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News and Notes for Wednesday

Incumbents not running, a Dem in a hard hat, a possible strike – LOTS of news (and tweets!) in this edition of News & Notes.

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Ky. auditor identifies $200k in inappropriate payments from tornado relief fund

These actions include duplicate payments, ineligible individuals receiving payments and overpayments. The bulk of these payments – nearly 89% of them – were related to the more than 200 checks for $1,000 each sent incorrectly to people who either did not request the funds or did not need the money. These payments – referred to as 2nd Assistance Payments in the report – were distributed based on Department of Insurance and FEMA data.

The inappropriate payments from the tornado relief fund made up less than 1% of the total expenditures from the account during that fiscal year. Meanwhile, the APA office did not identify any inappropriate payments from the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. (LPM News)

Teamsters members from DHL vote to authorize strike at Global CVG Hub

That vote allows the DHL Teamsters Negotiating Committee to call a strike “any time should DHL fail to remedy its illegal behavior and come to terms on a fair contract covering 1,100 ramp and tug workers,” according to the announcement. Those in Teamsters Local 100 load and unload airplanes CVG, which is DHL’s largest and busiest logistics hub in North America. (LINK nky)

Longtime Ky. Senate member retiring at end of current term

A longtime Democratic state lawmaker from Jefferson County announced Tuesday she will not seek re-election to another four years in the Senate, when her current term expires at the end of 2024.

Sen. Denise Harper Angel of Louisville was the first woman elected as Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator, serving from 1990 to 2004, when she successfully won the 35th District Senate seat and took office in January 2005. (KY Today)

Kentucky Court of Appeals upholds governor’s ability to take legislature to court

Kentucky’s legislature acted unconstitutionally in 2022 by prohibiting Gov. Andy Beshear from spending public funds to challenge its actions, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a unanimous decision.

Defending the law, Attorney General Daniel Cameron had argued that the General Assembly has the “plenary power” to make public policy by restricting executive spending without violating the constitutional separation of powers.

The appeals court disagreed.

Kentucky’s Constitution commands the governor to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” the ruling says. The governor has a duty to challenge laws he deems unconstitutional and the “comprehensive authority” to decide how funds appropriated to his office are spent, says the ruling written by Judge Sara Walter Combs. Judges J. Christopher McNeil and Allison Jones concurred. (Hoptown Chronicle)

The Kentucky Constitution still allows slavery. Some lawmakers want to ban it completely

Following the end of the Civil War, Congress amended the Constitution to formally ban slavery and indentured servitude across the country. Over the succeeding decades, many states followed suit with their own constitutional amendments including Kentucky — 26 years later.

But just like the federal one, the state constitution included one important exception: “Slavery and involuntary servitude in this State are forbidden,” it reads, “except as a punishment for crime.”

State Senator Gerald Neal has long considered introducing an amendment to the state legislature to ban slavery for every Kentuckian. This upcoming session, he hopes he’ll finally be able to create momentum. (LPM News)

Louisville Mayor Greenberg lets anti-gentrification ordinance become law without his signature

Council members voted 25-0 last month to pass the anti-displacement ordinance, originally known as the Historically Black Neighborhoods Ordinance. Jecorey Arthur, a District 4 Independent, is the ordinance’s original sponsor who started working on it in late 2020.

Its passage came years after a city-commissioned study reported significant gaps in affordable housing. Among its findings, the 2019 study determined Louisville needed an additional 31,000 housing units for the city’s lowest-income residents.

In a statement released on social media Thursday, Greenberg said he would not sign the law as it goes into effect. He argued it would not achieve its goal of keeping residents in their homes, expressing concern that it would delay projects and disincentivize new affordable housing from being created. (LPM News)

And from the X-verse ...

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