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Repubs grabbing control of boards

Republicans in the legislature are quietly consolidating power behind the scenes.

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There’s a little-noticed trend in some bills in The Lege this session: a move by Republicans to grab control of some state boards. Here are 3 bills that appear to be part of this trend.

SB 104 – the KET board

Educational television is being attacked in many states. Here is Kentucky’s bill to start taking over KET. The bill is scheduled to pass the Senate today, March 1.

  • Requires board appointments by the governor to reflect the political makeup of the state based on voter registrations.
  • Requires the governor’s appointments to be confirmed by the Senate. (Currently they are not.)
  • Act has an emergency clause, so will take effect as soon as the governor signs it (or his veto is overridden).
  • Once it takes effect, all current members of the board are removed.

SB 95 – Board of Pharmacy

This bill has had two readings.

  • Says that the board must reflect the political makeup of the state.
  • Makes board appointments subject to confirmation by the Senate.
  • Allows for an executive director with no pharmacy experience.
  • Requires member qualifications that only a few corporate pharmacists will be able to meet.
  • Once it takes effect, any current board members who do not meet the qualifications are removed.
    (Note: the Kentucky Pharmacists Association opposes the bill.)

SB 107 – Board of Education Nominating Committee

This is a new board, brought to life by this bill. It not only creates a new board to nominate the state’s Education Commissioner, it also removes the current members of the state Board of Education. The bill has passed the Senate and been sent to the House.

  • Seven members representing each of the Supreme Court districts. Members are appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate.
  • Board must reflect the political makeup of the Commonwealth.
  • Bill makes the Education Commissioner subject to confirmation by the Senate.
  • Commissioner cannot serve longer than four years.
  • Once act takes effect, all current members are removed.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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