• Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. - The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

  • Since each has generated countless news stories and social media posts, it’s certainly understandable if the public thinks this year’s legislative session is just about the state budget and possible reforms of our public retirement systems.

    While the fate of those bills is what will ultimately be remembered most from the General Assembly’s time in the Capitol this year, that shouldn’t overshadow the many other issues that the House and Senate are also considering. They may not be as far-reaching, but they will have an impact just the same.

  • As we draw closer to the end of the 2018 Regular Session, there has been no shortage of movement on significant bills in Frankfort this week. The Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee has spent several days and some late nights working on the Senate’s budget proposal, which we expect to go before the committee early next week.

  • March 24, 1988 (30 years ago)

    Around 60 Trimble teachers joined 20,000 educators and supporters from across the state at a Kentucky Educational Association rally in Frankfort to protest Gov. Wallace Wilkinson’s proposed budget. KEA originally expected around 10,000 protesters to show up and march around the Capitol Building. Of the state’s 178 public school districts, 96 canceled class to allow teachers to rally.

  • When it comes to getting from points A to B, few states do as good a job as Kentucky.

    It certainly doesn’t hurt that our central location puts us closer to more Americans than any other state, and only three states have more miles of navigable waterways. We’ve added to that by having not one but two of the country’s busiest cargo airports, and we’re also among the top 10 states when counting the number of railcars originating here, a statistic that sheds light on the true size of our manufacturing and coal industries.

  • March 17, 1988 (30 years ago)

    State Rep. Bob Jones answered questions from 17 people at a public meeting in Bedford. Questions ranged from gun control to the representative’s vote on putting a lottery initiative on the ballot that would’ve allowed the Commonwealth’s citizens to have a direct say on the matter. Jones cited concerns in West Virginia with that state’s lottery and that it was losing money at the time.

  • When Governor Bevin presented his budget to the General Assembly in late January, it quickly became clear that his proposed cuts to education would be too much for our schools to handle.

    It would reduce elementary and secondary funding by more than $380 million over the next two years and take away almost $160 million more from our colleges and universities. That’s 540 million steps back at a time when it is more critical than ever that we have our students running ahead.

  • Receiving the Commonwealth’s two-year, multi-billion dollar budget plan from our colleagues in the House highlighted one of our busiest weeks yet in the Senate as we reached the two-thirds point of the 2018 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Hundreds of visitors from all corners of Kentucky packed committee hearings and rallied for important causes in a week that saw no shortage of legislative activity.

  • March 10, 1988 (30 years ago)

    Trimble County Schools were selected through the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative for a five-year program to help students with severe handicaps to become less isolated and more self-sufficient, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.

    The Trimble County Retired Teachers Association elected Carl Allen to be the group’s president. Vernon Craig was elected vice president and Lola Stark was elected secretary-treasurer.

  • The waters have receded since this time last week and hopefully the river levels trend toward normal. Despite the damage done, stories shared by others online help show that here in small towns, we persevere through whatever is thrown at us.

  • Over the last week, heavy rains and strong winds caused widespread destruction across Kentucky. Sustained rainfall has led to devastating flooding in many communities, especially along the Ohio River.

  • After weeks of anticipation and months of discussions and meetings with stakeholders, the Kentucky Senate Majority Caucus filed its comprehensive pension reform bill as Senate Bill (SB) 1 on Tuesday, Feb. 20. While SB 1 marked the filing of one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the 2018 Session, we continued to hold committee meetings and voted bills out of the Senate chamber, making for another busy week in Frankfort.

  • Although it wasn’t his intention, Governor Bevin’s plan to radically change Kentucky’s public retirement systems has sparked a textbook example of democracy in action.

    Since he and other legislative leaders presented a framework of ideas last fall, there have been dozens of public forums, hundreds of people crowding the Capitol’s hallways and thousands of letters, phone messages and emails – almost all of which have been in opposition to what the governor would like to do.

  • March 3, 1988 (30 years ago)

  • My work as a state legislator may not have much in common with a doctor’s, but when I am considering which bills to support or oppose, I keep that profession’s primary rule in mind: First, do no harm.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t tough decisions to be made. In an era where costs are outpacing revenues, we’re just not able to do all we would like.

    At the same time, I believe the state needs to do the most good for the most people whenever possible, which is why some of the legislation being considered this year raises concerns.

  • Feb. 25, 1988 (30 years ago)

    The Trimble County Historical Society worked on the publication of a yearbook that would have between 50 to 100 pages of historical articles and information and would be free to paid members of the society or available for $10 per copy. The society collected Bible records, Revolutionary War and Civil War pension applications, riverboat landings and more. Membership in the society at the time cost $10 per person or $15 per family.

  • Feb. 18, 1988

    (30 years ago)

    The Trimble County Rescue Squad purchased the Jaws of Life. The equipment was bought with money borrowed from the bank and members planned to sell baked goods and take donations in order to pay off the purchase. “This is one of the best tools ever purchased,” said Sheriff Howard Long. “We’ve called Madison three different times last year. With these here, we won’t have to call them. It’s essential to have such a tool, it’s a tool that can save time and lives.”

  • As a bill, the state budget isn’t particularly long, but it’s not a quick read, either, with blocks of text periodically broken up by rows of numbers.

  • Last December, Bernie Sanders, a liberal Senator from Vermont, led every single Senate Democrat to impose an endowment tax of around $1 million per year on Berea College.

  • The one thing a legislative session guarantees is that no two days are alike. My House colleagues and I may spend an hour or more debating a bill that could have a profound impact on education or public safety, and then pivot to discuss another important to farming.

    Since some bills move through the committee system faster than others, their arrival before the full chamber is generally not coordinated. And yet, it is not uncommon for themes to emerge, as one did last week.