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Opinion

  • The pension crisis that’s been ignored and avoided for years is finally being addressed by leaders in Frankfort. The realities are harsh, the numbers don’t add up, and the solutions being suggested so far might require sacrifice, pain and more than a little compromise.

    Problem-solving is a task best performed when we attack the issue, and not each other. But given that this issue directly impacts our bank accounts, people are drawing battle lines, digging in and it’s about to get ugly.

  • Cody Milburn wasn’t looking for fame or pats on the back when he initiated a drive to collect water, food, and other items to help the people of southeast Texas recover from historic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey last week.

    His intentions weren’t self-serving, but were about serving those in need.

    But perhaps they will also serve as reminders that when tragedy strikes, our best possible response should be empathy, compassion and yes - action.

  • A relatively small group of hate-filled people protesting and fighting in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month showed what sharp division can do to a nation.

    Meanwhile, a much larger group of Americans in Texas, of various political backgrounds, skin tones and social status, are banding together this very moment to help each other out in the wake of devastating flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

  • Speaking with a group in Louisville, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed the single most important action we can take to put our economy back on the right track: comprehensive tax reform.  I welcomed Secretary Mnuchin to our state to hear the questions and concerns that Kentuckians have about the process and to talk about what we can do to help middle class families get ahead.

  • The presentation of the final phase of an audit of Kentucky’s public pension plans at Monday’s meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board confirms what the Bluegrass Institute has said all along: changes in the way benefits are awarded must occur immediately.

  • Summer is winding down and kids are heading back to school, but the members of the Kentucky General Assembly are still working on your behalf in Frankfort attending Interim Joint Committees. These committees bring together members of the Kentucky House and Senate to collaborate on policy ideas and discuss bills for future sessions. The Interim is also a time for us, the members of the General Assembly, to hear from different offices and branches of government to keep them accountable to you, the taxpayer.

  • President Trump made big news Monday when he was photographed staring up at the solar eclipse without the recommended safety glasses. He made much more important news later that day in a speech revealing the United States’ new policy for the 16-year-old war in Afganistan. Of course, if you are like millions of Americans who get your news off Yahoo or late night comedy shows, Trump’s policy speech wasn’t as important as his cheating blindness.

  • America looked up on Monday. Wearing silly glasses and sporting goofy grins, Americans stepped outside from coast to coast and glanced heavenward to catch a glimpse of a celestial marvel.

    After several days, weeks and even months of looking sideways at each other because of political divisions, Americans stopped the bickering for at least a couple of hours, and then looked in the same direction.

  • The Kentucky State Fair is one of the highlights of the agricultural year in Kentucky. As a farm kid from Scott County, I have many fond memories of past state fairs. It’s a chance to rub elbows with our neighbors, reunite with friends from across the Commonwealth, and show off the best that Kentucky agriculture has to offer. The 113th edition of this great tradition is Aug. 17-27, and, as always, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is pleased to be a part of it.

  • The Battle of Charlottesville is over, with one person dead and a nation embarrassed.

    Yes, it was a battle, carried out by two hateful sides who came armed with sticks, bottles, rocks and wearing uniforms that included helmets and shields. Neither side was intending to engage in any civil debate. This was designed to be a battle and that only one person was killed is evidence that the cowards on both sides apparently like to dress up like soldiers, but have the actual warrior skills of toddlers - slapping, stomping and then quickly retreating.

  • A bunch of white supremacists and neo-Nazi’s hold a rally in a public park.  A bunch of anti-whites including Black Lives Matter racists show up to hassle them and the fight was on.  A nutcase terrorist kills and injures people by running them down with his car.  And, who gets the blame for this?  Donald Trump.  That’s insanity.

    People in the media, you ignored the BLM people.  You look like you are afraid you will be called racists if you tell the truth.

  • If you have not yet seen Dinesh D’Souza’s new book  “The Big Lie” - it addresses exactly what is happening with this weekend’s terroristic action and the media’s reaction.  I wish he had done the movie version first. This country needs it now.  

  • For some 3,000 students in Spencer County Public Schools, today marks a clean slate, a new beginning and a fresh start.

    There will be tears and sobs for the youngest ones today, and their parents. Those entering preschool and kindergarten will cling to family until the first bell rings and then they’ll embark on a journey that will last for at least the next 13 years.

  • Americans love to panic. We seem to flourish when there’s something on the horizon to worry or fret about. We are quick to toss common sense out the window and imagine the worst possible scenarios.

    If you doubt that, pay attention this winter when the forecast calls for a chance of 2-4 inches of snow and then try to find a gallon of milk.

    But snow panic takes a back seat to some of the other causes for concern in the minds of many Americans.

  • The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced last week that the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Kentucky totaled $12.8 billion dollars last year, up from $8.4 billion in 2012. This is the first national economic impact study since 2012.

    The report indicates that Kentucky directly supports 120,000 jobs and annually generates $12.8 billion in consumer spending and $756 million in state and local tax revenue.

    OIA’s report also highlights that 61 percent of Kentucky’s 4.44 million residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.

  • The United States of America has the best health care for its citizens when you look at its quality of service, health care technology, and responsiveness, that can’t be matched by any other nation on earth.  It is so important that we maintain this quality of health care services, but can we afford its cost?  

  • I was neither a great nor eager student. By mid-September, I was already looking forward to the end of the school year. But like almost every kid, I found the first day of school to be exciting.

    It was pretty much the only time I was organized, with my pencils and papers neatly tucked away in my box or folder, my shoes free from dirty scuffs and a clean slate to impress my new teachers.

    The fresh start had me excited about school and at least for a few days, enthusiastic and motivated to do my best.

  • Across Kentucky, community leaders, health care professionals, public policy makers and law enforcement officials are stepping up to address the opioid epidemic. The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians is one of the many groups working to stop opioid abuse before it starts and to help those who are already struggling with opioid use disorders.

  • I hope that you and your family are doing well as we prepare to close out the month of July. I have been very busy since the legislature adjourned back on March 30. I have attended many meetings and events in House District 53 as well as our Joint Interim Committee Meetings in the General Assembly. I have received many calls, letters and emails on a variety of issues, but without a doubt the discussion has primarily been on the possibility of a special session being called by Governor Bevin.

  • The first permanent farm bill was passed in 1938 when farming was much different than it is today. But the purpose of the bill still basically remains the same; to establish and oversee programs that maintain an abundant food supply and help farm families be successful.