Author

McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.

Bill limiting Kentucky governor’s pardon power near elections wins bipartisan approval in Senate

By: - February 21, 2024

FRANKFORT — With bipartisan support, the Kentucky Senate took another step toward limiting pardon and sentence commutation powers of the governor.  Republican-backed Senate Bill 126 proposes a constitutional amendment to suspend the governor’s power to issue pardons or sentence commutations from 30 days before a gubernatorial election until the fifth Tuesday after the election, the day […]

Bipartisan bill trying to shield Kentucky elections from ‘deep fakes’ clears committee

By: - February 21, 2024

FRANKFORT — A Senate committee forwarded a bipartisan bill Wednesday aimed at limiting use of “deep fakes” or deceptive artificial intelligence to influence elections in Kentucky.  Two Lexington lawmakers, Republican Sen. Amanda Mays Bledsoe and Democratic Sen. Reggie Thomas, told the Senate State and Local Government Committee Senate Bill 131 is a first step in […]

GOP bill would give Kentucky teachers 20 days of maternity leave

By: - February 21, 2024

FRANKFORT — If a Republican-backed bill passes, Kentucky public school teachers would gain maternity leave, something not currently available to them. Senate Bill 205, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Tichenor, of Smithfield, would provide 20 days of maternity leave to  public school employees after giving birth. Under the bill, employees could  begin to use sick leave after […]

No statues to be removed or added to Rotunda without legislative OK under advancing bill

By: - February 15, 2024

FRANKFORT — Almost four years after the Beshear administration removed a Confederate statue from the Capitol Rotunda, the House State Government Committee forwarded a bill that would give the General Assembly final say over what may be permanently displayed there. House Bill 513, sponsored by Rep. David Hale, R-Wellington, would give the General Assembly approval power […]

Despite bipartisan opposition, Senate passes bill changing sick-leave pay for teacher retirees

By: - February 14, 2024

FRANKFORT — A few Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting against a measure that would change how Kentucky teachers are paid for accumulated sick leave when they retire, but the bill received enough votes to pass Wednesday.  Some Republicans argued Senate Bill 4 was necessary to ensure the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) can continue to pay […]

Bill to limit governor pardons, commutations around elections passes Senate committee 

By: - February 14, 2024

FRANKFORT — A bill that would limit Kentucky governors’ power to issue pardons or commute sentences was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday.  Senate Bill 126 proposes a constitutional amendment to suspend the governor’s power to issue pardons or sentence commutations from 30 days before a gubernatorial election until the fifth Tuesday […]

On party lines, Kentucky Senate OKs bill to curb diversity, equity, inclusion in higher education

By: - February 13, 2024

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Senate Republicans passed a bill aimed at curbing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in public universities and colleges Tuesday.  Senate Bill 6 was sent to the House on a party line vote with 26 Republicans voting in favor and seven Democrats voting against it.  The sponsor, Senate Republican Whip Mike Wilson, of […]

Poll finds majority of Kentucky voters think DEI should be left up to businesses, institutions

By: - February 13, 2024

A majority of Kentucky voters believe businesses and institutions should make their own decisions regarding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs without politicians’ input, a new poll found.  According to results released Tuesday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a poll of 625 registered Kentucky voters found 71% believe businesses and institutions should be […]

Education measures aim to protect students, certify more substitute teachers, examine funding

By: - February 13, 2024

FRANKFORT — A renewed effort to help schools avoid new hires who have a history of sexual misconduct, a response to the substitute teacher shortage and a fresh look at the school funding formula are among education legislation introduced in this session of the Kentucky General Assembly. House Education Committee Chair Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, […]

Stivers wants to further explore a four-year university in Hazard, endow collaborative research

By: - February 9, 2024

Senate President Robert Stivers wants another study on how to expand higher education opportunities in Southeastern Kentucky.  This time, the Manchester Republican is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 132 calling on the Council on Postsecondary Education to study turning the Hazard Community and Technical College into a four-year residential university.  Study: Building a new public university […]

Conservative student testifies ‘I’m used to being in the minority’ as anti-diversity bill advances

By: - February 8, 2024

FRANKFORT — A bill that would curb diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs in Kentucky’s public universities advanced from a legislative committee Thursday after undergoing several changes. The original Senate Bill 6 would have allowed employees and students to sue public universities and colleges on grounds they were discriminated against for rejecting “divisive concepts.” Under […]

Republican-backed change to teacher pay for sick days forwarded by committee

By: - February 7, 2024

FRANKFORT — Despite concerns voiced by educators, a Senate committee forwarded a bill Wednesday that would change how teachers are paid for accumulated sick leave when they retire.  In an 8-3 vote, the Senate State and Local Government Committee gave a favorable recommendation to Senate Bill 4. Sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, the bill […]