Saturday July 4, 2020
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During their first Caucus meeting of 2020, the seven Republican members of the Louisville Metro Council’s Minority Caucus unanimously elected Councilman Kevin Kramer (District 11) to the position of Caucus Chair and Councilman Scott Reed (District 16) as Caucus Vice-Chair.

Councilman Kevin Kramer has served in a variety of leadership positions over his tenure on the Metro Council including President (2006) and four years as the Minority Caucus Chair. Councilman Scott Reed will be serving in his first year as Minority Caucus Vice Chair.

Councilman Markus Winkler (D-17) will serve as Democratic Caucus Chair for 2020. The position also carries with it the title of President Pro Tem of the Louisville Metro Council. Councilman Mark Fox (D-13) will serve the Caucus as Vice-Chair.

“I am honored and look forward to working with every member of the Caucus as we face a new year of challenges,” said Winkler. “The people of Metro Louisville should be confident that we are focused on the issues important to them as we keep Louisville a great place to live.”

Winkler was elected to the Metro Council in November 2018. He serves the people of the following suburban cities: Anchorage, Broeck Pointe, Creekside, Fincastle, Hickory Hill, Langdon Place, Lyndon, Manor Creek, Meadow Vale, Rolling Hills, Ten Broeck, Westwood, and Worthington Hills.

In 2019, he was a member of the Metro Council’s Budget, Planning and Zoning and Labor and Economic Development Committees.

“We are a diverse Caucus but I know working together we can solve any issue and problem on the horizon to help make everyone safe in our many communities,” said Councilman Fox. “I look forward to the coming year.”

The Councilman was elected in November of 2018 and represents the areas of Auburndale, Fairdale, Commerce Crossings, Renaissance Business Park, Okolona, Yorktown, Worldport, and includes the largest urban forest in America, the Jefferson Memorial Forest.

In 2018, he served as a member of the Metro Council’s Public Works, Public Safety and Parks and Sustainability Committees.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

By a unanimous vote, President David James (D-6) has been reelected for a third term as President of the Louisville Metro Council in 2020.

“To my colleagues I want to say thank you to each of you for your vote tonight. Tonight, we continue our commitment to making our city a better place for people we serve,” said President James. “There are many tough issues ahead for us but I am confident that together we will solve those problems as they arise.”

In mapping out the year ahead, the President named these as challenges:

Finding the $14 million to pay for next year’s pension increase

Working with state lawmakers for a Restaurant Tax or other options to offset pension costs
Continued focus on Safety

Advocating for more funding for police recruit classes
Monitoring the new agreement between Metro Louisville and the state Youth Detention Services

David James was elected to the Metro Council in November of 2010. He serves the neighborhoods of Algonquin, California, Limerick, Old Louisville, Park Hill, Russell, St. Joseph, Shelby Park, Smoketown-Jackson, Taylor-Berry, University, and the Central Business District.

He has previously held leadership positions as Democratic Caucus Chair in 2013 and 2015. He has also chaired of the Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Sonya Harward was unanimously elected as the Metro Council Clerk for 2020.

Gov. Matt Bevin released the following statement regarding the Kentucky Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling today that Attorney General Andy Beshear broke the law:

“The Supreme Court today unanimously held that Andy Beshear broke the law in awarding outrageous, uncapped state legal contracts to his friends and campaign donors. As Attorney General, Andy Beshear claimed that he is above the law and attempted to put his campaign donors ahead of the interest of Kentuckians in ongoing cases with opioid manufacturers. If allowed to continue, that practice could take millions of dollars away from Kentuckians who need it most and put it in the pockets of Andy’s largest campaign contributors. With today’s ruling, Andy Beshear can no longer engage in this type of soft corruption and will be subject to the same procurement laws and financial oversight as other state agencies. If Andy Beshear feels that he and his office are not competent to fight against the opioid manufacturers, he can still hire outside counsel, but he must do it legally.”

To view today’s 7-0 ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court, click here.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary David Dickerson announced that the Cabinet’s Office of Inspector General has completed the investigation into whether Kentucky teachers engaged in an illegal work stoppage, also known as a “sick out,” during the 2019 session of the General Assembly. The investigation found that 1,074 teachers did violate Kentucky law, which clearly prohibits work stoppages.

KRS 336.050(2) gives the Cabinet the discretion to prosecute and assess civil penalties of up to $1,000 per person, per day of work stoppage on any violation of a labor law in the state of Kentucky. Dickerson noted that while no penalties will be assessed for violations in this specific instance, this investigation was necessary to ensure that public schools remain open during the upcoming school year and that similar work stoppages do not occur in the future.

“Kentucky law clearly prohibits public-sector employees from engaging in work stoppages that many teachers engaged in during the early months of 2019,” noted Dickerson. “Those teachers who participated in this concerted effort were in clear violation of the law, as noted by the Kentucky Education Association and recently affirmed by a federal court.”

In a clear and decisive victory for the Cabinet, United States District Judge Danny Reeves acknowledged that the Labor Cabinet had every right to investigate public school teachers for their conduct. “Kentucky statutes explicitly grant the Labor Cabinet the authority to prosecute and assess civil penalties against public employees, which includes public-school teachers who may have violated KRS Chapter 336,” Reeves stated. “Students are expected to attend classes. If they fail to do so without a valid excuse, their absence is duly-noted and appropriate action is taken. But the teachers at the center of this controversy expect[ed] different treatment.” A full copy of the Court’s Order can be found here.

“It is important to note what the Court explicitly stated,” added Dickerson. “Citizens of the Commonwealth have a strong and continuing interest in public schools remaining open during the school year. The purpose of the Cabinet’s investigation was to undertake a thorough investigation into conduct by some public school teachers and ensure that work stoppages do not happen again so that public schools will be able to fulfill their mission to educate the children of Kentucky. The Cabinet remains dedicated to that mission and will continue to monitor any future ‘sick outs’ closely for further violations of Kentucky labor law.”

“Let it be clearly understood that the grace extended in this instance will not be extended for future such proven violations,” said Dickerson. “The public cannot tolerate another illegal work stoppage in our schools. It is important for public school teachers to understand the level of seriousness that, by law, the Labor Cabinet must and will give to any future work stoppages. We dedicate ourselves to students and parents across the Commonwealth to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, and that our schools will remain open.”

Louisville Metro Councilman Kevin J. Kramer (District 11) will hold a district meeting on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at Jeffersontown Fire Station Two (formerly McMahan Firs Station), 4318 Taylorsville Road.

Councilman Kramer will be joined by representatives from the Louisville Metro Police Department, Jeffersontown Fire Protection District, Louisville Metro Public Works, Louisville Metro Codes & Regulations, Urban Forestry and Brightside.

For more information on this event, please contact the Office of Councilman Kramer at 574-1111 or kevin.kramer@louisvilleky.gov.

Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Metro Council members and other elected officials will be sworn in for new terms of office during a special inaugural ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 at Louisville Metro Hall.

As part of the Inaugural festivities, there will be a celebration of Louisville’s music and faith communities at the Cathedral of the Assumption at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. A small reception and community gathering will take place afterward in the Cathedral undercroft.

“We want to invite residents from throughout the community to join us at these events, as we look to the future of our community with new terms of public service,” Mayor Fischer said.

The Jan. 7 swearing-in ceremony will take place in the second-floor Rotunda at Metro Hall. There will be limited seating, by invitation only, but the event will be live-streamed.

In addition to the Mayor and members of the Metro Council, other officials elected on November 6, 2018 will participate in the event including: County Attorney, Commonwealth Attorney, County Clerk, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Judge-Executive, Property Valuation Administrator and Coroner.

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