- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014
Kentucky House panel OKs cybersecurity bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill aimed at blocking hackers and requiring government agencies to notify Kentuckians when cyber thieves do steal personal information from government computers picked up momentum on Thursday.

The measure won a quick endorsement from the House State Government Committee. With 74 House co-sponsors, split between Democrats and Republicans, the bill appears to be on solid footing in that chamber.

Governments stockpile large amounts of private information from its citizens, said state Auditor Adam Edelen, who helped craft the legislation. When that information is lost or stolen, a government agency has an obligation to notify the people affected, he said.

“From Social Security numbers to tax returns, health records and credit cards, governments possess more sensitive, private data than any other single entity,” he said. “As residents of Kentucky, it is your data. So it’s your right to be notified when it’s lost or stolen so you can protect yourself.”

The bill would require state and local government agencies to notify people affected by a cybersecurity breach within 35 days of the incident. Notification would be provided on the agency’s website and to the media, and affected individuals would be notified by phone, mail or email.

Kentucky is among four states without a law requiring government to notify people of such breaches, Edelen said.

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Senate OKs change to legislative pension provision

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Senate voted Thursday to rein in a nearly decade-old law that has allowed legislative pensions to be “supersized” when lawmakers land higher-paying government jobs.

The measure would allow lawmakers to opt out of a provision of a 2005 state law that can significantly pad their legislative pensions by taking plum judicial or executive branch posts.

It passed the Senate on a 38-0 vote and now goes to the House.

Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel, the bill’s lead sponsor, said it would fix “some of the most egregious provisions” of the 2005 law, which allows legislative pensions to be “supersized.”

Under the bill, lawmakers could make a one-time, irrevocable decision to have their legislative pensions calculated solely on their legislative salaries, McDaniel said. That would prevent their pensions from getting a big boost by being calculated on any future government jobs they might take, he said.

The measure deals with “a fundamental matter of trust” with voters, who expect lawmakers to serve the public, “not to enrich ourselves,” McDaniel said.

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Bevin goes on attack with anti-McConnell radio ads

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican Matt Bevin released radio ads Thursday depicting Sen. Mitch McConnell as an out-of-touch Washington insider and characterizing their race as a fight for “the heart and soul” of the political process.

Bevin tries to capitalize on his outsider status with the two statewide ads, his first of the new year. His campaign called it a “substantial” ad buy but didn’t provide specifics.

The Louisville businessman is mounting a long-shot bid to unseat McConnell - the five-term Republican Senate leader - in the May 20 primary in Kentucky.

The Democratic front-runner in the race is Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

One ad pokes at McConnell’s longevity, noting the Cosby Show was new, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” topped the charts and Cabbage Patch Kids were hot toys when McConnell was first elected to the Senate.

“A lot has changed since then, including Mitch McConnell,” the ad says. “A career, Washington politician, he’s lost touch with Kentucky.”

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Some Owsley Co. residents without water

BOONEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Officials in Owsley County are hoping water service will soon be restored to most residents as freezing temperatures have hampered the city’s intake pumps.

WLEX-TV (https://bit.ly/1mMyq4Nhttps://bit.ly/1mMyq4N ) reports crews were continuing to work Thursday on the pumps.

Postings on the city of Booneville’s Facebook page indicate residents began reporting water outages on Wednesday. Customers with running water in the county are being asked to conserve their usage for essential tasks, like cooking.

Another Facebook posting from Thursday said officials are hoping most residents would have their water service restored by Friday morning.

Officials have also issued a boil water advisory for residents who get their water turned back on.

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