A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rep. Dennis Keene: A crowded affair in Ky’s Capitol as legislative session approaches halfway mark

Democracy in action is often a crowded affair, as the waiting rooms and hallways of the Capitol and Capitol Annex overflowed this past week with large groups of Kentuckians traveling to Frankfort to make their voices heard on key issues important to their cause. I had meetings last week with librarians, social workers, physician assistants, county magistrates, steel workers, representatives from United...

Ryan Quarles: Mark the voluntary ‘ag tag’ farm license donation to invest in Kentucky’s youth

You are proud to be a farmer. That is why you buy farm license plates for your farm vehicles. When you renew your farm plates – or “ag tags” – you have the opportunity to make a voluntary donation to the Ag Tag Fund to help support and promote Kentucky agriculture Proceeds from the fund are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), for...

Mitch McConnell: Stream Buffer Rule put coal-related jobs at risk; friend in White House changed that

As the Obama administration packed its boxes and prepared to leave office, the former president took a parting shot at Appalachian coal communities, who have already been some of the areas most hurt by his coal policies. After eight years of anti-coal executive actions, the Obama administration added insult to injury with its Stream Buffer Rule. This regulation was a blatant attack on coal jobs and...

John Schickel: Maximizing our time, Senate passed important legislation, starting to consider House bills

A wide array of bills were heard in committees and voted out of the Senate in a busy and exciting third week of the 2017 Session. Because this year’s 30-day meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly is considered a “short session,” we make sure we maximize our time here in Frankfort.   Senate Bill 14, which strengthens penalties for trafficking in heroin, is a bill I have been working on for...

Rep. Sal Santoro: Much accomplished in early weeks of short session, more work to be done

The House has just completed another week of the 2017 session, but due to an unprecedented level of production, we have already accomplished much of what the people of the Commonwealth sent us to do. Santoro In our first week, we made good on promises to promote economic growth, protect the sanctity of life, and restore a government that works for the people.  These accomplishments have already paid...

Stephen Pruitt: Blurring lines between college prep and career/technical education classes is good thing

Blurring the lines when you’re painting stripes for a new road is probably not a good thing. Blurring the lines between career and technical education (CTE) classes and what we’ve traditionally thought of as college-prep classes, however, is a great thing. Too often in the past we’ve thought of CTE as being an alternative pathway for students who, for one reason or another, weren’t going to...

Letter to the Editor: JoAnn Schwartz urges Gov. Bevin to move Kentucky toward sensible tax code

It’s been a week now since Governor Bevin’s State of the State address. I have been mulling over his words, guardedly optimistic that the Commonwealth may actually change our outdated tax system. The governor said we must search out more revenue, not only for our monumental pension liability but for other services. A healthy tax structure, bringing in enough revenue, influences our ability to invest...

Bill Straub: Focusing on results and not the theatrics, McConnell thinks Trump is doing just fine

WASHINGTON – It took that great philosopher, John Matuszak, to sum up in a single thought what makes America great. Back in the late 1970s, early ‘80s, the Oakland Raiders were truly nothing more than a gang of outlaws and Matuszak, the team’s standout defensive end, was the most notorious of them all — the Al Capone of the silver and black. On the Sunday of Super Bowl XV in New Orleans,...

Ron Daley: Rural communities don’t dream ‘big enough,’ miss out on great opportunities

Rural communities miss great opportunities when their leaders and citizens do not dream big enough. One of our problems in not making “Appalachian Kentucky Great Again” has been thinking too small and scaling down our dreams and expectations. Congressman Hal Rogers has had a big vision for bringing the digital economy for nearly 10 years but, often our organizations and citizens have been slow...

Rep. Dennis Keene: Democratic caucus sets ‘United Kentucky’ focus on jobs, education, health care

I joined my fellow lawmakers back in Frankfort last week as we reconvened the 2017 session of the Kentucky General Assembly after a near month-long break following our brief, but rushed, organizational session in early January. I was proud to join our Democratic Caucus in the House on Thursday in unveiling a legislative agenda calling for a “United Kentucky” to support legislation that will increase...

Adam Koenig: Time is now for Brent Spence Bridge as public-private partnerships offer funding options

For over 50 years now, countless vehicles have traveled from Northern Kentucky into Ohio, and vice-versa, on the Brent Spence Bridge. Whether it be to transport goods, travel, or engage in commerce, Brent Spence has been heavily utilized over the years, and this traffic has taken its toll. Currently operating at nearly three times of what it was designed to carry, a new bridge is essential, yet this...

Brent Cooper: Cybercrime is more prevalent than ever and we need to deal more aggressively with it

We have a growing epidemic of cybercrime in this country. I’ve been working in I.T. my entire adult life and I can’t remember a time when cybersecurity was this bad. Thanks to ever increasing news stories about hacks, breaches, leaks and identity theft, most folks are aware that cybercrime exists, but we still aren’t talking about it the way we should. This week Dave Hatter (Mayor of Fort...

Letter to the Editor: Do we need the EPA? JoAnn Schwartz says we do; eliminating it is short sighted

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.” Pope Francis Congressman Thomas Massie has joined a Republican colleague from Florida in introducing legislation aimed at eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This federal agency created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon is tasked with protecting human health and the environment, ensuring that all Americans...

AMA’s Andrew Gurman: Anthem-Cigna merger would have been ‘bad medicine’ for patients

In a David vs. Goliath battle between consumers and mega insurers, a federal judge has ruled that Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna poses a clear and present threat to the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the United States. Gurman The AMA applauds the fact-based ruling by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, which stopped in its tracks the creation of an immense corporate entity...

Bill Straub: Politicians lining up to eliminate the EPA have strong Kentucky ties in common

WASHINGTON – Kentucky is piecing together a strong contingent of volunteers ready and willing to do battle with raging hordes of tree-huggers and scientists in the ongoing War on the Environment, emerging proudly as the modern embodiment of F Troop. The commonwealth’s defenders are firmly fixed along an ecological Maginot Line in the battle against those who would foist potable water and breathable...