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Columns

  • Corrections bill passes; state Medicaid fix fails as session wraps up

    The 2011 General Assembly Session wrapped up March 9 with both a success story and a disappointment. 

    The Senate passed House Bill 463, a landmark bill that was the result of a long, thoughtful, and bipartisan study of the spiraling costs of corrections. This is the first serious revision to our penal code in more than 30 years.

    The nationally recognized Pew Center brought both local and state authorities together to recommend several provisions to improve public safety while lowering correctional costs and the state crime rate. 

  • It’s time to be ready for tornadoes

    There is no such thing as guaranteed safety when a tornado strikes. But it helps to have a family tornado plan in place, based on the kind of dwelling you live in and the safety tips that follow below.
    Know where you can take shelter in a matter of seconds and practice a family tornado drill at least once a year. Have a pre-determined place to meet after a disaster.

  • Special legislative session to tackle shortfall in Medicaid

    When the General Assembly began the 2011 Regular Session in January, there was only one thing that had to be done: Plug a sizeable deficit in Medicaid.
    Work on doing just that began in November, when Gov. Steve Beshear offered a plan that would keep the solution within that healthcare program.
    In essence, it calls for using money set aside for next year to cover the short-term problem, then implementing a wide array of cost-saving managed-care programs across the state similar to those that have long been used for Medicaid recipients in the Louisville area.

  • Asparagus is tasty – steamed, sautéed or raw

    My daughter-in-law called the other day to tell me about her great grocery savings: She bought $120 worth of groceries for under $54.
    She is now known in our family as the “coupon queen,” and rightfully so.
    The other reason for her call was to tell me how she had prepared asparagus for her family, including her parents. She was so proud because her father had paid her the best compliment.

  • Lawmakers vote to protect young, old

    Over the last week or so in the Capitol, there has been a renewed push to help our youngest citizens and those who are young at heart.
    On Monday, for example, Gov. Beshear presented the final report from a task force he formed more than a year ago to give a top-down look at our elementary and secondary schools and how they could be improved.

  • Public workers deserve representation

  • Education, job important in ‘11 legislative session

    Last week, the General Assembly returned to the Capitol to kick off the main portion of the 2011 Regular Session.

    This follows the guidelines established in the state’s Constitution for odd-year meetings, which call for a brief recess after legislators meet for four days in early January to elect House and Senate leaders and establish committee membership for the next two years.

    When we returned last Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear set the stage for the work ahead when he offered the annual State of the Commonwealth address.

  • Be considerate with that cell phone

    I would like to use this space for a little rant this week.

    Let me begin by saying I love my cell phone. It’s great for when you are shopping with a friend and need to get back together after going your own ways. I have called the library for a phone number when I am on my way to an appointment and have left the address at home or I’m going to be late and need to call and let someone know. I have even taken a picture of a beautiful sunset with my phone when I encounter one and don’t have my camera.

  • ASCS job evokes fond memories

    I remember a character in a book I must have read years ago who always read the obituaries to see if he was still alive. 

  • General Assembly faces bills on Medicaid, meth immigration

    Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at the Louisville Forum to discuss the 2011 Regular Session and what the General Assembly will likely address.


    I told the crowd that, in the Kentucky House of Representatives, I expect several issues to take up much of our time when legislators return to the Capitol on Feb. 1. That includes helping Medicaid overcome a reduced amount of federal funding; raising the high school dropout age from 16 to 18; and doing whatever we can to lower the number of meth labs in the state, which topped 1,000 last year for the first time.