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Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy

edited by James C. Clinger and Michael W. Hail. forewords by Senator Mitch McConnell and Trey Grayson

Publication Year: 2013

The cornerstone of the American republic is an educated, active, and engaged citizenry; however, the multifaceted inner workings of government and the political forces that shape it are incredibly complex. Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy is the first book in nearly three decades to provide a comprehensive overview of the commonwealth's major governing and political institutions and the public policy issues that profoundly affect Kentuckians' daily lives.

In this groundbreaking volume, editors James C. Clinger and Michael W. Hail have assembled respected scholars from across the state to inform citizens about their governing institutions, the consequences of their policy choices, and the intricacies of the political process. They provide clear and authoritative information on Kentucky's government and explain significant trends and patterns, exploring the legacy of the state's political history and illuminating the contributions of influential Kentucky politicians such as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis.

The contributors also address essential topics such as the structure and function of the three branches of government, the constitution, and federalism and intergovernmental relations, as well as administration, budgeting, and finance. They analyze key issues in education policy, economic and community development, and health care in great detail, explaining persistently controversial topics such as campaign finance, the cost of elections, ethics, and the oversight of regulatory agencies. From the executive branch to the legislature, from the court system to political parties, there is no better primer on government in the commonwealth.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Front Cover

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pp. 1-2

Clark Medallion Book information

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p. 3-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5

Sponsors Page

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pp. 6-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Suffering as I do from a lifetime addiction to American history—especially Kentucky history—I must confess, I could not find a better place to work than the United States Senate. In the halls of Congress, the history of the Bluegrass State comes alive every day. ...

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pp. xi-xii

I had the distinct honor of serving as Kentucky’s Secretary of State from 2004 to early 2011. My office, located in the corner of the first floor of the Capitol—the executive floor of the Capitol—gave me a unique vantage point. I was both a participant and an observer in an exciting and interesting, if not entirely productive, period in Kentucky politics. ...

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Introduction: Taking Kentucky Politics Seriously

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pp. 1-6

Kentucky politics has been a source of amusement for residents of the Commonwealth for generations, as illustrated by the famous Kentucky orator Judge James Hillary Mulligan, who wrote in his often quoted poem “In Kentucky” for the legislature in 1902, “The landscape is the grandest—and politics—the damnedest . . . . In Kentucky.”1 ...

Part I: State and Local Institutions

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pp. 7-8

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1. The Kentucky Constutition

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pp. 9-28

The Kentucky Constitution, drafted in 1890–1891 and ratified in 1891, is the last of four constitutions of the state. The first was adopted in 1792 as part of the Commonwealth’s admission to the Union. George Nicholas, a transplanted Virginia lawyer and a delegate to the 1792 convention, wrote most of the document. ...

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2. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky

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pp. 29-42

This chapter covers American federalism with a focus on Kentucky politics. The politics of federalism is examined from a comparative perspective for purposes of institutional analysis with other states. The founding and historical development of the Kentucky Constitution are described, including the parallels with national federalism, ...

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3. The Kentucky General Assembly: Divided by Party, United by Necessity

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pp. 43-58

The two chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly, like the state legislatures of many other states, have been divided in party control in recent decades. In the Kentucky legislature the Republican party has held a majority in the Senate since 2000, while the Democrats have held a majority in the House of Representatives for as long as any living Kentuckian can remember. ...

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4. The Kentucky Executive Branch

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pp. 59-82

Since the early days of the Commonwealth, the Kentucky executive branch has been riddled with assassination, political scandal, and even a coup d’état. This chapter will explore both the institutional and personal aspects of the evolution of the Kentucky executive branch. ...

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5. Gubernatorial-Legislative Relations: Executive Dominance No Longer

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pp. 83-100

Until 1980 Kentucky’s legislative branch was clearly dominated by strong governors. Governors like Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll were able to have virtually all their major legislative proposals passed and to block virtually every bill they opposed. Their bud get proposals were routinely passed with little or no change, usually by a unanimous vote. ...

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6. The Kentucky Judicial System

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pp. 101-118

Kentucky has adopted four constitutions, in 1792, 1799, 1850, and the current one in 1891. The first two created a judicial system much like that of Virginia, which had furnished a plurality of settlers to the new state. They established the Court of Appeals as the only appellate court. Multicounty circuit courts handled major civil and criminal cases. ...

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7. State and Local Public Administration

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pp. 119-136

Public administration at the state and local levels, as at the national level, is about implementing the programs and policies established by the legislative, executive, and even (at times) judicial branches of government. Because most programs and policies are established only in a general and partial form, ...

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8. Public Finance and State and Local Budgeting

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pp. 137-162

The prolonged U.S. recession has had a major impact on state budgets, and Kentucky is no exception. From 2007 to 2009 state revenue has fallen by 5 percent, or approximately half a billion dollars. Projections for the 2010–2012 biennial bud get showed a gap of $1.5 billion. ...

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9. Political Parties and Elections in Kentucky

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pp. 163-184

Kentucky holds a unique place in the political landscape with regard to political parties and electoral outcomes. The overall pattern has been one of Democratic Party dominance, which makes the state similar to many of its neighbors to the south. However, unlike most southern states, the Commonwealth has also always had pockets of Republican Party strength. ...

Part II: Politics and Public Policy Issues

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pp. 185-186

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10. Campaign Finance in Kentucky: Escalating Costs and the Search for Reform

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pp. 187-202

For almost half a century campaign finance reform has seemed to remain an issue that simply will not go away. In the 1960s the Kennedy administration began an examination of ways to deal with the escalation of media costs in federal elections, and in 1974 and 1976 the U.S. Congress passed the most comprehensive campaign finance reform laws in the nation’s history. ...

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11. Intermittent Attention: Political Oversight of Kentucky Regulatory Agencies

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pp. 203-218

The Kentucky Constitution, like the constitutions of many states, provides for a very explicit separation of powers among the different “departments” (i.e., branches) of government.1 This complicates oversight of state bureaucracies by elected leaders in the executive and the legislature. ...

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12. Look before You Leap: Louisville's Merger and Its Aftermath

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pp. 219-236

Americans revere change. We are a dynamic people—always moving and always struggling to “keep up with the times.” Indeed, the idea of change is a popular political slogan. In 1960 John F. Kennedy ran for the presidency on the platform that we must “get America moving again.” Nearly a half century later Barack Obama won the presidency on a promise of change. ...

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13. From Fragmentation to Collaboration: The Evolution of Interlocal Relations in Northern Kentucky

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pp. 237-258

Over the years interlocal government relations in northern Kentucky have evolved from disunity and fragmentation to regional cooperation and collaboration. This chapter begins with a discussion of a conceptual framework of interlocal relations based on the literature. The next section provides background information on northern Kentucky, ...

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14. Education Reform in Kentucky: Just What the Court Ordered

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pp. 259-274

This chapter discusses primary- and secondary-education policy in Kentucky and the political and environmental forces that have led to significant policy changes over the years. The primary emphasis of our policy coverage is, first, an analysis of the political decision making that led to sweeping policy changes called for in the 1989 Kentucky Supreme Court decision ...

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15. Hiring Practices in the State of Kentucky: The Ethical Conundrum

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pp. 275-292

Ideals of ethics are grounded in competing perspectives. Principles such as the greatest good for the greatest number, service to the public, and natural law serve as rough guides for ethical action. Ethics as an academic subdiscipline has gained a respectable degree of attention within the fields of political science and public administration. ...

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16. Developmental Disability Policies in Kentucky

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pp. 293-308

We are all familiar with at least some aspects of disability policy. When we go shopping, we see accessible parking spaces reserved for individuals with disabilities. In school we have classmates who are receiving special educational services. When we are walking on the sidewalk, we come to curb cuts designed to facilitate the movement of those with mobility impairments. ...

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17. Economic and Community Development in Kentucky

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pp. 309-324

The most enduring policy concern in Kentucky politics is economic development. Governors, state legislators, senators, congressmen, mayors, and county judge-executives all give special attention to job creation and business growth. As Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, a Republican representing the Fifth District of Kentucky, often states with determination, ...

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18. National Health-Care reform and Health in Kentucky

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pp. 325-348

In 1993 Democratic governor Brereton Jones proposed “quality, affordable health care for every Kentuckian.”1 In the early 1990s the Kentucky public overwhelmingly supported such action; about 90 percent of randomly polled Kentuckians believed that health care was a fundamental right, 70 percent were willing to pay higher taxes for universal coverage, ...

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19. The Politics of Kentucky Pharmacy Regulation

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pp. 349-360

This chapter examines pharmaceutical health policy in Kentucky by exploring the political process behind the Commonwealth’s implementation of some key pharmaceutical regulations. Pharmaceutical regulations affect the distribution, sale, and access to medications, and are often politically contentious because of the influence of opposing well-financed interest groups, ...

Part III. Kentucky Politics: Past, Present, and Future

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pp. 361-362

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20. Future Political Developments in the Commonwealth

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pp. 363-368

The review of Kentucky institutions and public policy issues presented in this book reveals a composite picture of challenges similar to those facing other states in the American system of federalism. But challenges are not new, and Kentucky has had a long tradition of producing leaders in national politics who faced challenges and created some new ones of their own. ...

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pp. 369-370

The editors wish to thank all the contributors, students, faculty colleagues, staff, and administrators for their support at Murray State University and Morehead State University and all the contributing authors’ institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth. But some contributions should be specifically acknowledged. ...

Appendix A. Kentucky Governors

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pp. 371-378

Appendix B. Kentucky Lieutenant Governors

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pp. 379-384

Appendix C. Kentucky Cities

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pp. 385-398

Appendix D. Kentucky Counties

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pp. 399-404

Appendix E. The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

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pp. 405-410

Appendix F. Henry Clay's 1850 Compromise Speech

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pp. 411-412

Appendix G. Abraham Lincoln's Eulogy of Henry Clay

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pp. 413-420

Appendix H. Jefferson Davis's Inaugural Address

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pp. 421-424

Appendix I. Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

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pp. 425-430

Appendix J. The Kentucky Compact with Virginia, December 18, 1789

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pp. 431-434

Appendix K. The Kentucky Constitution

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pp. 435-498

Appendix L. Maps

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pp. 499-500

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 501-504

List of Contributors

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pp. 505-510


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pp. 511-532

E-ISBN-13: 9780813143170
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813143156

Page Count: 562
Publication Year: 2013