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.

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 […]

Stivers has a question: Can southeastern Kentucky support a public four-year university? 

By: - February 22, 2023

FRANKFORT — A resolution sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers would direct the Council on Postsecondary Education to explore changes to Kentucky’s public higher education.  Stivers, R-Manchester, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 98 Tuesday on the last day to file bills in the Senate. The measure calls on CPE to study how a public four-year university […]

Housing advocates encouraged that Senate leader Stivers has filed possible funding vehicle

By: - February 21, 2023

FRANKFORT — As advocates rallied at the Capitol to support affordable housing, especially for Kentuckians displaced by flooding, Senate President Robert Stivers said discussions are underway that could lead to housing legislation during this session.  Stivers, R-Manchester, filed what he called a “shell bill” that can be used as a vehicle for funding construction where housing […]

A low angle view of a long line of people waitng to vote in the elections.

More than 160,000 Kentuckians still cannot vote because of felony convictions

By: - February 21, 2023

FRANKFORT — A voting rights group wants Kentuckians to decide on a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore the vote to convicted felons who have completed their sentences — a change that a recent poll found has strong public support. The League of Women Voters of Kentucky on Tuesday voiced support for Senate Bill 164, […]

House approves ending high school diploma requirement for school bus drivers, secretaries, other classified positions

By: - February 20, 2023

FRANKFORT — A proposed law that would give school districts a wider pool of applicants for non-teaching jobs has made its way through the Kentucky House of Representatives.  The House on Feb. 17 passed House Bill 32, which would allow Kentucky school districts the option of hiring classified personnel without a high school diploma or […]

Beshear signs Republican legislature’s income tax cut into law

By: - February 17, 2023

FRANKFORT — Gov. Andy Beshear has signed the Republican legislature’s top priority, another cut in the state income tax, although the Democratic governor said lowering the sales tax would have helped more Kentuckians. Facing reelection this year,  Beshear said in a video Friday that he decided to sign the legislation, which most Democratic lawmakers had […]

Givens files bill for independent review of Department of Juvenile Justice

By: - February 16, 2023

FRANKFORT — Another recommendation from the juvenile justice legislative work group has been put into proposed legislation.  Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, filed Senate Bill 158 Thursday. The measure would direct the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts to contract a full performance review with a third party on the Department of Juvenile Justice’s pre-adjudication […]

Craft won’t be part of March 7 GOP debate in Louisville, cites travel conflict

By: - February 16, 2023

LOUISVILLE — Voters tuning in to the first Republican gubernatorial debate on March 7 will not get to hear from candidate Kelly Craft.  Craft, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Thursday that she is not participating in the Louisville GOP Gubernatorial Debate on March 7 because of conflicts with her campaign travel […]