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Guest Editorials

  • Guest Editorial: Session saw passage of several bills

    By Damon Thayer
    Now that the 2011 General Assembly has adjourned, I wanted to review some of the legislation enacted this year.  As chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, I made sure that we took action on key pieces of legislation that will impact the lives of many Kentuckians.

  • Democrats should help override vetoes

    During the special session last week, the Senate created a responsible approach to solving the Medicaid budget shortfall. The House of Representatives agreed with the Senate plan and the bill was sent to Gov. Steve Beshear’s desk. However, late Friday, March 25, the governor vetoed all of the important accountability provisions and is now left with an unrestricted checkbook combined with an unlimited credit card funded with your tax dollars.

  • Senate Republicans ready for veto

    The taxpayer scored a legislative victory this week when the House passed the Senate’s Medicaid budget proposal during the current special session.
    Throughout the course of the Medicaid debate, the Governor and the Secretary of Health and Family Services have both been adamant that they can come up with $139 million in efficiencies and managed care to fill the Medicaid budget shortfall over the upcoming fiscal year. In the Senate, we feel it is our responsibility to trust, but verify their assumptions.

  • Technology continues to change county clerk’s office

    The routine world of regulations, laws, and practices, accompanied by legislation, court decisions and  agreements’ have led to changes in the Owen County Clerk’s Office.

  • House calls for end to furloughs

    Over the course of the last week, the Kentucky House of Representatives honored fallen military members and their families in a solemn, moving ceremony in the House chamber. This tradition began in 2004 and the service has become one of the most significant experiences of the session.

  • Senators seek balanced budget amendment

    This week, the Senate passed legislation dealing with issues facing our federal budget deficit, the election recount process, and measures dealing with veterans and military service personnel.
    This week, United States Senator Rand Paul testified before a meeting I chaired of the State and Local Government Committee. Later in the day, he addressed the full Senate and spoke of how public officials need to take action to rein in out-of-control government spending.

  • Bill aims at reducing crime in Kentucky

    This has been perhaps the busiest week of the 2011 session and many pieces of important legislation addressing education, Kentucky’s criminal justice system, and government have been passed out of the House of Representatives.
    One of the most highly publicized bills that cleared the House this week is the result of six months of work, research, and collaboration between legislators, judges, substance abuse counselors, hospitals, jailers, administration officials and others.

  • Local-option elections are complex

    Many people believe that elections only consist of voting and seeing the results of the election on the television or reading them the next day in the paper. In fact, the election process starts months before Election Day.
    Elections are a full-time job with some of the most complex responsibilities expected of an elected official. However, preparing for the election in the County Clerk’s Office is just one of the many responsibilities and duties that we handle.

  • A cancer we can eliminate

    In spite of a significant decrease in cancer of the cervix over the past 60 years, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly 12,200 new cases and 4,210 deaths in 2010 of this invasive cancer. Unfortunately, Kentucky ranks fifth nationally in number of new cases of cervical cancer each year.