News Around the State

Ky. delays start time for some new Medicaid rules

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State officials in Kentucky have delayed the start of some new eligibility rules for a portion of its Medicaid population.

Kentucky is one of 36 states to expand its Medicaid program under former President Barack Obama’s health care law to cover more people. President Donald Trump’s administration gave Kentucky permission to require those people to do things like get a job, go to school or do community service work to maintain their coverage. The Bevin administration calls these rules the “community engagement” requirements.

A federal judge blocked the rules last year, but the Trump administration approved them a second time in November. Kentucky had prepared to begin implementing some of the rules April 1. On Thursday, state health officials said the community engagement requirement would begin no sooner than July 1.

A spokesman said a pending legal challenge and the federal government shutdown contributed to the delay.

Meetings set for comment on LG&E, KU rate increase proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Public Service Commission says it has scheduled meetings to get public comment on rate increase requests from Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities.

A commission statement says it will hold public meetings in Louisville on Feb. 21 at Jefferson Community and Technical College and in Lexington on Feb. 26 at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Kentucky Utilities estimates its rate increase would raise the average residential bill by $9.63 and generate an additional $112 million in revenue annually.

LG&E estimates its increase would raise the average residential electric bill by $4.23 and the average residential natural gas bill by $4.93, which would generate an additional $60 million in revenue annually.

The companies serve more than 900,000 electric customers and 326,000 gas customers across the state.

Ky. regulators reject water district’s rate increase

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky regulators have rejected a water district’s request to increase rates by 33 percent, citing a lack of candor and a failure to properly provide documentation.

News outlets report the state Public Service Commission denied Southern Water & Sewer District’s request Thursday.

A statement from the commission says Southern switched billing systems and lost some financial records, making it impossible to verify key portions of its application.

Southern’s general manager, Dean Hall, says he believes enough information was provided. He says it’ll become harder for the district to keep water running without the rate hike.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the average customer’s bill would’ve increased about $13.20 a month. The utility serves about 5,400 homes and businesses in Floyd and Knott counties. Both are among Kentucky’s poorest counties.