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Columns

  • The House is on track to shift more money toward elementary and secondary education

    The week may have been cut short by a day because of another round of winter weather, but the Kentucky House of Representatives didn’t let that stand in the way of approving a broad collection of bills.
    Those ranged from the relatively simple – helping sheriff’s departments fill vacancies – to the morally complex, which in this case would build on the current directives people have regarding what life-saving measures, if any, they want taken.

  • Support your library as they support you ‘every day, every age’

    Library Legislative Day was held on March 6. This special day was designated for Friends of Kentucky Libraries and librarians across the state to meet with their representatives and talk about issues facing Public Libraries. Library supporters from Marion County had the opportunity to travel to Frankfort that day and speak to Rep. Terry Mills and Sen. Jimmy Higdon. The day was a huge success but alas it is but one day.

  • Reading and a round of applause

    I usually keep my mouth shut at school board meetings.

  • Senate prepares for budget, legislation continues

    March promises many things here in Kentucky; for us in the Senate it is preparing for the most difficult part of the job, the biennial budget. As we await the House to pass its version, legislation continues in our chamber.
    On the Senate floor, I had the privilege of welcoming students from my district who paged for me during sessions. I also had the pleasure of participating in a Q & A session with students from Mercy Academy along with other members of the caucus. It is great to hear the perspectives of our youth.

  • Finding common ground with the Senate

    With March the last full month of this year’s legislative session, the Kentucky House and Senate are nearing the point where they will focus less on their own legislation and more on finding common ground with the other chamber. While the House is still finalizing several of its key bills, my fellow representatives and I have already passed a productive list for the Senate to consider.

  • A chance

    On the front page of this week’s Enterprise, there is story about Aaron Glasscock. Did you read it? If not, I urge you to read it now. While it might seem like the script for a movie, it’s not. It’s all very real.

  • Where does the lottery revenue go?

    I am often asked about how the Kentucky Lottery funds are used in our state. The money raised has provided $2 billion in scholarship and grants for our students in Kentucky.
    In my Senate District for the fiscal year of 2013, 4176 grants and scholarships that were worth $7,289,377 were awarded to our students. By counties, in my district it is evident that thousands of students are recipients of major funds for higher education.
    • Casey County: 537 grants and scholarships worth $888,230

  • Legislation designed to help others

    As we near the end of February, the General Assembly has a predictably full agenda heading into what is always its busiest month of the year.
    Enacting a budget to run state government remains our biggest task. The House’s Appropriations and Revenue Committee is right on schedule, however, with its seven budget review subcommittees close to finishing their modifications of Governor Beshear’s proposal. A vote by the full chamber will be held by early March.

  • Blockage for the pipeline

    The Bluegrass Pipeline is being delayed for at least one year. The Williams Company, one of the partners in the project, announced last week that the Bluegrass Pipeline is now scheduled to be in service by mid-2016.
    That announcement was included in Williams’ 2013 year-end financial report. According to that report, Williams made a net profit of $859 million in 2012. That dropped to $430 million last year.
    I’m no financial analyst, but I suspect a decline in profit of $429 million in one year may have been a factor in the Bluegrass Pipeline delay.

  • The newspaper still matters

    This week, every household in the county will be getting a copy of The Lebanon Enterprise.
    To some of you, that’s nothing new. You are a loyal subscriber, and we appreciate you more than you know. You are why we do this. You are our most valued customer.