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Opinion

  • When the 2016 session of the General Assembly convenes on January 5, the unfunded liability crisis facing our Public Pension Systems will be front and center.

  • I do not like Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. I find him arrogant, crude and ill-prepared to assume the role of President and Commander-in-Chief.

    I do like Trump’s candidacy however, in the sense that it should open a nation’s eyes to the follies of political correctness.
    Love or loathe him, Trump speaks in a language that America understands. He’s blunt, brash and straight-to-the-point. Americans have always liked that, although our politicians have more often developed a way of weaving their words into a tangled web of ambiguity.

  • As we get ready to close out 2015, let me wish you and your family a happy New Year!

    It’s time again for members of the Kentucky General Assembly to meet for a 60-day legislative session that is frequently called a “budget session.” During this time, my colleagues and I will work to develop a two-year budget for state government. We will also discuss other issues important to Kentuckians including jobs, economic development, education and health care.

  • In the early spring, Kentucky received a substantial amount of rain causing many creeks and streams to go over their banks. Many acres and roads were flooded.

    Veech Road had a major landslide. A portion of the road fell 100 feet into Plum Creek. At least 25 trees and tons of earth and rock fell. The road was impassable.

  • I’ve often wondered what the editor of the Bethlehem Star Gazette was doing on that night more than 2,000 years ago when an event happened in his little town that would forever change the world.

    Obviously, he may have sent out a reporter to cover the great influx of people arriving for the approaching census.

    Obviously, the inns were full, so I’m sure the local diners and taverns were doing brisk business as well. So a story concerning the economic impact would certainly be appropriate.

  • As we approach the holidays I would like to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to each of you and to your family. My wish is that you can take time out of your busy schedules to enjoy family and celebrate the reason for the season.

    The holidays provide a brief break before the 2016 General Assembly. The debate of how to address the Kentucky employees’ and teachers’ retirement systems combined estimated $25 billion in unfunded liabilities will likely dominate the session as legislators work to pass the state’s next 24-month budget.

  • In this week’s Magnet, you’ll notice our entire B-section is made up of letters to Santa, written by young children from both elementary schools in Spencer County. This has become an annual tradition with our newspaper, one we know many of our readers enjoy browsing through.

  • Cha-ching. That’s the sound that rings from the chambers of local government whenever a new proposal to sell alcohol is brought up for discussion. It jingled repeatedly last Tuesday during the Spencer County Fiscal Court meeting when Judge-Executive John Riley and County Attorney Kenneth Jones spoke of a change to the county’s ordinance that would allow alcohol sales by the drink on Sundays.

  • As the fog lifted on Dec. 8 for the inaugural celebrations in Frankfort, I was reminded of the smooth transition of power we enjoy in our Commonwealth – and nation.

    In a fitting tribute to that transition Gov. Steve Beshear participated in the parade honoring the person replacing him as chief executive of Kentucky. In addition, former governors Paul E. Patton, Brereton Jones, Martha Layne Collins and John W. Brown, Jr., joined in the parade.

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding the President’s insufficient plan to defeat ISIL:
    Monday evening President Obama addressed the Nation concerning the threat ISIL poses to our people.

    Unfortunately, the American people did not hear of a strategy or plan to defeat and destroy this terrorist army. Instead, they heard a restatement of a military campaign crafted to contain ISIL within Iraq and Syria.

  • Sunday evening, I attended two church services, both of which were the telling of the Christmas story through music and drama.

    The first was told through the voices of small children at Spencer Christian Church, a performance my wife helped direct that required rehearsals that began months ago.

  • I’d like to address Charlotte Caple’s letter to the editor on December 2nd concerning the “inaccurate” information on the flier she received, alerting neighbors of additional subsidized housing planned for our area.

  • I received a flier in my paper box this week. I absolutely disagree with this.

    My daughter and her two sons live in Taylorsville Place. Not only parents with children, but single parents and senior citizens live there.

    It is a very well-maintained place. There are no problems there.

    I live in River Heights and there has been no problem here with this apartment complex.

    Not all the people are low income. Some pay the full amount of rent. It is inspected very often for the way people maintain their property and anything that is wrong.

  • There’s been a lot of backlash over proposals to enforce photo identification for voting, and most of it is hyperbolic whining of those who might benefit from lessening the integrity at the ballot.

    However, Kentucky voters have had a right to feel disenfranchised over the years due to the late date on the calendar on which they participate in presidential primaries.

  • Will December 11th mark another déjà vu moment for Congress? This looming deadline is the day by which Congress must once again fund the federal government for the upcoming fiscal year.

    As in past years, Congress has failed to follow its own internal process (known as “regular order”). The House has so far passed only 6 of 12 bills necessary to fund the government, while the Senate has passed only one. So, we will likely be forced to have an up-or-down vote in December on a “kitchen sink” funding bill that crams everything into one.

  • When counting our blessings, Spencer Countians should never overlook their many friends and neighbors who so often give of themselves and their resources to help others in need.

    We live in a very caring community. Sometimes we see it driving home, when a man pulls over to help someone with a flat tire or dead battery in the pouring rain.

    Sometimes we see it in our schools, when a teacher spends her own money to make sure the children in her class all have the materials they need.

  • On Thursday, we’ll stuff our turkeys, then stuff ourselves full of holiday food before settling in for some football, visits with relatives and a wide array of other traditions that might vary from family to family.

    Thanksgiving is a far cry from that harvest festival among the Pilgrims and Indians we learned about in school so many years ago. But what does remain, is the fact that the day is a reminder that we should be grateful.

  • WHEREAS, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

  • The 2016 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is fast approaching. The legislature will convene on January 5, 2016, and the 60-day session must be completed by April 15. The primary responsibility during this session is adopting a two year general and road fund budget going into effect on July 1, 2016. During the 2016 session, along with my fellow legislators, we will also consider approximately 1,000 pieces of proposed legislation. In a typical session, only 10-15 percent of proposed bills are actually signed into law.