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Columns and Editorials

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • State lawmakers prepare for new legislative session

    As the General Assembly readies for a return to the Capitol next week to start another legislative session, it is worth taking a look back on what has happened since the last one ended in late March.

    This period is known as the interim, and it gives the House and Senate’s two dozen joint committees – plus several temporary ones – time to review the issues affecting the state in a less pressure-filled setting.  In some cases, meetings are held across the state.

  • Things are looking up for Kentucky in 2016

    Around this time of year, we often find ourselves counting, whether it is the number of days left in the year, the number of presents we still need to buy or the number of calories we put on our plates.  The holidays are when many count their blessings as well.

    In that regard, 2015 has turned out to be a pretty good year in many respects for the commonwealth.