Will Trump ever be stopped? – From Teri Kanefield: I think the question is whether what Trump has unleashed can be contained. The answer is that it will be difficult, and will take time. (Commentary)
Rep. Andy Barr, Kentucky coal group falsely blame wind power as Texas power outage culprit – As Texas deals with a power crisis caused by a winter storm, many are spreading misinformation about the cause, including Rep. Andy Barr and Friends of Coal. (Brief)
🔥 Governed by the stupid – “But as always, we are “governed by the stupid” who think they’re the smartest people in the room, think preparation is for wimps, laugh at science, and are more concerned about lowering taxes than public safety.” (Commentary)
🔥 Twelve crappy bills that need to be burned with fire and die – Here’s a short list of twelve bad bills in this year’s General Assembly. We could write an editorial about each one, but we’re just going to give you the list and a summary of what the bill does. (Commentary)
General Assembly cancels remainder of week – As Kentucky digs out from the latest winter storm and braces for yet another one on Wednesday and Thursday, leaders of the General Assembly have canceled all activities this week. (News)
Donald Trump bashes Mitch McConnell after the Kentuckian blamed him for Capitol riot – Former President Donald Trump lambasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a lengthy statement Tuesday afternoon. (Brief)
What having no income tax gets a state during a pandemic – What happens to your state’s budget — and everything it pays for — when it depends on the ups and downs of sales? And how does that apply to Kentucky? (Commentary)
The insurrectionist next door – What made these seemingly average American folks vulnerable to being sucked into the rabbit holes of radicalism and persuaded to assault our nation’s seat of government? (Commentary)
The most important bill in Frankfort – There are hundreds of bills already filed in this year’s General Assembly. But Neal Turpin says that of all of these bills, THIS is the most important – and the one that would change our politics and state the most. (Policy)
🔥 Trump’s acquittal is a sign of ‘constitutional rot’ – partisanship overriding principles – The Senate’s decision to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial may have been a victory for Trump, but it is a clear sign that democracy in the U.S. is in poor health. (Analysis)
🔥 ForwardKY contributors win six awards – Every year, the Kentucky Press Association holds a contest to grant various awards: best editorial writer, best breaking news photo, and so on. And in this year’s contest, contributors to Forward Kentucky won six of those awards. (News)
Do you find what we do valuable?
Then read this.
Is Forward Kentucky valuable to you? Do you rely on us for a objective news, as well as a progressive voice on issues facing Kentucky? Do you enjoy our writers, photographers, and cartoonists?
Then you need to support our work by becoming a paying member. And there’s no better time than during our February New Member Month!
Once a quarter we do a membership drive to increase our financial foundation. After being in business over four years, we are finally beginning to break even. BUT, more members would mean being able to expand our work, including reporting more and digging deeper: more original stories, more backgrounders, more investigative work, and more reach into the state.
And remember – members do not hit the paywall! Every membership level has access to ALL our content, plus more benefits like fewer ads or NO ads.
So, make the decision. If you find what we do valuable, then click the link below and become a member. The Basic level starts at $3 a month (even less if you pay annually), which is about one cup of coffee a month. You can afford this! And we need your support. Do it now, while you are reading this! Become a member today!
Yes, I want to support what I find valuable. Sign me up!
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.