Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban takes center stage in gubernatorial election

Abortion access has rarely been a focal point for Democrats in Kentucky, but that’s all changing in the run up to this November’s gubernatorial election.

In the past few weeks, incumbent Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, has turned the issue into a centerpiece of his campaign against his opponent, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has vocally supported Kentucky’s near-total ban on abortion.

As written, that law currently includes exceptions only for risk of death or debilitating injury to the pregnant person.

It has no exceptions for cases of rape and incest– something Beshear has seized on, prompting Cameron to come out for the first time saying he would sign legislation to add these exceptions to the existing law.

New campaign ads pack an emotional punch

In a new ad, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse looks straight into the camera as she describes the sexual abuse she suffered from her step-father when she was12-years-old.

“Anyone who believes there should be no exceptions for rape and incest could never understand what it’s like to stand in my shoes,” she says.

“This is to you, Daniel Cameron. To tell a 12-year-old girl she must have the baby of her stepfather, who raped her, is unthinkable. I’m speaking out because women and girls need to have options. Daniel Cameron would give us none.”

The woman, identified in the ad as Hadley from Owensboro, KY, calls out Republican candidate Daniel Cameron for his support for the current abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape and incest.

Timothy D. Easley / AP

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AP

The woman, identified in the ad as Hadley from Owensboro, KY, calls out Republican candidate Daniel Cameron for his support for the current abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape and incest.

The ad follows another from Beshear attacking Cameron’s abortion stance, which focused on a Louisville prosecutor who says Cameron prioritizes the rights of rapists over their victims.

At a gubernatorial forum Wednesday night, both candidates were asked to

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This 2021 law makes it harder for Texas schools to hire teachers

The Legislature inadvertently exacerbated the teacher shortage crisis facing the state in 2021 when it approved legislation designed to help retired teachers who want to return to work. But instead of helping, the new law made it prohibitively expensive for districts to re-hire teachers who are collecting their pension benefits.

The bill, SB 202,  required school districts to pay 100 percent of a surcharge fee associated with re-hiring a retired teacher who is also receiving benefits from the Teacher Retirement System pension fund. The surcharge can add up to $10,000 to a district’s costs for bringing a teacher out of retirement, several experts estimated.

In the past, the teacher could cover part of the surcharge to lower the district’s overhead.

But under the 2021 law — as school districts scramble to find enough teachers in a tight labor market — they no longer have that flexibility. 

“The need is part of what’s changed, right? Eleven years ago when I began as superintendent, it was almost unheard of for us to ask a retired person to return to the workforce because it just wasn’t necessary. It would have been unneeded expense,” said Brian Woods, superintendent at Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, one of the largest districts in the state. 

“Now what you’ve got is a combination of a high need for these folks to return with added expense to the school district.”

2023 LEGISLATURE: Texas Senate balks at retired teachers’ long-awaited cost-of-living raise

The state is currently grappling with a massive shortage of teachers. Surveys of teachers have showed plummeting morale within the profession because of low pay and a perceived lack of support from the state government and the general public. A recent report from a task force of education experts and educators recommended a “significant increase” in

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DC attorney gen’l files civil charges against Casa Ruby, Ruby Corado

The Office of the DC Attorney General on Monday filed an emergency motion in DC Superior Court alleging that Casa Ruby and its longtime executive director Ruby Corado have violated the city’s Nonprofit Corporations Act in connection with its financial dealings.

The court motion, among other things, calls on the court to approve a temporary restraining order freezing all of Casa Ruby’s bank accounts and PayPal accounts into which DC government funds and private donations have been deposited.

The motion also calls on the court to appoint a receiver or another court-supervised official on a provisional basis to help stabilize Casa Ruby’s management and governance “to maintain and control the funds of Casa Ruby.”

The motion states that the restraining order is needed to prevent “Defendant Ruby Corado from making any withdrawals from any of those accounts, removing Corado’s authorization to control any of those accounts, requiring Corado to keep any funds already withdrawn from those accounts in the United States .”

The motion further states, “This preliminary and emergency relief is needed to prevent the ongoing misuse of Casa Ruby’s charitable funds by Corado, who is the only individual authorized to access Casa Ruby’s accounts, despite purporting to resign from the organization in the Fall of 2021 .”

The preliminary relief is warranted, the court motion continues, “because the District is likely to prevail on the merits of its claims given Defendants’ diversion of funds away from their legitimate use by the organization to illegitimate uses.”

It says the illegitimate uses include “the personal benefit of Corado, leaving the organization unable to operate, including it being unable to pay rent on the transitional housing it is designated to provide vulnerable communities and it being unable to pay its employees and vendors for services rendered.”

The motion filed on Monday

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