Patricia, and 2 children
Budget, health-care costs are key issues
By Todd Martin
Landmark News Service
Paul Hornback has spent the past four years figuring out how to work around and fix inefficiencies in Frankfort, and he said he believes he’s just getting started.
That’s why the Republican incumbent has filed for a second term as the state senator for District 20, which includes Shelby, Henry, Carroll and Trimble counties along with a small portion of the east end of Jefferson County.
Hornback, 56, is the owner of Hornback Farms. He is also a former president of the Council for Burley Tobacco and has held leadership positions in Kentucky Farm Bureau, the Kentucky Farm Service Agency and the Shelby County Fair Board.
He serves as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and is on the Transportation Committee. He is also the co-chair of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.
“I’m used to being on the farm, and when I see a problem, I fix it,” Hornback said. “I can’t work with the inefficiencies, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on how to fix them and how to deal with the waste.”
Elected in 2011 to replace Republican Gary Tapp, Hornback said he feels that some of his best work is still coming.
“I’m very proud of some of the work I’ve done behind the doors,” he said. “But I also think I’m going to have some good things come from this session. I believe my telecommunications bill will pass, and that’s going to help us attract more investment in telecommunications, which will help us attract more businesses that rely so heavily on an up to date system.”
The bill, more commonly known as the “AT&T bill,” allows for some deregulation of the outlying service areas that have other alternatives.
Hornback, who in 2010 ran heavily on fiscal responsibility, said he believes the state is making progress on that front, even as it heads into a budget cycle this year.
“We’re not relying as much on non-recurring funds to pay recurring debt, so that’s some progress, but we still have a ways to go,” he said. “We need to get an additional one hundred and twenty million to fund our pension properly because we’ve made a commitment to our retired state employees and teachers, and we need to honor that.”
Looking forward, Hornback said continuing to provide a balanced budget is going to become more and more difficult.
“As we work on the budget this year and you look back at the two biennium’s that I’ve been in office, it’s just getting tighter and tighter,” he said. “And now, with the Affordable Care Act – whether you like it or not – after the first three years the state is going to have to start to cover ten percent of that cost. And by the most conservative estimates that’s at least three hundred million.
“We don’t have that money now, but we’re going to have to find a way to cover that.”
Hornback said the state also would have to continue to balance how it handles small businesses.
“We have to continue to work against overregulating businesses,” he said.
Hornback has been married to Patricia for 37 years, and they have two daughters.