* (AP) A Kentucky lawmaker has pre-filed a bill that would raise minimum wage. State Senator Reginald Thomas, a Democrat from Lexington, said the bill would eventually raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour. BR 302 would amend KRS 337.275 to raise the minimum wage each year until 2026. This is the second time Sen. Thomas has proposed a bill like this. The bill proposes the following yearly increases to hourly wages:
July 1, 2019 – $8.20
July 1, 2020 – $9.15
July 1, 2021 – $10.10
July 1, 2022 – $11.00
July 1, 2023 – $12.05
July 1, 2024 – $13.10
July 1, 2025 – $13.95
July 1, 2026 – $15.00
The bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees to $4.90 per hour by July 1, 2022. Language included in BR 302 would allow local governments to set minimum wages higher than the state minimum wage.
* (AP) More than 10,000 low-income Kentucky adults no longer have access to a federal program that helps them buy food after state officials slowly reinstated rules requiring them to either get a job or do volunteer work to keep their benefits. The rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, have been in place since 1996 when they were signed into law by former Democratic President Bill Clinton. Kentucky was exempt from those rules following the Great Recession that began in 2008. As the economy has improved, Governor Matt Bevin’s administration has slowly let most of those exemptions expire. Of the roughly 54,000 adults eligible for the requirements, slightly more than 10,000 have lost access, according to data analyzed by the Kentucky Center for Economy Policy.
* (AP) On Tuesday, the State Board of Elections certified vote totals from the General Election that took place on November 6 and issued certificates of election to candidates who received the highest number of votes. The Board did not certify vote totals for the Constitutional Amendment commonly known as “Marsy’s Law.” The Supreme Court of Kentucky will hear arguments regarding the amendment in February 2019. According to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, approximately 1.61 million Kentuckians, 47 percent of registered voters, cast ballots in the General Election.