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Opinion

  • This week has been a flurry of activity in Frankfort, with the ceremonial signing of the first pro-life bill in 12 years, legislation dealing with economic development, and continued work on the budget and pension reform.

    On Thursday, Governor Bevin held a ceremonial signing for SB 4, the informed consent bill, at the statewide “Rally for Life” held in the capitol rotunda. I am proud to stand for life at all stages, and our whole caucus will continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

  • A bill headed to the House of Representatives would prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine vaporizing products to Kentuckians younger than 21, rather than the present age of 18.

    The House Health and Welfare Committee voted 10-4 for House Bill 299, sponsored by Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson.

  • Like many Kentuckians, I’m concerned about the Zika virus and the growing number of reports of people infected. In a recent meeting with President Obama at the White House, I raised the spread of this virus and what it could mean for Kentucky and the country as we head into warmer weather this spring and summer.

  • Last week, the Spencer Magnet featured the story of former Taylorsville City Police Chief Toby Lewis, who helped rescue a local teenager after her car landed in a creek late on a Friday night.

    Lewis, and a local nurse who also happened on the scene, were both heading home on different routes than usual. The timing of their arrival, and the fact that Lewis just caught a glimpse of the teen’s car’s reflector is evidence of a Divine hand in the rescue.

  • A White House directive recently ordered the armed services to open up combat positions to women who wish to pursue them. Against the advice of many senior military advisors, President Barack Obama has been intent on pushing this agenda that could very well weaken our military’s ability to perform at maximum ability.

  • The fifth week of the 2016 Legislative Session in Frankfort was historic in a number of ways. Governor Matt Bevin signed his first piece of legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 4. We also said goodbye to former State Senator and civil rights activist, Georgia Davis Powers.

  • For those who value life at every stage across the Commonwealth, this week produced another major victory in Frankfort. Following House passage of the informed consent bill last week, the Senate overwhelmingly agreed with the changes to SB 4, which the Governor immediately signed.

  • It never ceases to amaze me the silly bills some legislatures want to get passed with false information. Take the one about starting charter schools. You cannot improve education by taking money out of a system to start a new system.

  • When Governor Matt Bevin released his budget proposal for the Commonwealth last week, many were concerned, even worried, that the cuts were going to be painful.

    The buzzword in the days leading up to his budget speech was “austere” which according to Webster, can mean severe, or also basic. In terms of financial budgeting, it can mean both.

    His budget proposal calls for nearly across-the-board cuts of nine percent. A few areas escaped the chopping block, but those that didn’t were vocal in their opposition.

  • Week four of the Kentucky General Assembly marked a momentous occasion for our state. Governor Matt Bevin gave his first State of the Commonwealth Budget Address, laying out a plan that will guide Kentucky out of the financial mire that has lingered for the past several years after the recession.

  • This week in Frankfort proved to be not only fruitful, but historic for the Kentucky House of Representatives. For the first time in over 12 years, debate and a floor vote was allowed on a pro-life piece of legislation. Senate Bill 4, commonly known as the informed consent bill, passed the House by a vote of 92-3.

  • Hats off to everyone!

    Last week was a perfect example of how the government is supposed to work “for the people.”

    In my little corner of the world, western Spencer County, the snow was no big deal. The county road was plowed and cindered, the state roads were plowed and salted, the electricity stayed on, and the water kept flowing.

    This was no easy feat to accomplish, as it took countless hours of hard work.

  • Weather can make for exciting news. Ah, but for the best headlines and coverage, it’s in the anticipation of weather that many in the media take it to the next level.

    Consider last week’s approaching storm, which caused many people to empty the shelves of bread, milk, toilet paper and other essentials that we apparently keep only day-to-day supplies of. For days, we were warned of the approaching white doom, and when we woke Friday morning, we were greeted only by the two or three inches that had fallen on Wednesday.

  • The Kentucky General Assembly completed Day 12 of the 2016 Regular Session this past Thursday. The decision was made to cancel the Friday session so members could return home before the inclement weather arrived. I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to all of our dedicated transportation workers and our first responders who worked so hard to keep all of us safe this past weekend.

  • Floor votes, committee hearings, and spirited debate highlighted an action-packed second week of session in the Kentucky Senate. Guests from all corners of the Commonwealth were welcomed to Frankfort to speak on behalf of various bills.

    On Thursday we were visited by hundreds of young and energetic faces celebrating Children’s Advocacy Day, sponsored by Kentucky Youth Advocates. The group hosted a rally in the Capitol Rotunda where several Senate majority members were recognized for their efforts in standing up for Kentucky’s children.

  • Floor votes, committee hearings, and spirited debate highlighted an action-packed second week of session in the Kentucky Senate. Guests from all corners of the Commonwealth were welcomed to Frankfort to speak on behalf of various bills.

    On Thursday we were visited by hundreds of young and energetic faces celebrating Children’s Advocacy Day, sponsored by Kentucky Youth Advocates. The group hosted a rally in the Capitol Rotunda where several Senate majority members were recognized for their efforts in standing up for Kentucky’s children.

  • When it comes to accuracy in the media, I’m reminded of a quote I first heard attributed to a baseball manager who sarcastically claimed that “media is plural for mediocre.” Of course, to add to the confusion, and perhaps the truth of that statement, I’ve also learned that the above quote is attributed by Jimmy Breslin, a columnist for the New York Times several decades ago.

    So who came up with that brilliant one-liner? I don’t know. It’s apparent that not everything we read is absolute.

  • I have been watching the county budget issue since Buddy Stump became Sheriff. I always used the fiscal court version of the sheriff’s budget. Lately I began to wonder if the info I have been getting is accurate. I decided to visit Sheriff Stump and talk about it. There are a lot of things that I don’t agree with the sheriff on and we have discussed that several times. However, I want to know his side of the budget issue. There are claims that he is increasing his budget this year and that appears to not be true.

  • Changes are coming in public education at the national level with passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, and further, the potential for change at the state level considering the political landscape is imminent as the General Assembly convenes to consider the pension crisis, charter legislation, and crafting of a biennial budget with limited revenue.

  • This job affords me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and learn some interesting things about this community, things that some people may never have known, or things that many people may have forgotten.

    Last week, I sat in the offices of Rev. Charles Burton of Second Baptist Church, and we were joined by fellow church staff members, Rev. Dr. Wanda Collins and Rev. John Lewis. We talked about the 150th anniversary of the church, about its history, its survival and its future.