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Columns

  • Senate passes its version of pension reform

    Rapidly nearing the last days of the 2018 regular session, the Senate passed our version of the state budget during the 12th week. The executive branch budget, contained in House Bill 200, put an emphasis on public safety by investing in law enforcement, the state crime lab, frontline social workers, and foster and adoption services. I voted yes on HB 200 to move the process along, and the budget now goes to conference committee.

  • Who’s ‘ignorant’ and ‘uninformed?’

    By Tom Eblen

    Lexington Herald-Leader

     

    Just when you thought Gov. Matt Bevin couldn’t stick his foot further into his mouth, he goes on the radio and lets loose a new blizzard of insults and nonsense.

    Appearing on WVLC radio in Campbellsville on March 13, Bevin went off on Kentucky teachers angry that he and Republican lawmakers want to cut billions from their retirement benefits.

  • Pension reform efforts unclear at this point

    As we approach the end of session, we continue to await Senate revisions to our House budget, which fully funds pensions and restores cuts proposed to public education. I expect us to receive the Senate’s proposed two-year budget very soon.

  • Cigarette tax is good health policy, especially for Kentucky babies and youth

    More than 23,000 more Kentucky youth who become smoke-free adults. Nearly 1,200 healthier newborns every year. One billion in long-term health care cost savings.

    Isn’t that worth a dollar more?

    Health advocates are calling for a $1 per pack increase in Kentucky’s state tax on cigarettes because it will reduce tobacco use, particularly among youth and pregnant women. Less smoking means healthier babies and youth and a significant reduction in the health care costs paid by taxpayers.

  • Instant reactions

    Recently, I was on Facebook and I saw a post that a) really unsettled me and b) really got me thinking. This has been something on my mind a lot lately, and has begun to shape the way I police what I post, or if I even post at all on social media.

    Instant reactions, something we all seek, whether we like it or not. I want them, you want them, the person pumping gas next to you wants them. It’s unavoidable in this day and age, and if you don’t believe me, allow me to change your mind.

  • Women understand leadership better

    If you asked business leaders about the most important leadership skill, no doubt you would receive as many answers as the number of leaders you asked. Some might say it is setting rules and insisting they be kept. That’s authoritative leadership. Others might say it’s learning to build an influential model where your employees feel respected and are subsequently more committed to the job at hand.

  • Gun laws, keeping our children safe

    People that are mentally ill do not become mentally ill over night. Mental illness happens over time. Some people are angry, some are frustrated, some want revenge, some feel everyone is against them, some are suicidal. A person with mental illness is all the above. The military type gun is the biggest ingredient in a person with mental illness thinking his only way out is to kill a lot of people.

  • Senate Bill 5 will derail our fight on opioid abuse

    Here’s a statistic that can give you nightmares: Emergency departments in Kentucky saw a 266 percent increase in heroin overdoses between 2013-16, according to data from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

    The opioid epidemic is destroying families and being felt in real ways in workplaces, emergency rooms and, all too often, funeral homes. 

  • I don't want to hear about your love of guns

    I am not going to tell you about the need for gun control. I am going to tell you how much campaign cash the following Republican senators have received from the NRA:

    John McCain, Arizona: $7,740,521

    Richard Burr, North Carolina: $6,986,620

    Roy Blount, Missouri: $4,551,146

    Thom Tillis, North Carolina: $4,418,012

    Cory Gardner, Colorado: $3,879,064

  • We need to learn how to compromise