A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

David Meade and Glenna Bevin: Children, families came first in 2018 legislative session

While numerous policies beneficial to all Kentuckians were passed in the 2018 session, children and families were the major winners.   The record of accomplishment on their behalf in 2018 alone was extraordinary. Not only did we work together to make significant reforms to Kentucky’s adoption and foster care systems, but social workers received significant raises and overburdened family courts received...

William McCann: Once worthy only of being ignored, Kentucky’s theatrical lights shine bright

Perhaps, once upon a time or in a galaxy far, far away, Kentucky’s theatre arts world was viewed from outside as insignificant and worthy only of being ignored. But our playwrights and theatres have always been artistic bright lights. Charles Edward Pogue Charles Edward Pogue, who, before he ‘retired’ to Georgetown ‘only’ managed to co-write or write some outstanding screenplays — The...

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Aiming to legalize growing industrial hemp and help Kentucky farmers expand

For far too long, the federal government has prevented most farmers from growing hemp. Although it was a foundational part of Kentucky’s heritage and today you can buy products made with hemp at stores across the country, most farmers have been barred from planting it in their fields. I have heard from many Kentucky farmers who agree it’s time to remove the federal hurdles in place and give our...

Jeff Rubin: Silent crimes against children, women and elderly need to become less silent

April is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that places the spotlight on two issues I find disturbing, both for the nature of the crimes and the helplessness of the victims. That’s why the recent report on child maltreatment released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau got my attention. The report cites Kentucky as the second highest state...

Melissa Martin: The drug addiction monster attacks in many ways, all are dangerous

There are three types of drug dealers. The ones that sneak around under the darkness of night in alleys and those that sneak around in broad daylight in lavish offices at pharmaceutical companies. And the third type; prescribing physicians that disregard the Hippocratic Oath and choose to do harm instead. The first type was recently arrested in Appalachia; brothers from Detroit who hired locals to...

Bill Straub: Bevin’s actions, while reprehensible, were not surprising and his ‘apology’ didn’t help

But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (No, check that. Try Nina Simone) A rather famous Kentuckian, a fellow named Lincoln, is credited with saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.’’ It is a precept that apparently escaped the attention of St....

Mitch McConnell: As ‘Tax Day’ passes, say goodbye to unfair, outdated tax code now in the past

For many middle-class families and businesses, Tax Day is circled on the calendar with regret and trepidation. But this year, this depressing day had a silver lining — simply put, it’s ‘out with the old, and in with the new.’ Today is the last time American families will have to file under the unfair, outdated tax code that Congress and the president got rid of a few months ago. Republicans’...

Kristin Gangwer: Make a difference this earth day, through sustainability at home, at work and at play

This year, as Green Umbrella celebrates 20 years as Greater Cincinnati’s hub for environmental sustainability, we are excited to reflect on the sustainability successes our region has achieved. Gangwer Notably, in 2017, Greater Cincinnati was named the nation’s #1 metro area for sustainability by Site Selection Magazine. Additionally, we now have 116,000 acres of protected greenspace in the region,...

Prichard Committee: Kentucky is backsliding on its educational progress; we need a sense of urgency

At the close of what has been a tumultuous legislative session, state lawmakers voted to override Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of the budget for the next two years, as well as a separate revenue measure that raised additional public funds through a series of tax changes. “While these veto overrides move us forward, it is clear more progress must be made to stem the erosion of Kentucky’s commitment...

Addia Wuchner: Swift action on vetoes ensure significant tax reform and budget package for KY

In swift and effective action, the Kentucky House and Senate overrode Governor Matt Bevin’s veto on House Bills 200 and 366, which was the state budget and tax reform package respectively. Rep. Wuchner To fund pensions and education in record-levels, the General Assembly passed a revenue measure based on comprehensive tax reform to deliberately move in a direction to lower, and one day possibly eliminate,...

Constance Alexander: Christopher P. Collins – husband, father, citizen, soldier, teacher, poet, Ph.D.

His home page is a black and white shot of Arlington National Cemetery. While the sky hovers at the edge of a storm, endless rows of headstones line up with military precision beneath clusters of leave-laden trees. There is some open space in the center, perhaps awaiting the arrival of other soldiers from different wars. By contrast, the cover of Christopher P. Collins’ award-winning collection of...

Brent Cooper: Investment in infrastructure is needed to maintain and grow region’s economy

As most of you know, Kentucky is a logistics hub, with three global shipping centers, 20 interstates and major highways, major railways, barge traffic on two large rivers, and more than 65 commercial and regional airports. Cooper In Northern Kentucky businesses depend heavily on our international airport (the largest airport in Kentucky), the Ohio River, major railways, public transit, and interstates...

Commentary: Scholarship tax credits represent responsible approach to expanding opportunity

By Charles Leis Thousands of Kentucky families have new reason to be optimistic about their children’s education and future: Renewed budget and tax reform negotiations offer the General Assembly another opportunity to help Kentucky students by establishing a Scholarship Tax Credit program. Leis When the final budget and revenue bills were released without a Scholarship Tax Credit proposal—I was...

Bill Straub: Kentucky is the Jack Benny of the states; tries to run the government on the cheap

Kentucky is forever trying to get by on the cheap, making it the Jack Benny of the 50 states. You can bet that the only time the state will spend money to provide the sort of services necessary for the 21st Century is when it’s absolutely forced into a corner. Even then, like Benny when a robber threatened him with “Your money or your life,’’ it will offer a long, pregnant pause before responding,...

Campbell County Schools Superintendent’s open letter to legislators urges override of vetoes

Open Letter to Kentucky Legislators I am drafting this letter to every legislator in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  In particular, I seek to reach those who serve me locally as a resident of the City of Independence and as the Superintendent of Campbell County Public Schools —  Damon Thayer, Wil Schroder, Chris McDaniel, Kim Moser, Dennis Keene and Joe Fischer. Rust I have watched and participated...