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Bill Pickerill, 50, and his wife, Monica, have a daughter, Hannah (and her husband, Jay Wimett), and a grand-daughter, Piper.
1. Why are you running?
Why am I running? To make a difference in Frankfort. There's a lot of waste going on in Frankfort, waste of tax dollar money. I feel like being a business owner that I can help control some of the spending up there.
2. Why should people vote for you?
That's a good question. With my experience on the Lebanon City Council for 10 years, again, being a business owner, I know how to make a payroll. I know what it means to not have the money there, struggling, like most Kentuckians are today. And with last year's income to the state of $9 billion, it's not a revenue problem, it's a spending problem. Frankfort needs to cut back, just like most Kentuckians have cut back for the past few years to meet their mortgage payments, their car payments, to put food on the table and send their kids to school.
3. Expanded gaming has been a recurring issue in the legislature for years. If the issue comes up again, are you in favor of allowing casino gaming in Kentucky? Why or why not?
I'm in favor of putting it on the ballot and letting the people of Kentucky decide. There's a lot of constituents in the 24th District that are adamantly against gambling, and there's probably equally as many people that are for or adamantly for expanded gaming. I'm really, I'm not really in favor for because we go back to a spending problem not a revenue problem. I've seen where people have lost their businesses, their homes due to gambling. And I think if it's more readily available - gambling's only an hour and a half away, casino gambling. And I think if you could stop of a few people from just walking across the street to a casino, it might just save their family.
4. Tax reform is another issue that has been discussed for more than a decade with little real effort to correct the issues raised in the Fox Report. What kinds of reforms would you support?
I want to see some of the loopholes on sales tax and on income tax. You know, I haven't seen the final report, which won't be out until after the election. There's several different things on the table that need to be seriously looked at.
5. Unemployment has been above 8 percent for years in Kentucky. What steps can the state government take to help more Kentuckians return to full-time employment?
One way is a different tax structure that will help business owners employ more people. A lot of that is the uncertainty of the Affordable Health Care, or Obamacare, that most businesses are scared to put people on the payroll and then have to start paying additional money for their health care. Education of the workforce, such as getting people that are not getting from high school to college, but from high school to the workforce, get them better trained so they'll know a trade so they'll be a better employee, whether that's manufacturing or services.
6. The pill mill legislation has been credited with driving pill mills from Kentucky, but it has also been criticized by some doctors for making the process of prescribing medication tedious. What if any changes would you recommend?
I think we should let it go for a certain period, maybe another year. Cause like I say, it has curbed the prescription drug problems. I was speaking to a physician in Casey County who said it's not that big of a deal to do. It actually helps him to not prescribe a lot of other medication that people don't need, they just think they need. He said it's really helped him in being more of a doctor than just prescribing medicine. It's been good for them, and it's been proven that it has reduced the prescription drug problem.
7. House Bill 463 has allowed hundreds of prisoners early release statewide. While this provided some short-term savings, do you think in the long-term this is a good policy for the state? What if anything should be changed?
It's a horrible policy for the state. I've spoken to several police officers who said we've got to change this legislation. We've got people in jail for non-payment of child support while we've got drug dealers free, back on the street. That's something we need to look at. I understand the people that are not getting that child support really need that child support. But them being in our local jails is not doing them any good, either. It's just costing the taxpayers more money. And that's more of a civil than a criminal issue with the child support. I know it's a hardship on the people, on the kids that are supposed to be getting that money. It's definitely need to look at different avenues.
8. The Affordable Health Care Act has certainly divided Americans and Kentuckians are no different. Following the Supreme Court ruling that the law is constitutional, Gov. Steve Beshear has pushed forward to create a health exchange program in Kentucky. What steps should the state be taking in light of the Supreme Court decision and the pending Presidential election?
I think that we should wait and see before we rent office space in Frankfort and hire approximately 200 people to do this health care exchange is to reevaluate where Kentucky wants to be in this health care issue. We don't know what it's going to cost the taxpayers of Kentucky, and we probably won't know that until 2014.
9. The Kentucky Supreme Court determined that the legislative redistricting plans approved last year were unconstitutional. How would you like to see the House of Representatives approach its redistricting in the 2013 session?
I'm not sure it'll be done in the 2013 session since it's a 30-day session. It needs to be looked at in nonpartisan way. With today's technology, they should be able to redistrict these districts in a fair way and keep politics out of it. When you have some districts going from the Madison County line to the Kentucky-Tennessee border in a district, that's not very geographically friendly to the representative or to the constituents.
10. What, if any, legislation would you introduce if you are re-elected?
You know there's a lot of legislation that goes through Frankfort that is time-consuming and doesn't really provide any good things to the commonwealth. We need to definitely concentrate more on some of the issues out there, the drug issues. House Bill 1, the pill mill bill, was a great bill. We need to take a look at other avenues that will save money in Frankfort without adding a whole lot of legislation to the books in Kentucky.
11. What other issues do you think will be important in the next biennium?
The main issues we've talked about, education, job creation, you know, spending issues. That's some of the big issues. Over 80 percent of our money goes to education, medication and incarceration. A lot of that's, if you get the education right, people will be healthier. They'll stay out of trouble, won't be in our jails and will have good-paying jobs to support their families.
12. What else would you like voters to know?
Just that I'm a conservative. I think the people out here working, their money comes hard, and the state should spend it wisely, tax dollars. Kentucky's a great place to live. We need to keep it that way for people that want to move here for retirement, coming here to start their career, start a family. We can do that with just a little bit of legislation and tax reform. So people will want to come here, stay here that's a big issue, the people that - in 1980, I left Lebanon, Kentucky. There were no opportunities here. I came back in 1995 because there was a lot of opportunities here. It was done by some of the previous leaders of this community who made Lebanon an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. I want to continue that, making this a great place to live.