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Columns

  • Motivation to exercise: Get it and keep it

    Starting to exercise and keeping at it can be a real struggle.  Here are a few ways that helped me to get and stay motivated.

    1. Lighten goals

    Sometimes when starting to exercise, your goal may be too big for you at that time. Make smaller goals (go to the gym three times a week,  walk a mile, drink more water). Slowly change your exercise habits and eating habits. Doing everything at once can be overwhelming.

    2. Track or journal your progress

  • State legislators enter ‘fourth quarter,’ aim to pass budget

    Not only did Friday mark the end to another busy week in the Kentucky Senate, it also was day 46 of our 60-day legislative session. We are now in the proverbial “fourth quarter” when the House and the Senate must come together to get a victory for the state of Kentucky by passing a responsible budget. After 10 weeks we are still awaiting a key “assist” from our colleagues in the House in the form of a budget bill that has yet to pass the lower chamber. 

  • House leaders say education cuts will be scaled back in budget

    As other Kentucky House leaders and I were putting the final touches on a proposed two-year state budget last week, legislators received not one but two reports of good economic news.

    On Thursday, state officials said that revenues have grown 4.3 percent so far this current fiscal year, all but guaranteeing a surplus with less than four months to go.  The sales tax – one of the state’s major revenue sources and a strong indicator of consumer confidence – has now increased in 24 of the past 26 months.

  • Battle over unbreakable encryption is not about a single terrorist’s iPhone

    Occasionally politicians slip up and reveal their true intentions.  In DC, this is called “committing candor.”  While indirectly discussing his administration’s effort in the courts to force Apple to develop a software key to unlock iPhones, President Barack Obama recently admitted this battle is not just about a single terrorist’s iPhone in San Bernardino.

  • Senate OKs bills to aid children, crime victims, small businesses

    The passage of bills that would help children with disabilities, preserve rights of victims in criminal cases, and fight for the rights of the unborn highlighted another busy week in the Senate. As Thursday marked day 40 of our 60-day legislative session in Frankfort, we are still anxiously awaiting a budget bill from our colleagues in the House.

  • ‘Madness’ describes what lies ahead for state lawmakers

    As college basketball fans prepare for the postseason, it’s worth pointing out that the final few weeks of a legislative session are not that much different from March Madness.

    The pace in both cases is hectic; time is a factor; and bills, like the teams, either move forward or see their run end early.

    The key difference is that, while the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments end with a single winner, a legislative session can have many shining moments.

  • 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.