Frankfort Local News

Senate Bill Would Change Attorney General to Nonpartisan Office

One of the leaders of the Senate is hoping to change how Kentucky’s Attorney General is elected. Republican State Senator Katie Stine’s bill would make the office of Attorney General nonpartisan.

Stine says because the Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer, the change should be a no-brainer.

“So it’s a very important job and its one that frankly there should never even be a concern that ‘oh, could there be political motivation for whatever is being done?’ This makes sure if they’re nonpartisan that they run as a person who will be a servant of the people,” she says.

Local News

Kentucky to Receive $59 Million in Foreclosure Settlement

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Millions of dollars from a national foreclosure settlement with five large banks will go to Kentuckians who are struggling to make their mortgage payments or who have already lost their homes through foreclosure.

Kentucky was one of the last states to agree to the $25 billion deal with Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally Financial. The commonwealth’s share of the settlement is nearly $59 million.

“The goal here is to make certain that we try to get a write-down of people who are underwater,” says Attorney General Jack Conway. “The average write-down we think is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of the loan value. The average write-down nationwide they’re estimating is going to be about $20,000 per homeowner.” 

Frankfort Local News

Stumbo Introduces Bill to Crack Down On Pill Clinics

A bill to crack down on illegal pain clinics has been introduced in the Kentucky House.

Governor Steve Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, all Democrats, collaborated on the bill.

It would transfer the operation of KASPER, a statewide pill tracking system, to the Attorney General’s office. It would also require all doctors practicing in Kentucky to use the system.

Law enforcement, nurses and doctors would have direct access to KASPER data, under the measure. It would also allow information from KASPER to be included in medical files.

Stumbo says the goal is to eliminate the commonwealth’s prescription pain drug epidemic.

“What we’re trying to do is strike at the heart of the problem and that is the doctors that overprescribe,” Stumbo says. “And the patients who try to manipulate the system and get more prescriptions because what they with those prescriptions is sell ‘em. They end up on the black market.”

Local News

UK Gets Grant to Study Economic Development in Eastern KY, White House Praises KY Sentencing Reforms, Conway Releases TV Ads in Attorney General Race, Future Uncertain for Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs: Afternoon Review

Local News Politics

Beshear Says He Needs More Information on Hospital Merger

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he needs more information on the proposed merger between University of Louisville Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Beshear met today with officials from the hospitals. The meeting came after increased questions over what would happen to reproductive health and end-of-life services after CHI owns a majority stake in University Hospital and doctors will be required to follow Catholic health directives.

Many of the details are still being worked out, but U of L officials insist all currently-offered services will still be provided, though possibly outside of the hospital. U of L’s school of medicine will not be part of the merger.

The state government must approve the merger. Attorney General Jack Conway and a group of General Assembly members are also scrutinizing the deal. Principals from the merging hospitals will meet with state lawmakers later this month.

Environment Local News Politics

Fancy Farm Speakers Line Up in Support of Coal

Much of the speaking at this weekend’s Fancy Farm picnic trended towards national issues. Candidates praised the military, worried about public debt and criticized what is—or isn’t—getting done in Washington. But coal and federal environmental regulations were also a target in several speeches.

Coal crossed party lines at Fancy Farm, as both Democrats and Republicans jostled to position themselves against unpopular federal policies. Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield brought up President Barack Obama and his administration’s new environmental regulations.

“Because his EPA is putting additional regulations on the utilities, delaying permits for coal miners, putting new air transport , new ozone rules in, and when they’re adopted, 2/3 of America is going to be in non-attainment,” he said. “And when you’re in non-attainment, you can’t develop anymore.”

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway brought up the lawsuit he filed on behalf of his fellow Democrat, Governor Steve Beshear, against the Environmental Protection Agency’s increased scrutiny of coal mine permits…

Local News Politics

GOP Hopes Conway Vulnerable After Senate Loss

In this year’s Kentucky elections, most of the Democratic nominees are favored to win. But Republicans say their nominee for Attorney General, Todd P’Pool has a strong chance of unseating incumbent Jack Conway. Though he’s served in office for four years, Conway is most recently known for his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid against Rand Paul last year, and all of Conway’s detractors are keen to remind him of that race.

Before the speaking began at Saturday’s Fancy Farm Picnic, P’Pool rallied his supporters at the side of the stage by highlighting Conway’s loss.

“Rand Paul knocked him down last year, let’s go ahead and knock him on out,” he said.

Hours later, Paul rubbed even more salt in Conway’s wounds.

“It’s really good to see my friend Jack Conway again,” Paul said during his speech. “I guess even a super-sized helping of shame can’t keep a good politician down.”

Local News

A-G Seeks Dismissal of LG&E Rate Case

by Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is being asked to dismiss a combined rate case for Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, the state’s two largest utilities.

At the same time LG&E and KU are seeking $250-million in rate increases, the companies are being sold to Pennsylvania Power and Light. The merger must be approved by the Public Service Commission, which also must sign-off on the rate hikes.

Attorney General Jack Conway says the rate cases and the sale of the utilities should not be allowed to proceed simultaneously.

“I don’t think this particular rate increase, which the companies have admitted raises the credit profile and makes E.ON U.S. a more attractive target, is the appropriate time to go forward with such a rate increase,” says Conway.

It’s up to the PSC to rule on Conway’s dismissal motion and the attorney general hopes the commission will do so before next Tuesday’s hearing in the rate case.

Local News

AG Conway Says Instant Racing is OK

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says instant racing, a slot machine form of gambling on randomly selected horse races already run, is legal in the commonwealth.

However, Conway says adopting the games would require re-writing the state’s racing rules.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who supports expanded gambling, says he won’t encourage Gov. Steve Beshear to pursue the games.

“If the governor could allow instant racing, then why couldn’t the governor allow slot machines at race tracks?” says Stumbo.

The attorney general’s opinion was requested by Republican Senator Damon Thayer of Georgetown. Thayer is also sponsoring a constitutional amendment in the current legislative session to allow video slot machines in counties that already have horse tracks.

Local News

Conway Requests Three Execution Dates for Death Row Inmates

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is asking Gov. Steve Beshear to set execution dates for three death row inmates.

Death row inmate Ralph Baze is awaiting execution for the January 1992 murders of

Powell County Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe.

Robert Foley is awaiting execution for the September 1993 murders of Laurel County brothers Rodney and Lynn Vaughn.

And Greg Wilson is awaiting execution for the May 1987 kidnapping, rape and murder of Deborah Pooley of Kenton County.

Attorney General Jack Conway says each has exhausted their “matter of right” appeals in state and federal court and wants Gov. Steve Beshear to set their execution dates.

The governor’s office has Conway’s request and each case under review.