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Latest Kentucky news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

Posted at 1:20 AM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 21:24:24-04

CAPITOL OFFICE SPACE

Kentucky gov, AG clash over office space amid gov race match

(Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear are fighting over Capitol office space as they clash in the race for governor.

Through a public records request, the Lexington Herald-Leader obtained a June 26 letter in which Finance and Administration Secretary William M. Landrum III informed Beshear’s office that Bevin’s administration will move into two first-floor rooms occupied by Beshear employees, with Beshear’s workers receiving two basement rooms.

Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley called the administration’s actions petty. Bevin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn called it petty for Beshear to complain, saying the administration’s legal team needs the space.

Bevin’s administration and Beshear’s office sparred over whether the rooms were unoccupied or underused. Beshear’s office said one wasn’t consistently occupied for six to eight weeks because of an employee finishing part-time parental leave.

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ABORTION-KENTUCKY

Appeals court refuses to reconsider abortion ruling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court says it won’t reconsider a ruling that upheld a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients prior to abortions.

In April, a divided panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the 2017 law is constitutional, reversing a lower court judge.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the state’s only abortion clinic, asked the entire appeals court to review the ruling. The appeals court rejected the request Friday.

Kentucky’s anti-abortion governor, Republican Matt Bevin, hailed the decision.

ACLU senior staff attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas calls it a disappointing decision on a law that “intrudes on Kentuckians’ personal health care decisions.”

The ACLU’s only recourse would be appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. An ACLU spokeswoman says it’s evaluating options.

KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S RACE

Bevin’s loan boosts his reelection campaign effort

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin’s latest campaign-finance report shows the Republican loaned $2 million to his reelection campaign just before last month’s primary election.

The report submitted on Thursday shows Bevin raised nearly $2.4 million in the past several weeks, but $2 million came from Bevin’s personal loan to the campaign.

The report to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance shows Bevin has raised about $3.5 million since launching his reelection campaign in January.

His campaign has raised more than $1.4 million in contributions from others.

Bevin is being challenged by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear in the November election.

Bevin received just 52% of the GOP primary vote in winning the nomination last month, while state Rep. Robert Goforth got 39%. The rest went to two other candidates.

KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S RACE-ISSUES

Bevin: Return all severance tax revenue to coal counties

Gov. Matt Bevin says he’ll propose returning 100% of Kentucky’s coal severance tax revenues to coal-producing counties in his next budget plan if he wins reelection.

The Republican governor made the pledge during a speech Friday to county officials. At the same event, Bevin’s Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear, called on the governor to fire his labor secretary if subpoenas issued as part of an investigation into teacher “sickouts” aren’t withdrawn.

Bevin and Beshear stuck to some of their main themes in the speech in Lexington.

Beshear touted the state’s expanded Medicaid program, called for expanded gambling as a revenue source to support public pensions and spoke out against charter schools.

Bevin stressed his opposition to abortion and played up his friendship with President Donald Trump. He says his severance tax proposal will help struggling coal counties.

CONGRESS-MCCONNELL

Senate GOP leader relishes role as ‘Grim Reaper’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls himself the Grim Reaper — the one who holds the scythe leading to the chamber where the desires of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House majority go to die.

This week, the Republican leader halted Democrats’ effort to add more migrant protections to a border funding package and stopped senators from limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to respond militarily in Iran.

By week’s end, he was emoting over the Democratic presidential debates as the candidates decried his prowess wielding the power of ‘no.’

“Who won the Democratic presidential debate?” he asked the next day. “I did!”

Rarely has a political figure pinned his fortunes on accomplishing so little. That strategy will be put to a fresh test in 2020, when McConnell will seek a seventh term.

BROADBAND PROJECT

First part of Kentucky broadband project is complete

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials have announced that the first part of a project to install more than 3,000 miles of fiber-optic cable around Kentucky to build a high-speed internet network across the state is complete.

News outlets report Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers announced completion of the first section at a news conference Friday in Lexington. That section circles a region that includes Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky. A branch that bridges Lexington and Somerset in southeastern Kentucky is also complete.

Final completion of the project isn’t expected until late 2020. Parts of western Kentucky will get service last.

The project will provide service to more than 1,000 state government offices. It won’t provide direct service to businesses and homes but will create an access point in each county that internet providers can tap into.