COLUMN: Spring means busy weeks in Frankfort

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By Kim King | State Representative

It was a beautiful, spring-like week in our Commonwealth. I enthusiastically tackled a busy schedule; here are a few of the details.  On Monday, March 12, we recognized the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary in the rotunda and on the House floor during session.  
On Tuesday, March 13, I was honored to work with two pages from Houston, Abigail Jeffries and Rachel Wilson. Born in Mercer County, Abby spent her 2012 spring break in Kentucky as her father, Barry Jeffries, led revival services at Immanuel Baptist Church. Abby plans to be a missionary; Rachel intends to be an FBI agent.
The Agriculture and Small Business Committee passed Senate Bill 92, which clarifies the definitions of buying stations, livestock dealers and stockyards. These definitions are important as we work diligently to protect cattle producers from future fraud and theft. Eastern Livestock went bankrupt in November 2010, costing Kentucky producers their cattle and earned payments.
House Bill 550, the Kentucky Nutrition pilot project barely passed out of committee. Even though I promote optimal nutrition as a personal trainer, I voted “no” on this bill because neither the program nor administering group were identified.  Dr. Will Snell distributed information on this year’s Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, a two-year opportunity for farmers to develop leadership and communication skills.  Please contact me know if you want more information.
On Thursday, the Economic Development Committee meeting was cancelled.  The Tourism Development and Energy Committee meeting was also cancelled. Dave Smith (Anderson County) shadowed me for the day; our visit started bright and early at the Mercer County Farm City Breakfast.  It was an honor to introduce Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.  In addition to sharing recent Kentucky agriculture data, Commissioner Comer told us the department’s checkbook will soon be on-line.  The 11th annual breakfast was organized by the Mercer County Conservation District, Mercer County Extension Service and Mercer County Chamber of Commerce.  FFA and 4-H students from Burgin and Mercer counties served attendees and distributed door prizes.
It was an honor to speak to the Christian Home Educators of Kentucky when they brought over 400 visitors to their state Capitol Thursday.  I always appreciate the opportunity to share my experiences and a brief lesson on state government to interested home school groups.  If you would like to schedule a visit, please let me know. I had three pages from the CHEK group this week.  Emily Lang, Lynette Sellers and Henry Webb completed their state government experience by serving Senator Higdon and me in the Senate and House.
Kentucky’s Medal of Honor recipients were honored and memorialized at the unveiling of a new bronze plaque, on display in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday afternoon. The 500-pound plaque was created by our very own Spencer County resident John Shircliffe.  Mr. Shircliffe told me about the design and production process following the formal ceremony.
Once again, I was grateful for the opportunity to join fellow legislators Friday morning for prayer and Bible study in the annex cafeteria under the direction of Chaplain Lee Watts.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions and/or concerns.  My phone numbers are:  859-734-2173 (home) and 502-564-8100 (office).  My e-mail address is Kim.King@LRC.KY.gov; the toll-free, legislative hotline number is 800-372-7181.  You can also join me on WHBN, 1420 AM or www.HomeTownLive.net for daily updates.  During session, my schedule is:  Monday and Friday – 8:50 am and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 8:20 am.  I’ll gladly share your birthday, anniversary and community event announcements.