A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Schickel: It’s imperative to keep economy healthy, maintain resources to address COVID-19

When we watch the national news, we see things that are distressing in large cities and their emergency rooms. I have received numerous calls, especially from senior citizens who are very anxious. The good news is Saint Elizabeth Hospital has done an excellent job preparing for this crisis.

I speak with Saint Elizabeth Chief Executive Officer Garren Colvin on a conference call weekly, and he has done a great job keeping me informed. I appreciate his efforts to do that because it affords me the ability to keep you informed as well. I will share some of the things he explained to me.

There are currently more than enough beds for COVID-19 patients at St. Elizabeth Hospital. In fact, the numbers are decreasing. There are also more than enough ventilators available. Across Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Grant Counties, there were recently a total of 646 cases of COVID-19 and 42 deaths. Most of these cases patients have fully recovered, and those who have died from the virus are primarily in advanced age and suffer from severe underlying health conditions making them susceptible to the virus.

As a Northern Kentucky community, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved.

• We received great news from the Governor’s Office last Thursday that restaurants will be allowed to open on May 22 with restrictions. I have been in constant contact with the Governor’s Office.

• I am very concerned about small businesses in Northern Kentucky. The Governor recently released his plan for reopening Kentucky, which you can find at https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-healthy-at-work. I appreciate his leadership. He has a difficult job. I have been urging him to adjust this plan to make more allowances for small businesses.

You cannot overstate the negative effect that this crisis will have on our economy and the correlating harms it will do to our people. It is imperative that we keep our economy healthy so that we can maintain the resources to address the pandemic, and Kentuckians can provide for their essential needs. Businesses remaining closed affects everything from pensions to school funding, social security, and every other aspect of our lives. Our goal should be to have our kids back in school by next fall.

* Thank you, Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore, Saint Elizabeth Hospital, and our health department for keeping me so well informed. As soon as I receive information that I think is important, I will be sure to share it with you. I put out frequent email blasts and if you are not included but would like to be, please email my legislative assistant Kathy Lewis at kathy.lewis@lrc.ky.gov to be added to my email list.

• The 2020 Regular Session ended last month. We decided to adopt a 1-year budget instead of the normal 2-year budget. This was a wise decision providing the state flexibility.

• Budget revenues are dropping off the cliff, so we will be back next year making tough decisions. That is why it is so important to keep the economy open so that revenue streams can return. I am especially concerned about the road fund because we have so many Northern Kentucky projects approved in the Budget. I am also concerned about school funding.

In closing, congratulations to all 2020 graduates. This is a year we will always remember. May God bless you now and in the future. Please call me if you need assistance at 502-564-8100 Ext: 617 or at home at 859-384-7506. You can also contact me through my LRC website: https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators/legislatorcontact?DistrictNumber=111.

Senator John Schickel (R-Union) represents the 11th District in Boone County. He serves as chairman of the Senate Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee. Senator Schickel also serves as a member of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee; Judiciary Committee; Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary.

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  1. Rob Heist says:

    I would address the author of this article but I don’t see who wrote it. Why is that not present? Who do I contact? Surely it has a writer.
    Thank you,
    Rob Heist

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