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Columns and Editorials

  • Budget unresolved

    This week, the General Assembly returns to the Capitol to wrap up the 2016 legislative session.

    While this time traditionally has been set aside just to consider whether the House and Senate should override any vetoes a governor might issue, we have begun in recent years to also use this time to vote on other bills that were unresolved before the veto recess.  This year, the biggest of those is the state’s two-year budget.

  • Join the fight against addiction

    By John Logan Brent, Henry County Judge-Executive

    The Jan. 6 Shelby County newspaper caught my eye — the headline read, “The Heroin Epidemic.”  The bold print read, “2 fatal and up to 10 overdoses in a week.”  

    Our EMS director came in later that day and I questioned him if our EMS was responding to many overdose calls.  He sighed and answered, “Yes, about two a week.”  

    Working with the public not a lot shocks you, but this did.  

  • An honest day's pay for an honest day's work

    It’s fair to say that we in the United States venerate the economic and the social value of people holding down a job.

    We hear monthly reports about the unemployment/employment rates. Educational efforts at the public school and the university level are both increasingly geared toward learning skills with an eye on students landing careers. I hear there are a few dozen workforce training programs that trickle down from the federal level.

  • Senate demands structural balance

    By Paul Hornback, Ky. Senator

    Addressing Kentucky’s underfunded pension systems was the top priority in the Senate’s version of House Bill (HB) 303, the state’s two-year budget, which passed the Kentucky Senate on March 23.

  • Legislators struggle to find common ground on budget

    At the end of a legislative session, months of preparation and weeks of debate give way to a handful of days where the General Assembly and governor decide what will become law and what will have to wait.

  • Downtowns can be the heart of a vibrant community

    The story of Norm’s Food World closing repeats a familiar theme communities all across the country have experienced.

    When I was growing up in Evansville, Ind., my mother used to shop at the Saveway. The proprietor was actually the father of my best friend in grade school.

    Mom went there to buy beef from the meat cutter and cold cuts and cheese from the deli. I would see my friend’s dad occasionally and wave to him.

  • Budget cuts reflect desire for fiscal responsibility

    By Paul Hornback, Ky. Senator

    After over two months of anticipation and debate, the Senate finally received the state budget bill from the House midway through the eleventh week of the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly. 

    Governor Bevin was elected in a landslide because the people of Kentucky recognized a need for financial change and fiscal responsibility. We think the upcoming budget will reflect those needs for the betterment of the Commonwealth.

  • Primary differences between versions of budget

    In one sense, Kentucky’s budget doesn’t change much from year to year.  A little more than half of every state dollar, for example, goes to our schools, colleges and universities.  Another fourth is dedicated to Medicaid and other health services, a little more than a tenth is spent on criminal justice and the final dime goes to everything else.

  • Bunnies don't lay eggs, or do they?

    As a child, Easter was a favorite holiday, behind Christmas and Halloween. Each came with copious amounts of candy, which my sweet tooth enjoyed immensely. At this time of year, I still indulge in at least one bag of jelly beans.

    I’ve never quite understood however, why we have an Easter bunny laying plastic eggs in straw baskets or scattering hard-boiled eggs across lawns for children to find.

  • Fourth quarter surge, still waiting for budget

    Not only did Friday mark the end to another busy week in the Kentucky Senate, it also was day 46 of our 60-day legislative session. We are now in the proverbial “fourth quarter” when the House and the Senate must come together to get a victory for the state of Kentucky by passing a responsible budget. After 10 weeks we are still awaiting a key “assist” from our colleagues in the House in the form of a budget bill that has yet to pass the lower chamber.