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.

Few differences emerge among top Republicans in first debate of Kentucky governor’s race

By: - March 7, 2023

LOUISVILLE —  Four top Republican governor candidates agreed on school choice and lowering the state income tax, but differed on abortion and legalizing medical marijuana Tuesday night.  The debate at The Henry Clay in Louisville was the first ahead of the May 16 primary election.  Five of the 12 Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for […]

Bill could pave way for online news outlets to publish legally-required public notices

By: - March 7, 2023

FRANKFORT — Without a daily or weekly printed newspaper of record in Northern Kentucky, local leaders are seeking a way to get public notices out to readers digitally.  The House Local Government Committee on March 3 gave its favor to House Bill 534, which would create qualifications for a digital news publication to be considered […]

KCTCS supports Stivers’ proposed review of Kentucky’s higher education system

By: - March 6, 2023

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s two-year college system supports Senate President Robert Stivers’ call for  a comprehensive review of higher education, says the system’s acting president. Among the ideas Stivers wants considered: Leave technical education with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, while moving traditional academic subjects from the two-year colleges to regional four-year public universities. […]

CROWN Act stalls in legislature

By: - March 1, 2023

FRANKFORT — Supporters gathered on the Capitol steps Wednesday to cheer on a bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of braids, locks and twist hairstyles in Kentucky. Hours later the Senate passed over the bill for the fourth time.  Senate Bill 63, also known as the CROWN Act, appears to have stalled in […]

Cameron wants increased teacher pay, ‘far-left’ out of classroom

By: - March 1, 2023

Kentucky Republican candidate for governor Daniel Cameron released his plans for Kentucky’s education system if elected in November. They include raising starting pay for teachers and keeping “far-left” policies at bay.  In a Wednesday press release, his campaign said his framework aims to “keep the far-left from indoctrinating our students” and that the attorney general […]

After compromise, small farm wineries self-distribution advances, awaits only a House vote

By: - March 1, 2023

FRANKFORT — After the Kentucky Senate last week approved allowing Kentucky small farm wineries to self-distribute their products, a House of Representatives committee followed suit Wednesday.  The bill underwent some changes since it was filed after the wineries and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Kentucky reached a compromise on the amount of wine the […]

Quarles wants to work with legislature to legalize medical marijuana in first year as governor

By: - February 28, 2023

FRANKFORT — On the steps of the Kentucky Capitol, Republican governor candidate Ryan Quarles told reporters he would work with the General Assembly to legalize medical marijuana within his first year of taking office. The agriculture commissioner touted his experience running Kentucky’s hemp licensing program in his two terms leading the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. […]

Senator says bill will address Kentucky’s housing needs; it’s just not written yet

By: - February 24, 2023

FRANKFORT — State Sen. Brandon Smith is working on legislation that would address a growing housing crisis in Eastern Kentucky following last summer’s devastating floods. Colleagues of Smith, R-Hazard, filed a shell bill, Senate Bill 286, amid the Senate’s deadline for new bills earlier this week and Smith’s absence. After becoming the primary sponsor Wednesday, […]

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 […]

Students get off buses at an elementaryschool In Louisville, KY

Bill to remake how Kentucky Board of Education members are selected passes state Senate

By: - February 23, 2023

FRANKFORT — Among their debates on the Kentucky Senate floor Thursday, senators questioned if the creation of a committee to nominate members to the Board of Education would bring more or less politics to the process. Senate Bill 107 seeks to create a nomination committee for the Kentucky Board of Education. The group would give […]

Bill allowing attorneys to opt out of Kentucky Bar Association advances from House committee

By: - February 22, 2023

FRANKFORT — Over the objections of Chief Justice ​​​​​​​Laurance B. VanMeter, the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill limiting mandatory dues charged lawyers to support the Kentucky Bar Association. Rep. Steven Doan, R-Erlanger, the sponsor, said licensed attorneys would no longer be forced “to be associated with or pay dues to a trade […]

Kentucky Senate approves bill to get report on donated disaster relief funds

By: - February 22, 2023

FRANKFORT — The Senate passed a piece of legislation from a Western Kentucky lawmaker that seeks answers to how donated disaster relief funds have been spent so far.  A committee substitute version of Senate Bill 99 passed 33-2 Wednesday. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Fruit Hill, said on the floor that he filed the bill after a […]