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Today's Opinions

  • Government transparency bill moves forward

    The Senate pushed for government transparency, expanded voter participation, and the protection of private property. I attended the Rally for Life at the Capitol on Wednesday where I spoke to 200 people gathered there to celebrate the sanctity of life. I also spoke at the United 874K Coalition rally which promoted services for the disabled. One of my personal highlights during every session is the Right to Life Rally. Ever since I came to Frankfort as a state representative and now as a senator, I have supported pro-life legislation.

  • Dollars for dollars

    It's been said that you have to spend money to make money.

    Maybe that's what the City of Lebanon and Marion County were thinking when they decided to join other cities, counties and states that have hired lobbyists in hopes of getting a leg up on the competition for state and federal funds.

  • Healing

    The aging, lichen covered cherry tree defined my Kentucky property. It formed a boundary between lawn and hay field. It provided a shady sanctuary on hot summer days. It was a haven for birds, bees and butterflies. And since the day it fell, during the ice storm of January 2009, the huge old tree has defined my days.

    I have never experienced an event as devastating as "The Ice Storm". Neither the cherry tree nor I went down easily.

  • A little extra baggage in the ambulance

    Sunday afternoon, a few emergency personnel from around Marion County gathered for the start of an internal "Biggest Loser" competition.

    Stephanie Thomas, an EMT, is in charge of the program, and she was clear why she and others wanted to do it. Although they see the results of poor health habits on a daily basis with the people they treat and transport, that hasn't meant they have adopted healthy habits of their own.

  • Hoofin' it for hospice

    Saturday, April 24, is circled in big red ink on my calendar at work.

    Why? Because it's the day I'm scheduled to run my first mini-marathon - the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon - in Louisville.

  • Short on ideas: twitterize them

    With too much on my mind and not enough space to write in depth about anything, I've decided to "twitterize" this column with a short comment or two on issues that have caught my eye in the past week.   Here goes (tweet, tweet):

    Gov. Beshear is running the VLT flag up the pole once again. Not even all the hot air in Frankfort is likely to get it blowing much, however.

    Tax reform is needed in this state, but that flag isn't getting any wind either during this legislative session.

  • Veterans could benefit from bills in General Assembly

    This week, the State Senate honored our veterans and worked to help our hospitals better treat stroke victims.  As we protect our freedoms at home, we also honor those who protect our freedoms abroad.  Senate Bill 29 is our annual attempt to help veterans who seek state employment. Under SB 29, those who qualify for veterans' preference points in our state merit system would be automatically offered an interview for the jobs they seek. If more than five people qualify for those interviews, the agency would have to interview at least five of them.

  • Legislature pursues funds for education

    This week's legislative agenda was highlighted by two reform bills, one in education and the other regarding legislative pensions.  The first bill strongly positions Kentucky as we seek federal dollars for certain struggling schools.  The second bill helps close a loophole in the legislative pension system that has the potential to cost taxpayers millions of dollars.