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Opinion

  • 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.

  • As a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, I’m conflicted.

    It’s great that former Reds player Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame; 99.3 percent of the 440 ballots contained his name.

    Still, how could three of America’s elite baseball writers leave this former superstar – who hit the sixth-most home runs in history – off of their measly little ballots altogether, especially when doing so means Griffey doesn’t become the first player ever with a 100 percent Hall of Fame vote?

  • From the patriotic medleys of the 100th Amy Band to chants of citizens passionately advocating a cause, the sounds echoing through the hallways of our Capitol signaled just one thing – the 150th General Assembly was in session.

    After just the first week, Senate Majority had rolled out its priorities. It’s 13 bills that are a mix of both new and familiar. Many of the bills have been discussed in concept through last year. Some of the bills will even enjoy bipartisan support.

  • I read with some interest the recent article on the radios because I had attended a number of the Fiscal Court meetings during the decision making and installation process of the current county system.

  • As we usher in the New Year and the 150th regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, I’m honored to represent your district. This will be my 13th year in the state legislature.

    During even-year sessions, we are required to pass a two-year budget for the commonwealth. It’s a tall order to pass a budget during even the most prosperous of times, but we’re committed to rolling up our sleeves and working together to adopt a fiscally responsible spending plan that addresses Kentucky’s most pressing needs. It’s a goal we all share.

  • All politics are local.

    While here in Spencer County, the debate rages about funding the Sheriff’s Office in order to continue their current level of 24/7 coverage, in Washington, our President is forgoing debate and was planning Tuesday to use his executive pen to decree new gun control measures.

    Both issues relate to the safety of you and I in our homes.

  • From failing pension systems for state employees and teachers to what should be done about Medicaid expansion, state Rep. James Tipton knows full well there is plenty of work that needs to be done in Frankfort.

    He also knows to be a part of that work, he must get re-elected next November.

    Tipton, a Republican from Taylorsville who won the 53rd District seat in the state House of Representatives last year, filed recently for re-election and last week spelled out what he says are the state’s major issues and how he hopes to solve them.