Guest Columns

  • Rand summarizes measures passed by General Assembly

    Legislative sessions tend to be remembered for just a handful of new laws, and this year’s, which ended April 15, is no different.
    The budget was understandably the most prominent, with its chief highlight being the significant amount of new money the General Assembly put toward the unfunded liabilities of our public retirement systems.

  • Senator Hornback's Frankfort report
  • Legislative session ends with pension agreement

    For more than a decade now, the most pressing long-term problem in Kentucky has been the growing liabilities of our public retirement systems for teachers and state employees.
    Both systems had far more than they needed a dozen or so years ago, but two recessions since then have swept most of those gains away.
    While the systems are able to pay monthly benefits, they are still having to sell assets, making it tougher for their other investments to compensate. This trend could be catastrophic in a decade or two if we don’t act now.

  • Home Sweet Home: No better place

    As a small child I remember sitting on my grandma’s lap and listening to her talk about traveling across the United States with my grandpa, on the back of a BMW motorcycle. She would describe the beautiful sights, flowers, mountains, cities and countryside. However, my grandmother always ended her stories with a statement I didn’t quite understand. “After all of those beautiful places and nice people, the best part of a vacation was arriving back home where the grass was a little greener, people sweeter and the winding river bordering the county.”

  • Legislature hopes to solve differences over state budget

    This week, the General Assembly returns to the Capitol for a single day to wrap up the 2016 legislative session.
    While this time traditionally has been set aside just to consider whether the House and Senate should override any vetoes a governor might issue, we have begun in recent years to also use this time to vote on other bills that were unresolved before the veto recess. This year, the biggest of those is the state’s two-year budget.

  • Local Planning Committee review

    Dear Readers,

  • Budget talks ongoing, Senate passes bills

    Long days, heated discussions, and budget negotiations marked the 13th week of the 2016 General Assembly. The Senate was in session three of the five weekdays while the Senate and House leaders used the other two days to work on budget negotiations.
    The Senate is working diligently toward a budget compromise ensuring the people of the Commonwealth are not left without a state budget at the end of the session. We do not want to waste taxpayer dollars by calling a special session.

  • Rand addresses questions about stalled budget talks

    Since House and Senate leaders announced Thursday morning that budget talks had stalled, there have understandably been many questions from the public about what happened – and what is likely to happen next.
    If the conflict could be boiled down to a single word, it would be “education.” The House believes that, in an era where there is money to meet our core needs and fully fund contributions to our two main public retirement systems, schools and universities should not be cut.

  • Pension systems gets Senate attention

    Addressing Kentucky’s underfunded pension systems was the top priority in the Senate’s version of House Bill (HB) 303, the state’s two-year budget, which passed the Kentucky Senate on March 23.

  • Legislative bodies seek common ground

    At the end of a legislative session, months of preparation and weeks of debate give way to a handful of days where the General Assembly and governor decide what will become law and what will have to wait.
    It’s a predictably busy time, especially when the budget is in the mix during even-numbered years.