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.

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 […]

Kentucky Senate joins House in urging Beshear to back Texas governor at the border

By: - February 6, 2024

FRANKFORT — Joining its House colleagues, the Kentucky Senate approved Tuesday its own resolution urging Gov. Andy Beshear to support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s immigration crackdown at the Mexican border.  Several Republicans spoke in favor of Resolution 123 before it was adopted by a voice vote. Democrats and GOP Sen. Whitney Westerfield, of Fruit Hill, […]

No cell phones in class for Kentucky public school students if advancing bill becomes law

By: - February 6, 2024

FRANKFORT — Legislation prohibiting Kentucky public school students from using their cell phones during class is a step closer to becoming law.  The House Education Committee gave bipartisan approval Tuesday to House Bill 383, which would require local school boards to adopt policies banning students from using cell phones during “instructional time.” A few committee […]

Beshear appoints former justice cabinet secretary to cosmetology board

By: - February 5, 2024

After retiring from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, former Secretary Kerry Harvey will serve on the Kentucky Board of Cosmetology.  Gov. Andy Beshear appointed Harvey to fill an expired term left by Margaret Meredith. Harvey, of Lexington, will represent citizens at-large. Harvey’s appointment was announced in a list of appointments from the governor’s office […]

Beshear underscores support for DEI during Black History Month celebration

By: - February 1, 2024

FRANKFORT — Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear reaffirmed his support for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives during a Black History Month celebration Thursday at the Kentucky Capitol.  Amid a flurry of anti-DEI legislation in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, Beshear told the crowd in the Capitol Rotunda that “diversity is an asset” and makes Kentucky “more […]

Auditor says juvenile justice review shows ‘lack of leadership’ from Beshear administration

By: - January 31, 2024

FRANKFORT — A review of Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice found “​​disorganization across facilities” and a “lack of leadership from the Beshear Administration,” Republican Auditor Allison Ball said Wednesday. However, an administration spokesperson said neither the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) nor the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet was given the opportunity to review the […]

Kentucky Senate votes to bar college ID as a primary form of voter identification

By: - January 30, 2024

FRANKFORT — Kentuckians could no longer use university-issued identification cards as their primary voter ID under a bill that cleared the Republican-controlled Senate Tuesday along party lines.  Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams decried the legislation, Senate Bill 80, in a Tuesday interview with the Kentucky Lantern ahead of the Senate vote. Looking to the […]

Kentucky Republicans lining up with Texas governor in border fight with Biden

By: - January 29, 2024

FRANKFORT — The controversy over control of the U.S. border has invaded the Kentucky Capitol as Attorney General Russell Coleman and other Republicans voice solidarity with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in his showdown with the Biden administration.  Coleman joined 25 other Republican attorneys general on Monday in sending a letter to President Joe Biden similar […]

Kentucky Senate, again: Reopen Capital Avenue

By: - January 29, 2024

FRANKFORT — A Republican senator is once again pushing to reopen Capital Avenue near the Kentucky Capitol to traffic. The stretch of road, which passes by the Governor’s Mansion, was closed to vehicles in 2021 for security reasons.  Senate Bill 75 from Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, easily passed the Senate Monday in a vote of […]