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Columns

  • McCaffrey visits Senate; many measures OK’d, move on to state House

    As the Senate eagerly awaits a budget proposal from the House of Representatives, we are busy passing bills both out of committee and through the Senate to send to our House colleagues during the eighth week of the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly.

  • Bills provide protection for consumers

    When it comes to the public’s safety and well-being, consumer protection may not always grab the headlines, but that doesn’t diminish its importance.

    It was the key theme last week in the Kentucky House, which moved forward not one but four bills touching on this issue.

  • Senate passes two bills in education

    Heated floor speeches, huge committee hearings and the observance of Presidents’ Day highlighted the seventh week of the 2016 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. As we have passed the halfway point of this session, the countdown begins as we in the Senate anticipate the forthcoming 2016-2018 budget bill from the House of Representatives.

    There was no shortage of bill movement in the Senate this week, as we passed two of our priority bills, Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 5. 

  • House passes three bills assisting veterans; two for exploitation victims

    Over the past 15 years, the General Assembly has re-dedicated itself to helping veterans and those men and women still serving our country.

    Some of the more high-profile laws enacted during that time include establishing a series of nursing homes and state-run cemeteries benefiting veterans and their families; excluding active-duty military pay from the state’s income tax; and making it easier for veterans to use their military training when applying for jobs in such fields as education and emergency services.

  • Local heroin town hall meeting set for March 17

    On Thursday, March 17, Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County will be hosting our annual Carrollton Town Hall Meeting at the General Butler State Resort Park Convention Center, starting at 6 p.m. Each year Champions holds a town hall meeting in each city within Carroll County to bring awareness to one specific drug or issue that Carroll County may be facing. This year with death statistics rising due to heroin, the topic was a simple choice, just as last year.

  • Leave the scale, take the progress

    Many of us measure progress in our fitness transformations with a scale, but if those numbers induce stress instead of motivation, then it’s time to ditch the scale and find a better way!

  • Administration, Congress should work together to address the Zika virus

    Like many Kentuckians, I’m concerned about the Zika virus and the growing number of reports of people infected. In a recent meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, I raised the issue of the spread of this virus and what it could mean for Kentucky and the country as we head into warmer weather this spring and summer.

  • Heathcare, education reform are top issues

    With many guests, packed committee meetings and energetic rallies, it was another exciting week in Frankfort. Hollywood stars, national organizations and winter weather greeted the Kentucky General Assembly during week six of the 2016 Session. 

  • Infrastructure, economic development were top issues for House last week

    The General Assembly debates dozens of bills each legislative session, but most fall under several broad categories: education, health and public safety, infrastructure and economic development.

    Those last two were the chief focus of the Kentucky House’s work last week, as my colleagues and I approved legislation that would make it easier for government and the private sector to work together and that would take an in-depth look at the state’s workforce development programs.

  • Budget, bills must pass committee first before heading to House, Senate

    Just as it is often said that games are won or lost during practice, a similar principle applies as well to legislation.  Before a bill can clear the House or Senate, it has to make it through a committee first.

    That groundwork is especially crucial when it comes to the budget, which Gov. Matt Bevin proposed late last month and the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee began reviewing in-depth last week.  The chamber is on track to complete this work and vote by the early days of March.