After a pause for President's Day, the legislature moved into the second half of the 2012 General Assembly Session. I had visits from groups representing adult day health care providers and developmental disabilities. Many Boy Scout troops came to Frankfort for the annual Boy Scout Day at the Capitol. It was a pleasure to see these civic-minded boys and young men and their dedicated troop leaders and parents.
We have reached the half way mark of the 2012 session and I believe the House of Representatives has much to show for our 30 days in Frankfort.
Since Jan. 3, we have been hard at work moving legislation through the committee process, working on budget issues within our subcommittees and meeting with constituents and stakeholders on issues of importance to Kentuckians.
Here's the good news.
Marion County is in the 24th District of the Kentucky House of Representatives. We know this.
Marion County voters know we will have a choice between the incumbent, Terry Mills, and challenger Bill Pickerill. The problem for the candidates is figuring out what other counties should be part of their campaigns.
Greetings from Frankfort! Anyone visiting the capitol this week would have enjoyed watching democracy in action, both on an individual level as well as a grander level. We passed legislation that made road travel safer for the Amish as well as the "English," we moved forward in education, and we found consensus on congressional redistricting even as legislative redistricting moved to the courts. It was a full week.
When the General Assembly began the legislative session last month, there was already broad agreement on what the three biggest issues would be: Writing state government's budget, realigning legislative and Kentucky Supreme Court districts, and limiting if not stopping prescription drug abuse.
Last week, the latter two took center stage.
Transparency not only makes government smaller, less costly and more responsive to its constituents. It saves lives, too.
The downside: It can embarrass government agencies and the bureaucrats who run them.
But ask me if I care more about assisting efforts by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services - which is shut up tighter than a pair of vise grips - to save face or finding out what really happened to Amy Dye, a 9-year-old Western Kentucky girl.