Ten States Ban Ranked-Choice Voting as Others Push for It in November Ballot Measures

As the number of states banning ranked-choice voting (RCV) is increasing, some are facing ballot measures this November that would implement the voting system.

While 10 states have banned RCV and more may join them this November if voters vote for the ballot measures, six other states will have ballot measures to switch their elections to RCV.

Read More

Kentucky AG Investigates Company at Center of $200,000 Payment to Bidens

Russell Coleman

Kentucky’s attorney general is investigating a health care company that wired $200,000 to James Biden the same day he wrote a check for that amount to his brother and future president Joe Biden.

James Biden worked as a consultant for Americore Holdings LLC, a Florida-based hospital chain that later collapsed. Americore declared bankruptcy in Kentucky in 2022 under federal law amid reports of massive staff departures, poor patient care, and poor equipment at one of the hospitals in the state.

Read More

New Poll Shows Kentucky Governor’s Race in Dead Heat Before Election

The gubernatorial race between Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron appears to be in a dead heat just days before Tuesday’s election, according to a Friday poll.

Beshear and Cameron are tied at 47% among likely Kentucky voters ahead of the Nov. 7 election, with 4% remaining undecided and 2% naming someone else, according to an Emerson College survey. Among the 4% of voters who remain undecided on the race, 62% are leaning toward voting for Cameron while 39% are leaning toward Beshear.

Read More

Commentary: Tax Relief Is Coming to Millions of Red-State Residents in Ohio, Connecticut, and More

July marked the beginning of Fiscal Year 2024 for 46 of the 50 states. It also closes the books on most state legislative sessions in what was an incredible 2023 for hard-working taxpayers.

In recent years, we’ve seen significant income tax relief in the states. Notably, 10 states – Kentucky, West Virginia, Montana, Utah, Arkansas, North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Connecticut, and Ohio – have cut personal income taxes (PIT) in 2023. With the new addition of West Virginia, North Dakota, and Connecticut, 22 states have cut personal income taxes since 2021, with several of these states cutting taxes multiple times during that period.

Read More

Obama-Appointed Judge Reinstates Kentucky Ban on Child Sex Change Procedures

A federal judge ruled Friday that Kentucky can enforce its state law which prohibits sex change treatments for minors, according to Reuters.

U.S. District Judge David Hale, an Obama appointee, decided that Kentucky can prohibit the use of puberty blockers and hormone treatments for minors after ruling in June that the state law likely violated the U.S. Constitution, according to Reuters. The decision was made because a federal appeals court reinstated a similar ban in Tennessee ahead of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing both state’s cases together.

Read More

Nearly Half of U.S. States Now Have Measures Limiting Transgender Surgery for Minors, but Lawsuits Abound

At least 20 states have either restricted or banned transgender procedures for minors, with many of them facing lawsuits and temporary blocks by courts as a result, while future litigation is possible in states considering adopting such laws. 

The states that have enacted legislation against such procedures are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia – essentially all conservative-leaning.

Read More

Drug Manufacturers, CVS, Walgreens Settle Another Opioid Lawsuit with 22 States for $17.3 Billion

Thirteen attorneys general announced settlements with opioid manufacturers Teva and Allergan on Friday, while 18 states settled with CVS and Walgreens for a total of $17.3 billion.

The attorneys general said settlement funds will start flowing into state and local governments by the end of this year and will be used for prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.

Read More

ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Bill Banning Transgender Medical Procedures for Minors

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Kentucky filed a lawsuit Wednesday to challenge a bill that bans minors from having access to transgender medical procedures, according to the lawsuit.

Senate Bill 150, in addition to prohibiting medical professionals from offering services to minors to “alter the appearance or perception of the minor’s sex,” the law also compels schools to inform parents if their child requests a pronoun change and bars students below sixth grade from learning about “human sexuality.” The bill was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear but then overturned by the legislature, prompting the state’s ACLU branch to file a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to stop the bill before it goes into effect in June.

Read More

Republican Candidates Vie to Challenge Kentucky Gov. Beshear

Republicans have the opportunity to take back the Kentucky governor’s mansion from Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear – who narrowly won in 2019 – in November, and numerous GOP contenders are itching for the nomination.

Beshear is running for his second term in 2023 in a state with a Republican supermajority in the legislature. Though 12 Republicans are running in the May 16 GOP primary, there are three clear frontrunners whose campaigns will largely hinge on issues such as education and crime while also targeting Beshear’s record on COVID-19, they told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Read More

17 State Attorneys General Declare Support for Florida Trans Guidance

by Eric Lendrum   On April 7th, an amicus brief was filed in favor of Florida’s current ban on using state funds to support “transgender” treatments, with 17 state attorneys general voicing their support for the law. According to the Daily Caller, the brief’s filing was part of an ongoing legal…

Read More

New Kentucky Law Expands Definitions Related to the Use of School Resource Officers

Kentucky lawmakers hope they have already have taken steps that can help avoid a tragedy such as took place in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.

On Friday of last week, legislation was signed into law allowing parochial and other private schools to develop pacts with local law enforcement agencies or the Kentucky State Police to have school resource officers on their campuses. House Bill 540, sponsored by state Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Nicholasville, was signed by Gov. Andy Beshear.

In Tennessee on Monday, a shooting at Christian elementary school left three children, three adults and the shooter dead.

Read More

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Suffers concussion in Fall, to Remain Hospitalized for ‘Few Days’

by Madeleine Hubbard    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to remain hospitalized “for a few days” after he fell in Washington, D.C., during a private hotel dinner, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Republican said Thursday. “This evening, Leader McConnell tripped at a local hotel during a private dinner,” spokesman…

Read More

Senate Fiscal Hawks Scott, Johnson, Lee, and Paul Call for an End to Pandemic Spending

While hagglers appeared to have reached a bipartisan framework agreement on a full-year omnibus spending plan, fiscal hawks like Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson are asking an important question: Why haven’t we gone back to normal spending now that the pandemic is over?

On Thursday, the Senate easily passed a a one-week continuing resolution, keeping the government funded through December 23. A worked-over spending plan is expected to be unveiled Monday, as negotiations continue in the shadow of another government shutdown threat in the days before the Christmas break.

Read More

Florida Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

Read More

Early Returns Show Voters in Five States Defending Abortion-Related Measures

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that returned the question of abortion limits back to the states, unofficial election results in five states show voters opted to codify abortion as a constitutional right, defend expanded access to abortion, and deny lifesaving care to infants born alive despite an abortion attempt.

More than 133,000 Vermont voters – about 72 percent – appear to have supported a ballot measure that made the state the first to enshrine abortion in its constitution. Nearly 42,000 voters, or about 22 percent, voted against the measure, while 9,000, or about 5 percent, left the ballot question blank, The Hill reported.

Read More

Former Trump U.N. Ambassador Announces Run in Kentucky Gubernatorial Race

Kelly Knight Craft, a former senior diplomat in the Trump administration, has announced on Twitter a campaign for Governor of Kentucky in the state’s 2023 gubernatorial race.

“I’m running for governor because I know our best days are ahead of us,” Craft said in her tweeted video announcement. “This movement is for all of us who still believe that we can lead in education, that the government doesn’t get a seat at our kitchen table and that our kids should grow up in safe neighborhoods.”

Read More

Kentucky Life Expectancy Falls Sharply

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the overall health of Kentucky and the rest of the nation. Now, researchers can point out how the coronavirus has affected the population.

According to the University of Louisville’s Kentucky State Data Center, the life expectancy at birth for a Kentuckian has dropped by 3.4 years from 2019 to 2021.

Read More

Kentucky School District Includes Critical Race Theory, LGBTQ+ Training for Teachers

A public school district in Louisville, Kentucky is forcing all teachers to undergo training sessions that feature far-left curriculum, including Critical Race Theory and pro-LGBTQ+ attitudes, in preparation for the new school year.

As reported by Fox News, Jefferson County Public Schools hosted a “Racial Equity Training” session earlier this summer, which featured such concepts as anti-racist math, implicit bias training, and “Whiteness theory,” among others. The session included forced reading for the teachers such as the books “How to be an Antiracist” and “White Fragility,” both written by black nationalist Ibram Kendi.

Read More

Rescues and Recovery Continue in Kentucky after Deadly Flooding in Appalachia Claims at Least 25 Lives

At least 25 have people died in Kentucky– including four children – in the flooding caused by the torrential rains and flash floods earlier this week, Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday.

“We continue to pray for the families that have suffered an unfathomable loss,” the Democrat governor said. “Some having lost almost everyone in their household.”

Read More

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Asks State Court of Appeals to Reinstate Pro-Life Laws

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron quickly asked the state’s Court of Appeals to stay a circuit court’s ruling that temporarily blocked the enforcement of two state pro-life laws. Cameron filed a Writ of Mandamus and Prohibition Thursday, requesting the Kentucky Court of Appeals lift a temporary restraining order against both…

Read More

Drug-Plagued State Sees Record Overdoses Thanks to Fentanyl Epidemic

Kentucky has seen a record year of overdose deaths as it continues to deal with fentanyl being trafficked into the state, multiple outlets reported based on state data released Monday.

Kentucky saw 2,250 overdose deaths in 2021, a 14.5% increase from 2020, according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy’s report. The state ranked third in the country for the number of overdose deaths due to the high number that occurred in Kentucky during the pandemic, according to WLKY.

Read More

Federal Judge Blocks Kentucky Law That Made the State Abortion-Free

A federal judge has temporarily halted a new Kentucky law that blocked the state’s last two remaining abortion clinics from performing the procedure.

Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings, a Donald Trump appointee, of U.S. District Court of the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division, ruled Thursday in favor of Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups by issuing a temporary restraining order that blocks Kentucky officials from enforcing its new law that would block the state’s only two abortion clinics from performing the procedure.

Read More

Kentucky Lawmakers Override Dem Governor on Women’s Sports and Abortion

Kentucky legislators banned males from women’s sports and restricted abortions Wednesday, overriding the Democratic governor’s veto.

Lawmakers overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 83, which bars males from participating in girls’ sports from elementary through secondary education. Beshear preferred a policy allowing males to compete in girls’ sports if they underwent certain medical sex change treatments rather than an outright ban, he explained in his April 7 veto letter.

Read More

21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

Read More

Three More States Consider Bills Banning Men from Women’s Sports

Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma are the latest states considering bans on biological males participating in girls’ and women’s sports, with all three states passing legislation Thursday addressing the issue.

The Arizona legislature passed two bills addressing transgender issues that currently await Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature. If enacted, one bill will ban biological males from girls’ sports teams while the other will ban gender reassignment surgeries for minors.

Read More

Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

Read More

Biden, Influential Climate Scientist/Activist Use Deadly Tornado to Push Climate Change Narrative

President Joe Biden surveyed the damage from a deadly weekend tornado in Mayfield, Ky., on Wednesday and said, “We’ve got $99 billion worth of damage just this year — just the year — because of foul weather and climate change.”

In Dawson Springs, Ky., he reiterated the cost of damages and then, in a possible reference to his Build Back Better Act, he said: “I promise you: You’re going to heal. We’re going to recover. You’re going to rebuild. You’re going to be stronger than you were before. We’re going to build back better than it was.”

Read More

Dr. Christopher Weiss, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas Tech, Talks Tornados in Out of Season December

Dr. Christopher Weiss of Texas Tech

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Tech, Christopher Weiss to the newsmakers line to talk about last Friday’s out of season tornados that ravaged Kentucky and parts of Middle Tennessee.

Read More

State Attorney Generals Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

Read More

Flooding Could Wipe Out 25 Percent of Critical Infrastructure: Report

About 25% of critical infrastructure in the U.S., or 36,000 facilities, is at serious risk of being rendered inoperable as a result of flooding over the next three decades, according to an industry report released Monday.

American infrastructure such as police stations, airports, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities, churches and schools were all considered in the analysis, according to First Street Foundation, the group that published the first-of-its-kind report. The U.S. is “ill-prepared” for a scenario where major flooding events become more commonplace, the report concluded.

Read More

State Lawmakers Strip Four Democrat and Two Republican Governors’ Power After Overreach During COVID-19 Pandemic

State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.

As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.

Read More

Commentary: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is the Poster Child for School Choice Hypocrisy

Last week, Kentucky was the first state legislature to pass a new program to fund students instead of systems this year. The proposal, House Bill 563, would allow eligible students to access scholarships to use at approved private education providers of their families’ choosing. But the Bluegrass State’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, blocked educational opportunities for thousands of children by vetoing the bill on Wednesday.

Kentucky requires a constitutional majority in both the House and Senate to override Beshear’s veto, and that vote is expected to happen Monday.

During his press conference announcing the decision, Beshear said that the bill “would greatly harm public education in Kentucky by taking money away from public schools and sending it to unaccountable private organizations with little oversight.”

Read More

21 States Sue Biden Admin for Revoking Keystone XL Permit

A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read More