Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor Veto on Tax, Budget Bills


Kentucky lawmakers on Friday overrode Gov. Matt Bevin’s vetoes of tax and budget bills that boost spending on public education with the help of additional tax revenue, in a victory for teachers.

As they have several times this year, hundreds of Kentucky teachers descended on Frankfort, the capital, on Friday to urge lawmakers to override the governor’s vetoes. Some demonstrated inside the state Capitol, while others chanted “Fund our schools” outside.

The demonstration was the latest by teachers around the U.S. demanding increased education funding and higher pay. Teachers in Oklahoma just ended a nine-day strike that yielded such results, and educators in Arizona are now weighing a walkout.

Supporters of the overrides said the tax bill would make the state more competitive, drawing new companies and creating more jobs. “We then create more taxpayers, with more money going into the coffers to pay for things like education,” said Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer on the Senate floor Friday.

In Kentucky earlier this month, the state’s Republican-controlled House and Senate passed a tax measure that lowered income taxes for most people and businesses, added sales taxes for certain services and raised the cigarette tax, generating an additional $480 million in revenue. The chambers also passed a two-year budget bill that relied on that extra money to increase classroom funding and help shore up the state’s pension systems.

On Monday, Mr. Bevin, a Republican, vetoed both measures, saying lawmakers overestimated how much revenue the tax bill would generate and passed a budget with spending the state can’t afford. If lawmakers had failed to override the vetoes, the governor would have had to call a special legislative session later this year to craft a new budget measure.

On Friday afternoon, the House overrode Mr. Bevin’s veto of the tax bill in a 57-40 vote, then overrode his veto of the budget bill in a 66-28 vote. The Senate followed by overriding the tax measure 20-18 and the budget measure 26-12.

Many Democrats voted to support the vetoes—not for the reasons Mr. Bevin offered, but because they considered the tax measure overly generous to businesses and punitive for lower-income workers. “It’s on the backs of people who can least afford to pay,” said Democratic state Sen. Robin Webb during debate Friday.

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Demi Lovato, Cole Sprouse and More Disney Channel Stars Reunite for Epic Photo

Cole Sprouse, Alyson Stoner, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Debby Ryan and Demi Lovato

Reunion alert! Former Disney Channel stars Demi Lovato, Cole Sprouse, Alyson Stoner, Debby Ryan and Matthew Scott Montgomery got together to celebrate Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album on Wednesday, April 4 in Los Angeles.

“season finale of my life aka disney high reunion celebrating @hayleykiyoko,” Montgomery, who starred on the Disney Channel series So Random!, captioned a photo of the group at Kiyoko’s party. “@colesprouse@alysonstoner @ddlovato @debbyryan#20gayteen.”

season finale of my life aka disney high reunion celebrating @hayleykiyoko @colesprouse @alysonstoner @ddlovato @debbyryan #20gayteen

A post shared by matthew scott montgomery (@matthew_scott_montgomery) on Apr 4, 2018 at 11:10pm PDT

Lovato also shared the photo on her Instagram Story on Thursday, April 5, writing “DISNEY CHANNEL REUNION!” Shortly after, Ryan shared the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer’s post on her own Instagram Story.

Fans will remember that Lovato rose to fame after starring alongside the Jonas Brothers in the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock in 2008. The “Tell Me You Love Me” crooner also starred in the film’s sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, and the Disney Channel series Sonny With a Chance. Stoner, who made headlines earlier this week for writing an essay for Teen Vogue about her sexuality, was also a part of the film franchise.

Sprouse, meanwhile, had two popular shows on the Disney Channel with his twin brother Dylan Sprouse, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and its spinoff series, The Suite Life on Deck. Ryan starred on the latter alongside the famous brothers before landing her own series, Jessie.

Before Kiyoko was releasing music, the “Expectations” singer appeared on multiple episodes of the Selena Gomez series Wizards of Waverley Place and starred in the DCOM original Lemonade Mouth.

Fans were quick to freak out over the reunion on social media, and Stoner summed up the reaction to the photo with her comment on Montgomery’s post,“ Omg there goes the Internet bye.”

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Sharp Elbows in New York Politics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been publicly sniping at each other.

As Mr. de Blasio was in Washington, D.C., on Monday to deliver remarks at the National League of Cities, Mr. Cuomo came to the city and had a lot to criticize.

The governor said Monday that the state’s health department would investigate living conditions in the city’s 176,000 public-housing apartments. He also reiterated his interest in declaring a state of emergency at the housing authority, known as NYCHA.

Mr. Cuomo visited a city-run public housing complex in the Bronx, where he toured an apartment Monday and described the living conditions as “intolerable” and “disgusting.”

“I’m getting involved in NYCHA because it’s an emergency,” Mr. Cuomo said. “This has been the most egregious situation I’ve ever seen.”

Asked by reporters invited along on the tour if the timing of his visit related to the mayor’s out-of-town trip, Mr. Cuomo said, “I don’t know where the mayor is. It’s none of my business.”

City Hall quickly called a news conference to respond to the Governor. At City Hall, First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the governor should increase state aid to the housing authority, which is cash-strapped and has upward of $25 billion in unmet infrastructure needs.

Asked about the governor’s timing, Mr. Fuleihan demurred. “We’re going to keep focused on the things that we’ve been repeating,” he said, referring to the city’s request for more state aid.

The mayor’s spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Relations between City Hall and Albany have been contentious in other administrations, too. In recent years, Messrs. Cuomo and de Blasio have publicly feuded over issues including who should pay to fix the city’s subway and public hospitals and how to fund prekindergarten programs. The city’s housing authority is federally funded, but has received less federal aid over the past decade and a half.


Over the weekend, Mr. de Blasio traveled to Austin, Texas, to attend the South by Southwest conference, and a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. On Saturday, Mr. Cuomo took to Twitter to criticize New York City schools, public housing and the jail at Rikers Island.

“Failing schools, NYCHA, Rikers, what do they all have in common?” the governor wrote on Twitter. “They have mostly minority populations and they are all being abused. I see my job as Governor to put my thumb on the scales for social justice.”

Write to Mara Gay at

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Europe’s Fragile Center Takes New Blows

ROME—Europe’s months of electoral showdowns between mainstream and populist parties have ended with the establishment weakened in Germany and defeated in Italy—and trouble brewing for both countries.

A new bipartisan governing pact sealed Sunday in Germany could further fuel voter discontent with longtime incumbents in the European Union’s most important country, potentially sapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s authority in what is expected to be her final term.

Germany’s center-left Social Democrats said rank-and-file members had approved joining a coalition led by Ms. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats. The country is expected to have a new government by mid-March, ending an unprecedented political paralysis since September’s national elections, when a fragmented vote exposed a decline in support for traditional parties.

Meanwhile antiestablishment, EU-skeptic parties won about half the vote in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Italy, leaving the shape of the next government murky. Backlashes against immigration, the euro’s fiscal constraints and politicians decried as corrupt boosted support for populists such as the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement and the right-wing Lega.

A populist-led government appeared possible, albeit politically challenging, given the 5 Star’s strong performance. Lengthy wrangling is expected.

The weekend’s events capped a year of elections in which the EU’s broadly centrist governing establishment faced its strongest-ever challenges from insurgent movements, ranging from far-right nationalists to far-left anticapitalists. The outcome: The center’s hold is slipping, and its enemies are here to stay.

At stake is the survival of Europe’s order since the end of the Cold War, based on steadily deeper economic and political integration among liberal democracies ruled by pragmatic, postideological elites. That model faces challenges from the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, along with authoritarian tendencies in some of the EU’s eastern members such as Hungary and Poland. The assumption of power by nationalists and other populists in the EU’s founder countries in Western Europe would greatly increase those centrifugal pressures.

Whether Europe’s insurgents grow stronger in coming years, and how much pressure they put on the EU’s cohesion, depends in large part on whether mainstream politicians can win back ordinary Europeans’ trust. That would require tackling issues such as economic inequality and the stifled opportunities for young people, barely controlled immigration that is spreading fears about security and cultural identity, and a pervasive perception that technocratic elites are offering voters little choice, hollowing out democracy.

The battle also hinges on how well Europe heals from the economic and migration crises of recent years, which did much to inflame popular discontent. A belated but spreading economic recovery is one source of hope for the establishment. So, too, are stronger efforts to tighten immigration policies. Mainstream conservatives in countries such as Austria, the Netherlands and Germany have sought to stem the influx of people from Europe’s poor and war-ravaged neighboring continents that was proving politically destabilizing.


“The center is shifting right in response to non-European immigration. The nation-state will take back some of its powers from the EU, notably control over borders,” said Josef Joffe, a senior fellow at Stanford University and publisher of German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. “As Europe shifts rightward, populism will be absorbed and contained.”

Others aren’t so sure. “Our mainstream politicians aren’t learning,” said Cas Mudde, a specialist on populism at the University of Georgia. Some think economic growth alone will save them, while others are betting on copying populists’ messages, he said.

Italian populist parties won close to 50% of the vote in Sunday’s elections according to exit polls. In 2008 elections, antiestablishment parties won barely 15%. Italy’s adherence to unpopular EU rules, including its curbs on budget deficits and on government aid for small savers when banks fail, could come under increasing pressure.

Whether Italy benefits or suffers more from the euro has become contested in this once staunchly pro-EU country, even though populist parties have lately backed away from demanding a referendum on the euro.

Those populist parties might be able to form a governing majority in Italy’s new parliament, depending on the final seat count. In practice, though, it is unclear whether the 5 Star Movement would be sufficiently willing to share power to entice others to cooperate.

Italy shows how populists can drive the national debate even in opposition. “They don’t need to win to force the mainstream onto the back foot, making them reactive,” said Wolf Piccoli of political risk consultancy Teneo Intelligence in London.

Germany’s bipartisan coalition between Ms. Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats, or SPD, will be the third such pactsince 2005. Back then, the two long-dominant parties had around 70% of voters’ support. Now it has declined to barely 50% in recent opinion polls. Many people in both parties have strong reservations about the new governing pact because they fear it will strengthen the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, now Germany’s largest opposition party.

SPD members approved the coalition pact partly because they feared new elections would decimate the party, which is suffering a long-term decline along with many other moderate-left parties in Europe.

Many Christian Democrats aren’t happy either, blaming Ms. Merkel’s consensus-oriented, centrist style for alienating conservative voters. The discontent on the party’s right and September’s weak election result are likely to constrain Ms. Merkel’s authority in negotiating overhauls to the EU with France’s President Emmanuel Macron in coming months.

Mr. Macron is pushing for deeper integration and mutual economic support among eurozone countries. He swept France’s elections last year on a centrist, strongly pro-EU platform, defeating a nationalist, EU-skeptic opposition. EU elites greeted the French outcome with relief and enthusiasm.

France increasingly looks like Europe’s exception, however. The fragmented politics of Germany and Italy appear to be Europe’s new norm.

Write to Marcus Walker at

Appeared in the March 5, 2018, print edition as ‘Votes Further Fray Europe’s Center.’

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Disney announces opening date for ‘Toy Story Land’ at Disney World

ORLANDO, Fla. — Woody, Buzz, Jessie and their friends will come to life at Walt Disney World in Florida this summer.

The upcoming Toy Story Land will officially open to guests on June 30, Disney confirmed on Friday.

The upcoming 11-acre land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will include two new attractions and a new entrance to the existing Toy Story Mania attraction.

Guests will “shrink” to the size of toys while riding the new Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and try to avoid “the claw” while riding the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction.

Toy Story Land is an important addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios as they look to add guest capacity ahead of the much-anticipated Star Wars Land opening in 2019.

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Poland and EU officials see improvement in ties

WARSAW, Poland – Poland’s foreign minister and a top European Union official have praised their meeting as helpful in easing an unprecedented dispute over some of Poland’s domestic policies.

Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans met Thursday in Brussels to discuss Poland’s shake-up of the judiciary that has led the EU to trigger, for the first time ever, a sanctioning procedure, Article 7. It could strip Warsaw of its EU voting rights, a move that both sides are trying to avoid.

Czaputowicz told Polish media the meeting showed a “lowering of the temperature of the dispute.” He did not exclude a possibility of “modifications” in the judiciary changes.

Timmermans also praised the meeting, adding he hopes a solution can be found soon.

Czaputowicz invited him to Warsaw for more talks.

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Eight Tips To Consider While Searching For A San Antonio Rental

Locating apartments for rent can be a endeavor. There are numerous recommendations that produce the look for a location fun and also could relieve the annoyances.

Be Particular

Be certain you find out in which it is fine to compromise and which attributes are a necessity, when flat searching. It lacks the lawn, although when there’s a bedroom at a fantastic place, it can be time. Decide what’s necessary and adhere with it, but strive to stay realistic.

Find the Contained Utilities Out

If you are searching for a location this is another. Rentals incorporate several utilities, but there are hidden charges to keep an eye out for this as water or crap expenses. These costs can accumulate fast, if not contained. There might be additional fees for a safety system or parking.

Ask About

Requesting friends of their household for landlord referrals can be useful, although this might appear obvious. If anything, it is going to help weed from landlords and that the inattentive. Who knows, a friend may know.

Take Measurements

Based on what furniture one offers, this could be an significant part house searching. Having the ability to walk around seats in the living area or making certain the mattress matches in a bedroom that is smaller is imperative to a comfy atmosphere.

Avoid Scams

When it seems too good to be true, it likely is, although most of us know of classified websites which offer prices. Be certain that the list contains photographs and a telephone that is local. Be certain when the purchase price sounds like too great of a bargain to look at the rental costs in the region, it is. There may be a grab to like parking, a place or renovations that are poor.

Assess the Pet Policy

If a furry friend is vital, double check for prices like a deposit in the rental. There can be strain restrictions, amount, and weight. It is well worth asking, although some listings may not cite a coverage. Some landlords make it possible for pets onto a case-by-case foundation.

Bring a Buddy

Always have some tag together when looking to rent. It pays to have an view that is additional, and they could have the ability to point out. It is going to also be helpful to have one person ask questions while another takes dimensions and photographs.

Create a List

This might not be ordinary, however it is a fantastic idea. Getting caught up in the excitement of this hunt may make you forget about inquiring about matters like the average bill price or when the washer and dryer are all all included. In addition, it makes them look in charge of the new landlord, although possessing a list produces a individual ready.

Maintaining this advice an individual can make certain to discover a amazing location that is new to create a home.