A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Schickel: Pulling together, keeping an eye on budget — and reminding you to wash your hands

As your state senator, I want to be there for you. These are very trying times and people are understandably anxious.

I want to express my gratitude to those who are making sure Kentuckians are taken care of. These include our medical professionals caring for the sick, first responders, and neighbors helping neighbors. There are many fears right now, and they are understandable, but I trust when we look back on this time we will remember how we pulled together to get through this crisis.

On Thursday, the Senate passed House Bill (HB) 352, the biennial budget bill. The efforts in getting to this point in the budget process have required intensive reviews, substantive discussions, and very late nights. I want to make it abundantly clear, however, the budget process is not over. My promise is to continue to advocate for Boone County. I do not take my responsibility to you for granted.

We are in unprecedented times. Very few citizens will not be affected one way or another by this crisis. It is important that we pull together as a Boone County community. I have been touched by some of the stories of sacrifice and generosity coming out of our community. Many are stepping up to help those in need. Boone County bus drivers have been delivering meals to families that need them. The Boone County School System is teaching online. Churches and other groups are reaching out to help their neighbors. There are a lot of services available and more on the way. Governor Beshear has done an outstanding job of keeping the public informed. Below are further resources that you may find beneficial as we move forward to address COVID-19.

Madi Childress, an 8th grader at Ballyshannon Middle School, participates in art class online during the coronavirus crisis. (Photo provided.

Governor Beshear continues to add updated information to his website at governor.ky.gov or kycovid19.ky.gov. Also, on the CDC’s website, you can find useful tips on how to protect yourself, such as what to do if you think you are sick, how to prepare your family, and community resources regarding businesses and employees, travel, schools, and childcare, and community and faith-based organizations. Communities across the nation should put these resources to use, and families should take the time to familiarize themselves with ways they can keep their loved ones safe. That website is cdc.gov/coronavirus.

I am particularly concerned about small business owners and those who work for small businesses. This crisis has been devastating to them. Kentucky small businesses have been approved for federal disaster relief loans through the Small Business Administration. Loans can be used for a variety of needs where cash flow has dried up. The maximum loan term is 30 years and the interest rate is at 3.75 percent for those who do not have access to credit. Businesses with credit elsewhere do not appear to be eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75 percent and small agricultural cooperatives are listed as eligible. Businesses can get additional information and apply online.

Applicants may also call 1 (800)659–2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. The deadline to apply has been set for December 21, 2020.
We are still in session in Frankfort, but this crisis has recalibrated everything. It is my belief that we should do our constitutional responsibility and pass the budget and any other legislation that has to do with this crisis, then adjourn.

Because of limited staffing, it would be best to contact me at www.legislature.ky.gov or by calling my home number at (859) 384-7506.

 This crisis is not going away overnight.

We don’t know how long this will last or what the results will be. I do know that we will pull through this by helping each other, working together, and praying for our Boone County families.

God bless each of you and wash your hands.

John Schickel is the state Senator from Boone County’s District 11.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment