A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Michelle Kuiper: I’m a survivor and a statistic, so I can speak to the need to pass Marsy’s Law

“When I look at Lady Justice, I want to see the justice scales balanced and equal.  Marsy’s Law passing in 2018, would accomplish this for people who have been victimized by crime.” —Michelle Kuiper, sexual assault survivor and advocate   Every two hours someone in our Commonwealth becomes a victim to forcible sexual assault or robbery. If you do the math, that comes out to 4,380 people per...

Sandra Wilson: Kentucky film incentives are a success story and a great recipe for success

The Kentucky film industry is a success story in the making. Since the General Assembly adopted a new incentive structure in 2015, Kentucky has benefitted from a 900 percent increase in the number of productions shot in the Bluegrass State. Click image for link to Kentucky Film Association web site. Those productions have led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in direct...

Commentary: Governor’s budget presented, so now House can get to work on formulating its own plan

On Tuesday, to mark the official kick-off of crafting Kentucky’s two year budget, Governor Matt Bevin presented his budget proposal while addressing the General Assembly in a Joint Session for the annual State of the Commonwealth. Kentuckians, along with members of the House and Senate, Cabinet Secretaries, and Supreme Court Justices, listened intently for what many feared would be one of the trimmest,...

Legal Aid Directors: Civil legal aid programs help struggling Kyians get justice; Governor’s cuts wrong

We are deeply disappointed the Governor is proposing to eliminate the Access to Justice civil legal aid funding in his 2018 budget. We understand the state’s funding shortfall, but like public safety, legal aid funding provides a vital service and is a safety net for more than 50,000 veterans, hard-working families, and low-income individuals. Civil legal aid serves Kentuckians in all 120 counties...

Richard Nelson: New approach to healthy Kentucky – to help people take ownership of their own lives

Kentucky became the first state in the nation to receive a federal waiver to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, go to school, or engage in community service at least 20-hours per week. Gov. Bevin said “This marks the first significant change to a federal entitlement program in more than 20 years.” It’s a move he believes will provide a model for other states to follow. Interestingly,...

Bill Straub: You can look it up or take a stand, but words do speak for themselves. Figure it out.

You may have heard, it’s been in all the papers, that the president of these United States, one Donald J. Trump, recently referred to many if not all nations on the African continent as shitholes, throwing poor, old Haiti and El Salvador into the discussion to boot, while expressing a desire to attract more folks to our shores from Norway, a rather nice but cold spot on the globe that is known for,...

Terry Brooks: Lessons from Governor — services for children define our future, seize opportunities

The real takeaway from the address from Governor Matt Bevin is a question: What kind of commonwealth do we want to be? Is it one in which needed protections for kids are absent and a rising tide of poverty is pervasive? A place where families struggle to stay together and early investments for kids fall to the wayside? Or will we as a commonwealth move towards an environment in which current challenges...

Brigitte Blom Ramsey: Kentucky has made progress but can do better; we need to become national leader

The early work of the Prichard Committee was marked by a shared sentiment: “We were mad as hell and we weren’t going to take it anymore.” Citizen advocates were mad because Kentucky ranked at the bottom of national education rankings and determined that we do better. Now, Kentucky is in the middle of the national rankings and we still know we can do better. The current question, as asked...

Dr. Molly Rutherford: New patient-centered model, Direct Primary Care, is spreading across the state

A new patient-centered model of primary care, Direct Primary Care, is spreading across Kentucky. In his NKyTribune commentary on January 13, Patrick Padgett made several valid points in “Patients shouldn’t have to pay for Anthem’s poor business decisions.” Another way to say this is, “patients and their physicians should have more control over their healthcare decisions.” As our politicians...

Charlie Gardner: Corporal punishment should be abolished in Kentucky schools; tell your legislators

Kentucky is one of nineteen states that still allow corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is an archaic method that has plagued the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This atrocious punishment is the use of physical force on a minor or mentally disabled person. These methods include paddling, spanking, flogging, and other forms of physical discipline. This inappropriate measure needs to be abolished in...

John Schickel: First week in the Senate was a busy one, despite losing one day to extreme weather

The threat of extreme winter weather conditions caused us to call off session in Frankfort on Friday, but not before we passed significant bills in the Senate earlier in the week. We hit the ground running during the second week of the 2018 Session—standing committees met to discuss and pass bills which then went to the Senate floor for a full vote. We passed SB 4, another constitutional amendment...

Commentary: Patients shouldn’t have to pay for Anthem’s poor business decisions

By Patrick T. Padgett Executive Vice President, Kentucky Medical Association   Even though physicians, hospitals, nurses and other medical providers give care to people every day, they have very little control over how that care is delivered.  That control, unfortunately, rests with health insurers.  Their policies dictate not only what is covered, but how care is delivered, and it says a great...

David Beck: Protecting, enhancing our transportation infrastructure requires our collective efforts

Roads get people to work, students to school, crops and livestock to market, and operational inputs to the farm. Without an effective infrastructure, commerce in Kentucky grinds to a halt. I don’t have to tell Kentucky Farm Bureau members how important transportation issues are. Kentucky Farm Bureau has worked hard to maintain the 22.2 percent allocation of the state gasoline tax revenue for rural...

Bill Straub: ‘St. Matt the Divine’s’ jokes about Trump and global warming no laughing matter

WASHINGTON – St. Matt the Divine dropped his parson’s collar a few days back to engage in the one thing his gubernatorial administration has proved he’s really good at – comedy. Gov. Bevin With much of the country trapped in a deep freeze last week, including single-digit temperatures throughout the commonwealth and minus readings in places like Florence, Gov. Matt Bevin thought the time was...

Letter to Editor: Larry Totten of KY Public Retirees says bold action needed for pension, revenues

While the discussion in Frankfort lately is about pension reform, many believe the far more serious problem is the unfunded liability in each pension plan. For years our state budgets purposely underfunded public pension plans; this money went towards other government functions. Past Legislatures and Governors got a “pass” on providing sufficient revenue to fund the whole of government properly....