Associated Press

 FRANKFORT, Ky.  The House is expected to vote on an austere state budget by the middle of next week.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he doesn't expect a lot of changes from Gov. Steve Beshear's original budget proposal presented to lawmakers in January.

Beshear's $19.5 billion, two-year budget proposal includes 8.4 percent cuts to most state agencies.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee is expected tovote on the budget on Tuesday. The measure could then be considered by the full House on Wednesday.

FRANKFORT, Ky.  The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee has given its approval to a bill that would create a panel of experts to review cases in which children are killed or seriously injured because of abuse or neglect.

Democratic state Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington is pushing the legislation that requires the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to provide staff and administrative assistance to the group.

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky's public libraries reached new heights of popularity in 2011.

For the first time, the libraries recorded more than 20 million visits by people who checked out more than 30 million books and other items from their collections, according to statistics from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

Almost 2.5 million Kentuckians are registered to use library services.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  - Several dozen Kentucky National Guard members will be welcomed back to the state on Tuesday in Louisville.

More than 60 members of the Agribusiness Development Team 3 are returning to Kentucky. The team worked to sustain relationships built between previous teams and Afghan farmers. The guard says it's all part of an effort to help the country become agriculturally self-sufficient by developing the agricultural marketplace.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -  A deaf University of Kentucky football season ticket holder and the school have settled a lawsuit over closed-captioning at Commonwealth Stadium.

Charles Mitchell of Lancaster in central Kentucky sued in May, seeking to force the university to put captions for all game announcements on the scoreboards of the stadium under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Pages