Monday News & Notes

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

A few politics and government things to share today, plus some Twitter insight into last week’s special session.

Baristas and other employees with another Louisville coffee company say they’re unionizing

Employees at Sunergos Coffee, a Louisville-based coffee company, say they're forming a union in a push for better salaries and improved working conditions.

In a release published Friday, Sunergos Coffee employees said they are working to join the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, a union with Louisville roots that is now a part of the Service Employees International Union.

"We want a voice to build a stronger, more respectful relationship between ourselves and the company's leadership. We love our customers and want to create a process that enables us to serve them better,” Clove Harrington, a barista at Sunergos’ shop on Preston Street, said in the release, which was provided by SEIU. (Courier-Journal)

Louisville Metro Council votes to ensure open access to public information

Louisville Metro Council unanimously voted to codify an existing data-sharing practice into law. Mayor Greg Fischer created the city’s open data portal through an executive order nearly a decade ago. Democratic District 4 Council Member Jecorey Arthur, who sponsored the legislation, said it makes the database permanent. “We cannot be transparent if we’re gatekeeping data … and we can’t be informed if public information isn’t publicly available,” Arthur said last week. “If you can go to that data portal and get the same information that you need, instead of calling 311, or calling a council office, or calling the mayor’s office, it’ll be a lot faster for you.”  The measure also adds a requirement for Metro Council to annually review the open data policy and allows the body to make revisions to it and expand the scope of available information. (WFPL)

Beshear signs flood relief bill, providing short-term aid for eastern Ky.

Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a flood relief package into law, providing about $213 million for eastern Kentucky communities still recovering after the disaster. The Democratic governor and the GOP-led legislature promised that the measure amounted to a temporary solution, and that more aid would be needed by the time the legislature returns for its regular session in January.

Rep. John Blanton, a Republican from Salyersville and sponsor of the bill, said it would help get the recovery process started. “We’ve been through a devastating time over the past four weeks. We are a strong, proud, resilient people, we will get through this. But we need a little nudge along the way, and this is that nudge,” Blanton said.

Hazard Republican Sen. Brandon Smith proposed an amendment to the bill, attempting to add $50 million for housing. The measure failed to make the final cut, but GOP Senate President Robert Stivers, of Manchester, said that the legislature would eventually take up more permanent solutions. (WFPL)

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The editorial board of Forward Kentucky. Articles under this author name have been written, edited, and approved by a number of the contributors on this site, as well as the publisher.

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