- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014
House OKs bill to form adult protection registry

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill aimed at creating an adult protection registry in Kentucky has passed the state House.

The goal is to provide more assurances that the elderly and disabled are receiving proper care.

The measure cleared the House on a 99-0 vote Tuesday. It returns to the Senate, which will consider changes by the House.

The registry would list people found to have abused, neglected or exploited vulnerable adults.

Care providers for those adults would have to check the registry to make sure potential employees and contractors don’t have a history of abusing the elderly or disabled.

Care providers expected to check the registry would include adult day health care programs, assisted-living communities, group homes for people with developmental disabilities, home-health agencies and long-term-care facilities.

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House OKs bill related to Big Sandy Power Plant

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky House has passed a bill that would require the state’s Public Service Commission to reconsider its decision allowing Kentucky Power Co. to shutter part of the Big Sandy Power Plant at Louisa.

The bill co-sponsored by Democratic House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins cleared the House on a 62-34 vote Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate.

The measure would require the PSC to reconsider any multistate deal rejected by another state. Adkins says the decision to close part of the plant sent “shockwaves” through the region and will cost jobs, revenue and demand for Kentucky coal.

Kentucky Power president Greg Pauley has said the plant needed a $1 billion renovation to comply with federal emissions standards. Instead, Pauley decided to close part of the plant and purchase half of the Mitchell Power Plant for $536 million.

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The legislation is House Bill 573.

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Senate sets up gas tax showdown

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky drivers could find out this week if they will pay more at the pump this summer.

House Democrats have approved a 1.5 cents-per-gallon increase. It would give the state an extra $107 million during the next two years to build new roads and fix the broken ones.

But Senate Republican leaders rejected the gas tax increase Tuesday, arguing Kentuckians do not want to pay more taxes for any reason.

Neither side has backed down, setting up a showdown this week as House and Senate negotiators are scheduled to discuss a compromise on the state’s $20 billion biennial budget. Lawmakers have to reach an agreement by Monday in order to leave time in the session to review Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s vetoes.

The tax increase could be a tougher sell in the House, where Democrats have a narrow majority. A vote to kill the gas tax increase in the House failed by two votes earlier this month. Four Democrats voted with 44 Republicans against the increase.

With Republicans threatening to take control of the House in November, some Senate leaders hoped the close vote in the House would make Democrats willing to bend on the gas tax increase.

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Bill takes aim at animal-rights videos at farms

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Legislation aimed at criminalizing undercover filming or photographing of farm animal operations advanced to the Kentucky Senate on Tuesday with the backing of the state’s most influential farm organization.

The Senate Agriculture Committee attached the language to a House-passed bill.

Supporters said the amended measure would make it a misdemeanor for someone to gain access to a private farm under false pretenses and then film or photograph the operations without the landowner’s consent. Violators could face up to 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

“It’s a pretty big priority because we’re seeing a trend,” said Jeff Harper, director of public affairs for the Kentucky Farm Bureau. “Now it’s coming to Kentucky, and as a farm organization we thought it was our duty … to take some action.”

The proposal was denounced by the Humane Society of the United States.

It comes about a month after an undercover investigation revealed animal cruelty at a western Kentucky pig farm, said Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president of farm-animal protection. Video and photographs showed large pigs confined in cages so small that they couldn’t turn around, and showed sows being fed the remains of diseased piglets, he said.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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