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Columns

  • House approves two-year highway plan

    If the state’s budget is the most important legislation that the General Assembly approves every two years, enacting the state’s road plan is a close second.
    As with the budget, the goal is to find the best use for a limited amount of resources. This is an area where Kentucky generally gets high marks, however, based on an annual national study by the Reason Foundation that ranks the quality of each state’s highway system. We came in 14th overall last year, with no state having a better quality of rural interstates.

  • Hot-button issues in the Senate bring out the crowds

    This week we had exciting news on the high school sports front as the Bardstown Tigers basketball team got the win over Elizabethtown on Tuesday, earning a trip to the Sweet 16 tournament in Lexington. The Tigers’ first game is Thursday night. This time of year is always exciting and I congratulate Bardstown High on the hard work and success.

  • Bald, bold and beautiful

    “When you’re a bald woman, you’ve broken the code. You’re different. You’re a rebel, and you always command the attention of the room. Some of them might be staring for the wrong reasons… But hey, at least they’re looking. And let’s be honest: They wish they were as cool as you. It’s fine. Not all of us can be superheroes.”

  • Celebrate the Sunshine!

    By Kathi Bearden
    Board President, New Mexico Foundation for Open Government
    Former Publisher, the Hobbs-News

    March 16-22 is Sunshine Week nationwide. Take a moment to celebrate. Sunshine Week focuses on the importance of open government. No open government, no democracy. No transparency, no government accountability.

  • Budget puts greater focus on education

    When it comes to the state’s budget, the past six years can be summed up in four words: Do more with less.
    There hasn’t been much choice, given that spending has been cut by $1.6 billion since 2008, and the state workforce is the smallest it has been since the 1970s.  Some agencies have seen spending reduced by more than a third, while classroom funding for elementary and secondary education has been held steady for far too long.

  • Senate has much to do in its last 20 working days

    The Senate continued work this week, and recognized an historic event. On Wednesday, many lawmakers joined thousands of Kentuckians gathered along Capitol Avenue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Frankfort. It was a cold and blustery March 5 when Dr. King led 10,000 others in a march up to the front door of our Capitol in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

  • 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.