The Weekly Wrap for 2/27

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20 mins read

LAST DAY for our New Member Month

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— Callouts —

Things on the site we want to be sure you see,
out of everything published this week.

  • Daily KYGA updates – We have started posting a daily General Assembly update that includes what happened the day before to key bills, what is planned for that day on key bills, and the committee calendar for the day with the agenda for each committee. Click into one of them in the story list to see what they are like.
  • It’s Trump’s party — white supremacy, fascism, the Big Lie, and all – The Republican Party is now Donald Trump’s party, which also makes it the party of the Big Lie, white supremacy, and proto-fascism. (Commentary)
  • “Good riddance to bad rubbish” — reactions to dropping of Beshear impeachment – After the House impeachment committee announced they are recommending “no action” on the Beshear impeachment petition, reactions were swift in coming. Here are two sent to Forward Kentucky. (News)
  • SOS Adams praises new election bills. But how good are they, really? – Two new voting bills have been filed in Frankfort, and SOS Adams says they are great. But how good are they, really? Both Adams and Dr. Josh Douglass weigh in. (News)
  • “Mule bill” used to gut Kentucky’s open records law – Say goodbye to the open records law as we have known it for 45 years. Its fate rests in the hands of a largely hostile legislature. Its last moments are literally ticking away. (Commentary)

— Posts in Order —

 Most-read      🔥 Most-shared

House COVID relief bill is the response Kentuckians need

Commentary  ●  KY Policy  ●  February 27, 2021

We call on the Senate to pass this bill quickly, before vital pandemic unemployment benefits for over 100,000 Kentuckians expire on March 14.

What is keeping Kentucky from having an equitable budget?

Policy  ●  Jada Csonka  ●  February 26, 2021

Crafting a comprehensive budget for a state government is no small task. The budget doesn’t just allocate funds; instead, it is a living example of the policy outcomes that lawmakers value for our state. Can it also be made equitable?

This organization is getting it done in Frankfort

News  ●  Jada Csonka  ●  February 26, 2021

Can you name this organization? It’s 40 years old. It has over 12,000 members. It has grown into a multi-issue organization with staff in all corners of the state. It lobbies our legislators constantly, working for justice and equity.

🔥 Protect journalists, activists from vindictive lawsuits

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 26, 2021

It’s one thing for government agencies to deny open records requests from the press or public. It’s quite another for those entities to file lawsuits in retaliation against the requesters.

ACLU statement on the no-knock bill passed by the Senate

Press Release  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 26, 2021

The ACLU of Kentucky issued a statement after the Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 4, a bill that limits (but doesn’t end) no-knock warrants.

“Mule bill” used to gut Kentucky’s open records law

Commentary  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  February 26, 2021

Say goodbye to the open records law as we have known it for 45 years. Its fate rests in the hands of a largely hostile legislature. Its last moments are literally ticking away.

House advances constitutional amendment to declare no right to abortion in Kentucky

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 26, 2021

The legislation seeks to create a new section to the Kentucky constitution declaring: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

Kentucky Senate passes ban on many, but not all, no-knock warrants

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 26, 2021

The Kentucky Senate passed legislation Thursday that would ban many — but not all — no-knock warrants.

2/25 update — Beshear says 119 new vaccine sites will bring total to 410; positivity rate keeps dropping

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 26, 2021

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days was 5.67%, the lowest that rate’s been since Oct. 24.

Election bills gain approval from House committee

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  February 26, 2021

Three election-related bills won easy approval from a legislative committee on Thursday, including one that would keep many of the changes made during the 2020 election cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. McKenzie Cantrell on unemployment; Robert Stivers and West Louisville; and the end of impeachment

Media  ●  My Old Kentucky Podcast  ●  February 26, 2021

This week on the show, McKenzie Cantrell talks about her work to reform the UI system, incl her attempts to get the Repub majority to take up the issue. Also, two bills from Robert Stivers which specifically impact Black people in Louisville.

KYGA21 Update for Friday, 2/26

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 26, 2021

Our daily KYGA21 update includes three sections: a list of actions on key legislation from yesterday, a list of actions on key legislation planned for today, and the published calendar for today.

Kentucky’s unemployment claim website back online after being hit with ‘cyberattack’

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 25, 2021

Kentuckians were unable to access the state’s public-facing unemployment claim website for a few hours Wednesday following what officials described as a “cyberattack.” 

2/24 update — Positivity rate drops below 6%, but state reports another spike in COVID-19 deaths

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 25, 2021

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the novel coronavirus dropped below 6 percent for the first time since Oct. 27, Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday.

KYGA21 Update for Thursday, 2/25

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 25, 2021

Our daily KYGA21 update includes three sections: a list of actions on key legislation from yesterday, a list of actions on key legislation planned for today, and the published calendar for today.

★  🔥 Repub bill gives half a loaf to Louisville – but with poison pill inside

News  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 24, 2021

House Bill 309 SOUNDS like what was needed: subpoena power for the civilian police review board. But the more you look, the worse it seems — not to mention the poison pill inside.

Rep. Nemes — If this is “open,” we’d hate to see closed

Commentary  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  February 24, 2021

The House impeachment committee said that its proceedings “represented a major change” and would not be conducted “behind closed doors.” We are not convinced.

SOS Adams praises new election bills. But how good are they, really?

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 24, 2021

Two new voting bills have been filed in Frankfort, and SOS Adams says they are great. But how good are they, really? Both Adams and Dr. Josh Douglass weigh in.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish” — reactions to dropping of Beshear impeachment

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 24, 2021

After the House impeachment committee announced they are recommending “no action” on the Beshear impeachment petition, reactions were swift in coming. Here are two sent to Forward Kentucky.

Bill would let child welfare agencies reject some families, citing sincere religious beliefs

Briefs  ●  Herald-Leader  ●  February 24, 2021

Private child welfare agencies in Kentucky could refuse to serve certain categories of people if doing do “conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” under a bill sponsored by several Republican lawmakers.

House Committee says Behsear, Cameron should not be impeached

Briefs  ●  Herald-Leader  ●  February 24, 2021

The Kentucky House Impeachment Committee Tuesday recommended against impeaching Gov. Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron, putting a close to a drawn-out process.

2/23 update — More vaccine doses, more in-person schooling

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 24, 2021

The state’s COVID numbers continue to decline, with positivity rate at its lowest since November. More vaccines are coming, just in time for the 1-C group to start getting vaccinated.

KYGA21 Update for Wednesday, 2/24

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 24, 2021

Our daily KYGA21 update includes three sections: a list of actions on key legislation from yesterday, a list of actions on key legislation planned for today, and the published calendar for today.

Republican lawmakers have more changes in store for Louisville mayor and Metro Council

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 23, 2021

Louisville hasn’t seen the end of Frankfort’s tinkering with the powers of its mayor and Metro Council in this session’s wide-ranging GOP-led proposal.

Kentucky General Assembly: One group dominated the list of lobbying spenders in January

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 23, 2021

The KY Education Association spent nearly $75,000 lobbying last month, with almost all of that in opposition to two so-called “school choice” bills.

★  It’s Trump’s party — white supremacy, fascism, the Big Lie, and all

Commentary  ●  Berry Craig  ●  February 23, 2021

The Republican Party is now Donald Trump’s party, which also makes it the party of the Big Lie, white supremacy, and proto-fascism.

Farmers voice support for bill tackling monopoly power

News  ●  Kentucky News Connection  ●  February 23, 2021

Decades of unchecked mergers in the agricultural industry have left many farmers struggling, and rural advocacy groups says a proposal in Congress aims to change that.

A new organization, CAVE, is growing from a seed to a sapling

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 23, 2021

There’s a new organization in Kentucky that pulls together a wide range of groups to affect change. Learn more about this new organization, CAVE, and what it is up to.

2/23 update — Vaccinations begin 1C on March 1: people over 60, those with certain health conditions, and essential workers

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 23, 2021

Kentucky’s regional coronavirus vaccine sites will open March 1 to people in the 1C category, which includes essential workers, people 60 and older, and those 16 and older with certain health conditions.

KYGA21 Update for Tuesday, 2/23

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 23, 2021

Our daily KYGA21 update includes three sections: a list of actions on key legislation from yesterday, a list of actions on key legislation planned for today, and the published calendar for today.

★ What’s in the House economic aid bill

News  ●  The Rural Blog  ●  February 22, 2021

The House Budget Committee began marking up the $1.9 trillion economic aid bill today. Markups are expected to be minor, so here’s some of what’s in the bill as of now.

Petitioners in Cameron impeachment demand sworn testimony from special prosecutor

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 22, 2021

The Cameron impeachment petitioners filed a motion asking for either impeachment due to a failure to present testimony, or to require the special prosecutor to testify.

Frazier/Moser bill would expand healthcare access through telehealth

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 22, 2021

A bill to codify relaxation of some telehealth provisions, put into place during the pandemic, has passed out of committee and awaits a hearing in the full House.

Petitioners ask for “discipline” of Goforth, including possible censure and mandatory counseling

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 22, 2021

The House impeachment committee said they could not do anything about Rep. Goforth, and dismissed the petition against him. Today, the petitioners have filed a motion to say that the committee failed in its duties, and still has action it can take.

With KentuckyWired ‘substantially complete,’ exclusive provider looks to attract customers

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 22, 2021

After years of delays, the KentuckyWired project is just about ready to deploy broadband to a larger base of customers — and a Louisville-based company led by a former telecommunications giant executive is planning to lead the charge.

Former state Rep. Charles Booker scores book deal for a new memoir

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 22, 2021

Booker confirmed on Twitter that he’s set to write a memoir called “From the Hood to the Holler” — the phrase he used as a rallying cry during his congressional campaign.

KYGA21 Update for Monday, 2/22

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 22, 2021

Here is the published calendar for the General Assembly for Monday, February 22, 2021.

Open letter on HB 84, the “pregnant inmates” bill

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 22, 2021

A personal letter can often make a real difference to your legislators who are considering a bill. Here’s one real-life example of just such a letter.

2/21 update — New cases drop for 6th straight week; positivity rate drops for 4th day in row

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 21, 2021

Though case numbers are on the decline in Kentucky and most of the nation, Kentucky again ranks in the top 10 states for the number of cases per 100,000 population, according to the The New York Times.

🔥 House Bill 273 is an obstacle to the truth

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 21, 2021

In an attempt to protect families, HB 273 actually empowers official corruption and misconduct. Public agencies will use it to hide incriminating evidence of misconduct. It is a bad bill.

2/20 update — Seven-day case average creeping up, but positivity rate is inching down

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 21, 2021

While the seven-day average of coronavirus cases is creeping up and deaths from the virus remain high, the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is slowly going back down.

A final plea to lawmakers on HB 273

Commentary  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  February 21, 2021

HB 273 is a model of poor draftsmanship and ambiguity. It will inevitably lead to misuse, abuse, and confusion. It is the proverbial green light to public agency secrecy under the most damning circumstances. HB 273 disserves the public — including families.


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Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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