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Guest Columns

  • Budget vote expected this week

    As it normally does during the first full week of March in even-numbered years, the Kentucky House of Representatives will vote on its proposed budget this week to run state government.            

  • Consumer protection, meth lab reduction focus of Senate action

    Another week goes by in a whirl of legislative meetings, visits from hometown folks and organized groups such as 4-H and the 874K Coalition. Even though the House has yet to act on the budget proposal, senators continue to educate ourselves and monitor the budget meetings in the House.  In addition, senators continue to meet in small groups to review the different budget needs of the various agencies. We expect to receive the House proposal next week.

  • Harris reflects on week in Senate

    After a pause for President’s Day, the Legislature moved into the second half of the 2012 General Assembly Session. I had visits from groups representing adult day health care providers and developmental disabilities. Many Boy Scout troops came to Frankfort for the annual Boy Scout Day at the Capitol. It was a pleasure to see these civic-minded boys and young men and their dedicated troop leaders and parents.

  • Children’s welfare prompts House action

    In each legislative session, the Kentucky House of Representatives spends a considerable amount of time on those who comprise our youngest generation, looking for ways to help them at home and in the classroom.

    Last week was a high-water mark in both of those areas.  On Wednesday, for example, the House of Representatives put its unanimous support behind legislation that would make it illegal to intentionally view child pornography.

  • ‘Three free sins’

    It’s not every day that I get “three free sins” in the mail, but today I did.

    Unfortunately, I used them up even before I got the envelope opened.

    I’m talking about Bible teacher, author and Christian radio personality Steve Brown’s new book, “Three Free Sins,” subtitled, “God’s Not Mad at You.”

    The title comes from Steve’s former call-in radio program where he gave callers three free sins - six if they called on a cell phone.

  • Bipartisan support in prescription drugs effort

    When the General Assembly began the legislative session last month, there was already broad agreement on what the three biggest issues would be: Writing state government’s budget; realigning legislative and Kentucky Supreme Court districts; and limiting if not stopping prescription drug abuse.

    Last week, the latter two took center stage.

  • Senate tackles travel, education measures; redistricting to courts

    Greetings from Frankfort! Anyone visiting the capitol this week would have enjoyed watching democracy in action, both on an individual level as well as a grander level. We passed legislation that made road travel safer for the Amish, we moved forward in education, and we found consensus on congressional redistricting even as legislative redistricting moved to the courts. It was a full week.

  • Senate passes bills on education, calendar adjustments for schools with polling locations

    The Senate passed several bills this week. Of these bills, three education bills are of particular importance.

    Many students feel bored with the pace of high school during their senior year. Senate Bill 86, passed with bipartisan support, helps focus our students on the higher challenges required of them. It provides an early graduation option to high school students who meet course requirements, grade point average, and college readiness standards.

  • Seeking God’s face

    Circle this date on your calendar: Feb. 15, “John Frum Day.”

    Celebrated on the remote South Pacific island of Tanna, on John Frum Day islanders dress up as American G.I.s, with “USA” painted in red on their bare chests and backs and march in perfect step with bamboo rifles on their shoulders.

  • Agriculture, energy among areas of focus for House

    While no one can predict exactly what will pass in a regular legislative session, one constant can always be counted on: Diversity. Last week was a textbook example of that in action in the Kentucky House, with legislation ranging from wild pigs to alternative energy projects.