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.

Kentucky education commissioner says legislature put youth at risk with anti-LGBTQ bill

By: - March 17, 2023

The day after Kentucky lawmakers rapidly changed and passed a bill to include measures banning gender-affirming care for minors, the state’s top education official decried the “sweeping and harmful” legislation. Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass said the latest version of Senate Bill 150 “contains provisions that will put our young people at risk, have the […]

With funding release for State Fair Board project added, House approves postsecondary education study

By: - March 16, 2023

FRANKFORT — House members joined senators in calling for a comprehensive review of Kentucky’s public postsecondary education system, but added provisions from a separate resolution that releases $180 million to the Kentucky State Fair Board for capital construction.  Senate Joint Resolution 98 received support from the House in a 96-0 vote Thursday. The call for […]

Medical cannabis overcomes big obstacle in Kentucky as state Senate votes for legalization

By: - March 16, 2023

FRANKFORT — A bill to legalize medical marijuana for some Kentuckians who suffer from chronic illnesses overcame a major hurdle Thursday evening, winning  a seal of approval from the state Senate.  Legislation similar to Senate Bill 47 has died in the Senate in previous sessions. However, senators voted 26-11 in favor of the measures with […]

Kentucky legislature passes anti-trans bill 

By: , and - March 16, 2023

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.  The Trevor Project, which aims to end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, also has trained counselors available around the clock. Reach them at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at, or by texting START to 678678.  FRANKFORT — […]

Kentucky Education Association cries foul as legislature blocks payroll deductions for its dues

By: - March 15, 2023

FRANKFORT – A bill that would stop automatic payroll deductions for dues of certain public employees who are part of a union or association has been passed by both the House and Senate Representatives voted 66-33 on Senate Bill 7 Wednesday evening. The bill seeks to stop government resources going to political funds. The Kentucky […]

House joins Senate in putting TikTok ban for Kentucky employees into law

By: - March 15, 2023

FRANKFORT — With time running out for the 2023 General Assembly to pass bills, House members approved a measure to codify an executive and legislative branch ban on using TikTok. The House voted 96-3 on Senate Bill 20 Wednesday. Those who voted no were Democratic Reps. Cherlynn Stevenson, Lisa Willner and Sarah Stalker.  The bill’s […]

Bill subjecting Kentucky education commissioner to Senate confirmation has cleared both chambers

By: - March 15, 2023

FRANKFORT — A bill that the head of the Kentucky Board of Education said would reverse decades of progress on education passed the House Tuesday.  Representatives voted 80-20 in favor of  Senate Bill 107, a measure that would make the Kentucky education commissioner subject to confirmation by the Senate. Earlier this session, the Senate approved […]

House committee OKs 2024 vote on school choice constitutional amendment

By: - March 14, 2023

FRANKFORT — A House committee voted 8-5 Tuesday to forward a bill that would let Kentucky voters decide in 2024 on a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to provide funding for non-public schools.  Rep. Josh Calloway, R-Irvington, the sponsor of House Bill 174, told the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs […]

What’s ‘woke?’ Here’s what some Kentucky politicians say

By: - March 13, 2023

LOUISVILLE — At the end of Kentucky’s first gubernatorial debate on March 7, four Republican candidates were asked a lightning round question — define “woke.” A lot of Americans have wondered about that definition. “Woke” was a contender for Merriam-Webster’s most looked-up word of 2021 when “vaccine” generated the most dictionary searches.  In 2023, Kentucky […]

Bill subjecting state education commissioner to Senate confirmation advances from House committee

By: - March 13, 2023

FRANKFORT — The chair of the Kentucky Board of Education is criticizing a bill that would subject the state education commissioner to Senate confirmation, saying it would turn back 30 years of progress in education.  Senate Bill 107 would also limit the state’s top school officer to a four-year contract that could be renewed. The […]

Misconduct allegations would follow teachers under bill moving through Kentucky legislature

By: - March 9, 2023

FRANKFORT — A Senate committee advanced two House education bills that would affect processes for hiring school district employees.  Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, presented House Bill 288 Thursday, which would make it more difficult for teachers found responsible of sexual misconduct to begin working in a different school district. The Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 […]

Senate approves studying feasibility of four-year public university in Southeastern Kentucky

By: - March 8, 2023

FRANKFORT — Citing higher education’s potential for spurring economic development in the wake of the coal industry’s decline, a resolution calling for a comprehensive review of Kentucky’s higher education system received Senate approval Wednesday.  The vote for Senate Joint Resolution 98 was 35-0. It now goes to the House for consideration.  The resolution, sponsored by […]