A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jason Bailey: Watch out for attack on pensions on legislative session’s final day, March 28

The General Assembly adjourned for the veto period without providing relief from soon-to-spike pension costs to quasi-governmental organizations like regional universities and community mental health centers. The legislature can still prevent an unaffordable increase on the session’s final day — March 28 — but must reject attempts to attach harmful pension changes that would set Kentucky...

Amye Bensenhaver: A new exception to open records should always raise legislative red flags

Twice this week we were reminded of a common argument used by public agencies to avoid their statutory duties under the open records law. The first reminder came in the form of judicial repudiation of the argument. The second reminder came in the form of legislative acceptance of the argument in a newly enacted, but wholly unvetted, exception to the open records law. The argument is based on the agencies’...

Terry Brooks: March Madness meant upset wins for Kentucky kids in legislature, but we need slam dunks

A high and holy season in the Bluegrass is upon us – March Madness! I will deeply dive into the metrics of winning basketball before completing my bracket.  And my grandkids will consider elements like favorite mascots and team colors before completing theirs – and they will beat me. So, while I may be unable to accurately project winners, this I know. At some point during the tournament, a player...

Al Cross: As General Assembly ends, it did not — in most big ways — act in the public interest

FRANKFORT – With almost all its work done, has the current session of the Kentucky General Assembly acted in the public interest? In many small ways, yes. But in most big ways, no. And, of course, it depends on how you define “public interest.” For example, what some see as needed competition for failing public schools, and more opportunity for students, is seen by others as a drain on schools...

Commentary: Advocates say Kentucky needs a citizen-based defense of sunshine laws

By Amye Bensenhaver 
and Jennifer P. Brown Sunshine Week is upon us and with it the inevitable meteorological metaphors for open government climate change at the federal, state, and local level. These metaphors carry meaning, especially in 2019. There is no better time than now for all Kentuckians to be aware of potential serious threats to laws that protect the public’s right to know how government...

Bill Straub: Worth it or not, the time is coming for decisions to be made and it has to be right

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created a bit of a stir in political circles this week when she told The Washington Post that she opposes impeaching President Trump (yech!) because the spectacle of attempting to remove him from office would prove “divisive to the country.” In something of a coda, Pelosi, a California Democrat, further offered that the blackguard currently holding down the nation’s...

John Henson: Ewell Balltrip, longtime community journalist, editor, was dedicated to Eastern Kentucky

In its history stretching back well over 100 years, the Harlan Daily Enterprise had been the home of many outstanding journalists. Not many, if any, could compare to Ewell Balltrip, whose long battle with illness ended last week. 
Balltrip was a reporter, then editor and then publisher during an Enterprise career that ran from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, where he taught several generations...

Joseph Cotton: Everyone knows the country is ‘going to pot’ — and the good news is you can profit from it

As everyone knows, the country is going to pot. But the good news is that you can profit from it. Pot stocks, which used to be mostly made up of hyped, penny stocks and scams have become mainstream….with a vengeance. The impetus behind the huge resurgence in pot stocks has been the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in an ever-growing list of states, and also the recent legalization...

Fernando Figueroa: Work-based learning and apprenticeships provide opportunities for employers

In our current labor market, identifying a pool of suitable workers can be challenging for many employers. Today, some of the more traditional ways of recruiting a talented workforce seem to be ineffective. However, this conundrum may be a blessing in disguise if it causes employers to be open to considering new opportunities, such as offering work-based learning and apprenticeship experiences, as...

Danielle Corbin: Here are tips for how to choose the best child care center for your child and your family

Choosing the right child care center is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Research shows that just choosing a “high-quality” preschool for your child will help them get kindergarten-ready—and put them on the path to a fantastic future. But what is “high-quality” and how do you know which “high-quality” center is right for your family? Below are six easy things to do...

Tim Hanner: Supporting the Dialysis PATIENTS Act, an opportunity to improve renal care

Those who meet me may think I am a regular guy and perhaps even in good health for someone my age. What they don’t know is that I’ve survived a rare kidney disease, tuberculosis, dialysis treatments, and a kidney transplant.   My health journey has been tumultuous to say the least. Thirteen years ago I was offered the position to be the next Superintendent of the Kenton County School District....

Bill Straub: Hail, hail Fredonia; America is mired in Duck Soup under President Donald J. Trump

Perhaps the time has come to consider changing the name of the United States of America to Freedonia. Groucho Marx (courtesy of Wikipedia) For the uninitiated, Freedonia, land of the free and brave, is the country ruled by Rufus T. Firefly, as played by Groucho Marx, in the classic 1933 film, Duck Soup. The manner in which Firefly operated, it seems, serves as a precursor to the administration of President...

Stuart Sanders: Legislature reflects on history, changes, during session in Old State Capitol

The Kentucky General Assembly recently held a session in the Old State Capitol in Frankfort. State Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester (standing) speaks in a legislative session at the Old State Capitol building in Frankfort (provided photo). It was a special occurrence for the legislature, which last met in the historic structure more than a decade ago. This National Historic Landmark, completed in...

Sandmann attorneys: Washington Post doubles down on lies, we will double down on truth

By L. Linn  Wood and Todd McMurtry In a span of 3 days beginning on January 19, The Washington Post rushed to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies who falsely attacked, vilified and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent 16-year old boy. Wood, left and McMurtry Late last Friday evening, 41 days after it launched its false attacks on a minor, the Post published an Editor’s...

Glenna Bevin: Scholarship tax credits expand education opportunities for all Kentucky’s children

During the next few weeks, our General Assembly has a remarkable opportunity to give thousands of Kentucky children a new path to success by voting in favor of two bills that will help create a scholarship tax credit program. House Bill 205 and Senate Bill 118 will go a long way towards helping children in the Commonwealth reach their dreams. Families like the Hendersons in South Louisville know all...