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Columns and Editorials

  • More gun laws can make a difference
  • Approving budget is top priority for legislators

    The biggest responsibility the governor and the General Assembly have during legislative sessions in even-numbered years is enacting a budget to run state government.  It sets our priorities in a way no other law can.

    The budget process actually began months ago, when agencies compiled their projected needs while the state’s economists, known as the Consensus Forecasting Group, determined exactly how much the state could appropriate.

  • Providing cold comfort to winter haters

    Temperatures reach 70 degrees on New Year’s Day and nobody bats an eye, but if the winter forecast calls for even a moderate amount of snow, people lose their minds.

    Personally, I enjoy living in a temperate zone with four seasons and the benefits that arise with cold and the frozen stuff.

  • Open records proposal deserves support

    Open records laws exist for a reason.

    They not only allow citizens access to information about what their local, state and federal governments are doing with taxpayer money, they provide transparency so citizens can see if elected officials are performing appropriately.

    These are two of the most important aspects of open records laws.

  • Ole Man Winter finally makes an appearance

    Allow me to gloat a little.

    All through December, with its mild temperatures and lack of wintry precipitation, I told people that we’d pay come January.

    Although we thoroughly enjoyed one of the warmest Decembers in modern history, I was sure we would eventually be hit — and hit hard — by Ole Man Winter.

  • Bills would impact school budgets, distilleries and more

    Floor votes, committee hearings and spirited debate highlighted an action-packed second week of session in the Kentucky Senate. We welcomed guests from all across the Commonwealth to speak on behalf of bills.

    Last 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.

  • Legislators consider bill to allow felony expungements

    An effort to help potentially tens of thousands of Kentuckians truly put their past behind them cleared a key legislative milestone on Friday when the Kentucky House voted to broaden eligibility for criminal expungement.

    Similar measures have passed the chamber numerous times, but there is hope that this year’s legislation will be successful, given the increased bipartisan support it has received.

  • Legacy of service speaks louder than the Chief

    I used to think Gary Lucas was kind of a jerk. 

    I had a run-in with the Eminence Fire Chief some years ago. I had arranged to take a group photo of his department and arrived as scheduled to do so. Gary asked where I’d like for them to stand. Looking around, I prepared to make a suggestion.

    That’s when I unintentionally insulted one of his fire trucks.

  • Time for state legislators to get back to work, approve budget

    This week, as it has regularly done since Kentucky became the nation’s fifteenth state in 1792, the General Assembly returns to the Capitol to start another legislative session.

    The House and Senate will meet for 60 working days and wrap up our work by April 15, as required by Kentucky’s constitution.

    Our biggest task during this time will be enacting a two-year state budget that will take effect next July. While it is too soon to say what policy decisions will be made, the overall numbers are already known.

  • Hoping holiday cheer carries over to new year

    The abrupt end to holiday festivities feels an awful lot like going cold turkey this year.

    Usually, the aftermath of all the planning, decorating, shopping for those perfect Christmas presents, wrapping, cooking and serving and then ushering guests to their cars generates a feeling of relief.

    It’s understandable — the various activities that people over-commit to during this season requires much energy and fortitude to carry out.