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Today's Opinions

  • Senate passes over 40 bills

    Late nights, packed committee meetings, and heated debate marked the fifth week of the 2017 Session. The Senate is quickly passing the remaining Senate bills out and receiving bills from the House for consideration. While there were some contested issues, the Senate conducted itself in a bipartisan fashion. We wasted little time this week and passed over 40 pieces of legislation including:

    • Senate Bill 9, redistricting of judicial districts in order to better align caseloads with current census data;

  • What’s your image of police?

    The Catlettsburg, KY police department is removing decals from their cruisers that featured a popular comic book logo known as “The Punisher” and the words “Blue Lives Matter,” following some outcry, mostly from people outside of the community.

    The logo features a menacing looking skull and has been adopted by some military units. It’s based on a comic book character who is known to use threats, kidnapping, torture and murder as he seeks revenge. In short, he is a vigilante.

  • Time to reform Kentucky’s justice system

    Last year, during my visit to the drug treatment program at Roeder Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky, I met a young man there named Joe. He was smart and articulate, the son of a police officer and a father himself. He was also a heroin abuser, whose addiction had driven him to rob banks to pay for his drugs. On the day that I met him, Joe had joined the drug treatment program at Roeder, and was clear-eyed, reflective, and focused on turning his life around. He was anxious to rejoin society, find a good job, and get back to taking care of his family.

  • Pension reform advances

    The pace in Frankfort has picked up substantially, as another week of committee meetings, ceremonies, and floor votes have gone by. We have passed a variety of bipartisan legislation that will go far in increasing government transparency and caring for the most vulnerable among us.

  • Military families honored

    Visits from advocacy groups, a ceremonial bill signing, and rallies in the Capitol Rotunda, along with the bipartisan passage of bills, marked a busy Week Four of the 2017 Legislative Session. We were excited to welcome the children of Kentucky National Guard members from across the state for the First Annual Kentucky Military Kids Day.

  • Bill streamlines adoption

    On Monday, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill to establish the Adoption Task Force, which will work to streamline the process of adoption in the state. The measure’s sponsor, House Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade, has long worked to reduce the cost of adoption and ease the process.

  • When is the media dangerous?

    Heads shook and eyes rolled last week when President Donald Trump met with the media for more than 70 minutes, spending more of that time lecturing the press than answering questions.

    For many in the media who are not used to having their professionalism questioned, Trump’s targeting them as unfair, biased and inaccurate, signaled a threat to the very existence of America. I don’t concur.

  • State Senate update

    A wide array of bills were heard in committees and voted out of the Senate in a busy and fast-paced third week of the 2017 Session. Because this year’s 30-day meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly is considered a “short session,” we are focusing on maximizing our time here in Frankfort. We passed nearly 20 bills this week with topics ranging from tobacco use on school property to campaign finance reform to transportation issues.