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Guest Columns

  • Pace of legislature quickens as session nears final days

    As other Kentucky House leaders and I were putting the final touches on a proposed two-year state budget last week, legislators received not one but two reports of good economic news.
    On Thursday, state officials said that revenues have grown 4.3 percent so far this current fiscal year, all but guaranteeing a surplus with less than four months to go. The sales tax – one of the state’s major revenue sources and a strong indicator of consumer confidence – has now increased in 24 of the past 26 months.

  • Dealing with bed bugs in the Trimble County school system

    Dear Readers,
    This week I would like to take some time to deal with a particularly concerning topic, bed bugs. Over the past few weeks there have been cases of bed bugs within our schools, which has caused some level of panic. My purpose here is to educate the community on this issue, how the school responds, and to express that this is a community issue that will require everyone working together in order to successfully resolve it.

  • Pro-life bill, other measures get Senate nod

    The passage of bills that would help children with disabilities, preserve rights of victims in criminal cases, and fight for the rights of the unborn highlighted another busy week in the Senate. As Thursday marked day 40 of our 60-day legislative session in Frankfort, we are still anxiously awaiting a budget bill from our colleagues in the House.

  • Final weeks of legislative session should be hectic

    As college basketball fans prepare for the postseason, it’s worth pointing out that the final few weeks of a legislative session are not that much different from March Madness.
    The pace in both cases is hectic; time is a factor; and bills, like the teams, either move forward or see their run end early.
    The key difference is that, while the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments end with a single winner, a legislative session can have many shining moments.

  • Who is worthy enough?

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about a local pastor, Larry Silverman, of New Covenant Grace Fellowship.
    Shortly after that I was dusting my bookcase and found a book Larry wrote, “The River is Here.”
    The river in the title is taken from something Jesus said: “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:38, New Living Translation).

  • EMS death benefits bill passes Senate

    As the Senate eagerly awaits a budget proposal from the House of Representatives, we are busy passing bills both out of committee and through the Senate to send to our House colleagues during the eighth week of the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly.

  • Consumer protection focus of four House measures last week

    When it comes to the public’s safety and well-being, consumer protection may not always grab the headlines, but that doesn’t diminish its importance.
    It was the key theme last week in the Kentucky House, which moved forward not one but four bills touching on this issue.

  • On National FFA Week, join me in reflecting on the importance of FFA in Kentucky

    This is National FFA Week, so I wanted to let Kentuckians know how important FFA is to me.
    Growing up on a farm in central Kentucky, where my family has lived and farmed for more than 200 years, I proudly wore the blue corduroy jacket as an active member of Scott County High School’s FFA chapter.
    FFA is important to Kentucky because it prepares our next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders. Who knows? A future Kentucky commissioner of agriculture might be a member of FFA right now, just as I was.

  • Be winsome to win some

    Ask a group of restaurant servers which is their least favorite shift to work and their number one answer will be Sunday after church.
    It seems we churchgoers are a cranky bunch when we’re hungry, and that’s putting it politely.
    Their consensus of us is that we’re demanding and rude. We sit in large groups and stay longer than we should, discussing the morning’s sermon (or latest church gossip), commenting on the heathens at the nearby table drinking Bloody Marys.

  • Senate passes two priority bills

    Heated floor speeches, huge committee hearings, and the observance of Presidents’ Day highlighted the seventh week of the 2016 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. As we have passed the halfway point of this session, the countdown begins as we in the Senate anticipate the forthcoming 2016-2018 budget bill from the House of Representatives.
    There was no shortage of bill movement in the Senate this week as we passed two of our priority bills, Senate Bill (SB) 1 and SB 5.