Frankfort Local News

Bill Allowing Reflective Tape on Amish Buggies Close to Becoming Law

A bill allowing Amish buggy drivers in Kentucky to use reflective tape instead of a state-mandated orange triangle is only a few steps away from becoming law.

The state Senate passed a bill addressing the issue weeks ago. And a House committee passed its own version last week.

There are a few differences in each chamber’s bill. The House wants 200 inches of white, two-inch-wide tape on the back of each buggy. The Senate version mandates 100 inches of red or white one-inch-wide tape.

Despite those differences, House co-sponsor Jim DeCesare says there won’t be a need for compromise.

“I don’t even know that it would need to go to conference committee. I think you know either the House or the Senate could take one or the other bills and work with it without going that far,” he says.

Frankfort Local News

New Senate District Inspires Battle of State Representatives

A newly-created district in the Kentucky Senate includes two state Representatives who are looking to switch chambers.

Democratic Representative Martha Jane King of Lewisburg announced today  she will run for the new District 27. Republican Representative Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green also plans to run for the seat.

At her announcement, King said going from the majority party in one chamber to the minority party in another will be a challenge.

“You know I have been asked that many times and to be honest with you I don’t look at the Senate as an, as an adversary,” she said. “I look at that as an opportunity to go over there, to work with people that I’ve not worked with before. To get a broader area of representation for my counties.”

The 27th district used to cover northeastern Kentucky until the latest round of redistricting. Now it covers parts of Bowling Green and counties to the west.

In her news conference, King said she recruited herself to run for the seat.

“I pretty much looked at it and thought this may be something I want to do,” she said. “So I’m the one that instigated that along with calling Senator Pendleton and saying what do you think about this district? The governor has wished me well and says whatever you choose to do I’ll support you.”

DeCesare is running for the Senate seat after being a Republican causality of  redistricting in the state House.


Local News

House Votes to Raise Dropout Age

The Kentucky House voted 91-8 Thursday to raise the state’s drop out age from 16 to 18 by July, 2016. Rep. Jeff Greer of Brandenburg, the bill’s primary sponsor, made a passionate plea for approval.

“Almost 75 percent of our prison population do not have a high school diploma. Think about that. Do you see the correlation? Do you see the need for us to emphasize to our kids across this commonwealth the importance of a high school diploma?” Greer said.

All eight of the bill’s opponents were Republicans. Rep. Jim Decesare of Rockfield, said, “How do you pay for it? It’s a local unfunded mandate that we’re passing down to our local school districts. And until we can come up with some kind of funding mechanism, I find it hard to support this legislation.”

Gov. Steve Beshear’s plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget has taken a giant step forward in the Kentucky General Assembly. The House voted 80-19 to move 166-million dollars from the second year of the Medicaid budget, to the current year, to cover a huge deficit. All 19 opponents, including Rep. Stan Lee of Lexington, were Republicans.

The bill now goes to the Senate.