Liam Niemeyer

Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.

Bill to ban state help with federal gun laws, regulations advances from Senate committee

By: - March 9, 2023

A bill that would ban state and local law enforcement, governments and their employees from enforcing federal gun laws or regulations in Kentucky advanced from a Senate committee Thursday morning.  House Bill 153, sponsored by Rep. Josh Bray, R-Mount Vernon, would prevent local law enforcement, employees of public agencies and local governments from assisting or […]

‘Gray machines’ ban, sports betting legalization advance in Kentucky House

By: - March 9, 2023

FRANKFORT  — Two gambling-related bills — one to legalize betting on sports contests and another to ban so-called ‘gray machines’ — advanced in the Kentucky legislature Wednesday.  House Bill 551, sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, would legalize sports gambling in Kentucky and advanced out of the House Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations Committee.  “I’m […]

An unrelated bill became a vehicle for allowing concealed weapons on Kentucky’s college campuses

By: - March 7, 2023

FRANKFORT — Republican legislation that would ban colleges, universities and any other “postsecondary education facility” from restricting or banning concealed-carry firearms on campuses advanced out of a Tuesday morning House committee meeting.  House Bill 542, sponsored by Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, was previously an unrelated bill about “workforce development” before the title and content […]

Kentucky senator whose Twitter account ‘liked’ obscene tweets says he was hacked

By: - March 7, 2023

Editor’s Note: This report relies in part on screenshots, emails and other documentation gathered in May 2021 by Kentucky Lantern reporter Liam Niemeyer when he was a reporter for WKMS Public Radio in Murray. FRANKFORT — The sponsor of a bill mandating a complaint process for removing “obscene” materials from Kentucky’s public schools had, as […]

Senate Republicans take aim at Beshear in passing bill to ‘blow up’ KET board

By: - March 1, 2023

Republicans in the Kentucky Senate, in passing a bill Wednesday to reorganize the board for Kentucky’s public television broadcaster, also used the opportunity to tee up criticism against the state’s Democratic governor.  Senate Bill 104, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, would disband the current board for Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and require future gubernatorial […]

Bill clears committee that would establish regulations for current, future donations raised by state

By: - February 28, 2023

FRANKFORT — A House committee on Tuesday approved a Republican-backed bill that would charge the state officials overseeing millions in disaster donations with setting out regulations for how the donated funding can be applied for and used. House Bill 257, sponsored by Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, would take the millions of dollars donated to the state’s […]

Kentucky lawmakers advance bill to keep coal on the power grid, cite reliability concerns

By: - February 28, 2023

FRANKFORT — Kentucky lawmakers are advancing a bill to try to keep coal-fired power plants on the state’s electric grid “for the foreseeable future,” pointing to concerns over rolling blackouts that some utilities implemented when arctic temperatures swept through in December. Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, would prevent the Kentucky Public […]

Shelves of library books

Kentucky Senate defines school materials ‘harmful to minors’ in bill critics call book banning

By: and - February 23, 2023

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate approved legislation Thursday that its sponsor says protects children from inappropriate materials but which critics say will lead to book banning. Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. Jason Howell, R-Murray, would create a complaint process for local school districts to filter materials that parents and guardians consider inappropriate for children. It […]

Bill to disband current KET board, require Senate confirmation for some appointments advances

By: - February 22, 2023

FRANKFORT — Called an effort to “protect” the integrity of Kentucky’s public television broadcaster, a bill passed unanimously out of a Senate committee Wednesday that would disband the current board for Kentucky Educational Television and require future appointments by the governor to the board be confirmed by the Republican-controlled state Senate. Bill sponsor Sen. Stephen […]

Kentucky Senate approves ‘parental rights’ bill despite pleas to protect vulnerable youth

By: - February 16, 2023

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. FRANKFORT — Despite pleas by the few Democrats in the Kentucky Senate to protect “vulnerable, marginalized children,” the supermajority of Republicans passed a controversial bill around parental rights and gender identity […]


Anti-abortion amendment to Kentucky Constitution given little chance this session

By: and - February 15, 2023

Roughly three months after voters rejected Amendment 2, which would have specified there is no right to an abortion in Kentucky’s Constitution, a similar amendment was proposed Tuesday by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Whitney Westerfield.  But the amendment isn’t likely to move this session.  Senate Majority Floor Leader Daymon Thayer said Tuesday […]

Bill blocking local assistance with federal firearms regulations sails out of Kentucky House committee

By: - February 14, 2023

FRANKFORT — A bill that would block local assistance with federal firearms bans — one of several filed by Republicans in the GOP-dominated Kentucky legislature that aim to curb gun control restrictions — sailed out of a state House of Representatives committee Tuesday.  House Bill 153 would prevent local law enforcement, employees of public agencies […]