Twenty years ago, former U.S. Transportation Secretary, President of the Red Cross and future North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole was a decidedly long-shot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination -- an honor her husband, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole had won four years e…

This past week, the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture met to hear a report from Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles on the state of agriculture in Kentucky. Quarles provided an update on challenges Kentucky farmers are facing, as well as good news as it relates to fresh opportuniti…

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"Jesus Christ, Super Socialist" is Ivonne Rovira's recent missive on Forward Kentucky in which she equates socialism with true Christianity.

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The legislature's interim joint committees met this week in preparation for the next legislative session, which will convene on January 7, 2020. We heard testimony on several bills that have been pre-filed for session, but also received updates from state agencies on state programs.

Kentucky could be the next state to enact a law that would prohibit using a cell phone or other personal communication devices in any way while driving.

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A newspaper reporter gets to write the first draft of a community's history.

Ample evidence provided by the latest test scores assessing Kentucky's academic performance during the 2018-19 school year suggests too many of our students struggled academically and that the drama and disruption caused by teachers' illegal strikes and school shutdowns exacerbated the problems.

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Another serious motorcycle wreck within a month prompts us to remind drivers to be aware while on the road.

In last month's column about Kentucky's new 5-star accountability system, I noted that the release of test scores and school accountability data does not represent the end of our collective work to ensure all children are learning at high levels. Instead, the release of accountability data i…

This past week, we celebrated National Voter Registration Day. Thousands of organizations and people all across the country rallied together to register people to do the one thing that is essential for a representative democracy-vote. These activities always remind me just how sacred the rig…

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and, coming up in a few weeks is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Eddie Campbell, a choir teacher from Knox County elected this spring as the new president of the Kentucky Education Association - the state teachers' union - has composed an ugly ditty published recently by the Courier Journal with several dissonant notes regarding a proposed scholarship tax…

Families in nearly every neighborhood of our country have suffered because of the opioid and substance abuse epidemic. For years, the situation just seemed to get worse as addiction hurt more families. Kentucky has tragically been among the hardest-hit states. Thankfully, however, our years-…

Just two weeks ago, an 18-year old woman left a high school football game in her hometown. She could not have known that, just moments after cheering on her football team and spending time with friends and family, the car she was driving would be hit during the high speed chase of a man alle…

Two studies in 2014 sought to determine which states were most corrupt. One done by researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Indiana University used the standard methodology of analyzing criminal convictions of thousands of public officials over three decades.

An estimated 119,000 kids under the age of 18 in Kentucky today will ultimately die prematurely from tobacco use. This estimate may actually be low given that we are now in the middle of a youth tobacco epidemic, driven largely by the increase in e-cigarette use. More than one in four Kentuc…

Interim committees met Sept. 9-13 for their monthly meetings, bringing together members of the House and Senate to hear from state government officials and members of the public about the issues we will be looking at during the next session. I believe I have shared that this year's committee…

"Transparency" has become a buzzword of corporate titans, university presidents and politicians of every stripe, but like many such broad descriptors, it has become a shibboleth for something that means the opposite.

The House of Representatives is back in session following a productive district work period. Throughout the month of August, I traveled across the First District to 15 different counties in central, southern and western Kentucky. During my travels, I met with local government officials, busi…

Perhaps President Ronald Reagan was thinking about America's huge education bureaucracy when he said: "Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth."

Back when Richard Nixon was president, a Washington saloon five minutes' walk from the White House named the Class Reunion was the go-to watering hole where press, politicians and real people could rub and bend elbows. To be candid, I was a regular at "the CR," as it was called, but frankly …

"To tell the Truth," a popular TV game show from the annals of history, featured a panel of celebrity judges who would try to correctly identify contestants with unusual jobs or life experiences.

Kentucky's 5-star school accountability system is scheduled to go live at the end of September or early October. It will offer parents across the Commonwealth a new and more transparent way to understand how their children's schools are performing.

No issue has received more legislative attention over the last two years than the potential failure of our public pension systems. Our state employee pension system remains one of the worst funded in the United States. Other systems, including the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), still hav…

Hunger is a reality for nearly 700,000 Kentuckians, including one in five children. They live in every single county and legislative district in the Bluegrass state.

It was the saddest day yet on our farm. As parents, we had talked about how difficult that day would be but imagined it would be a long ways off. Brooke's horse, Chief - her strong gelding horse who was the love of this 12 year old's heart - had injured his leg. We thought it was a simple cu…

Happy Labor Day and congratulations! If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the millions of Americans living in one of 27 Right to Work states. You wouldn't guess it from Right to Work opponents' unsupported claims, but Right to Work laws are simple and straightforward, not to m…

WASHINGTON -- A question for this moment: If the Earth's lungs were on fire and the doctor refused to treat it, would there be cause for a third-party intervention?

I spent most of last week at the Capitol Building as Interim Joint Committees met to hear from agencies and members of the public about state programs. I have mentioned before how valuable these meetings can be as we prepare for the 2020 regular session. These committees spend time closely e…

The American Diabetes Association reports that the cost of insulin has nearly tripled since 2002.

You may have noticed some big news recently on the national scene. You may have already made up your mind or may instead be weighing all the facts and factoring in opinions of TV pundits before making a monumental decision that could impact the future of the free world.

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Several Facebook and other social media posts have been made over the spring and summer months to warn and remind property and homeowners and businesses of the dangers of leaving grass clippings on roadways. The clippings tend to get blown onto the roads while someone is mowing grass along a…

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I have talked about interim joint committees for some time now, but I rarely mention statutory committees. In addition to interim joint committees, statutory committees are authorized by Kentucky Revised Statutes and function as subcommittees of the Legislative Research Commission. They meet…

Semple Elementary first-grade teacher Christina Carter read a story to her class about a child who faced stressful events every day, making it hard to focus at school. After the story, she gave her students a prompt - if Ms. Carter only knew. Some of the responses were eye-opening.

Farming is a family business in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky has one of the highest numbers of farms in the U.S. -- almost 76,000 farms covering almost 13 million acres in 2017, according to the most recent data from the USDA Census of Agriculture.

President Trump, along with leaders from Mexico and Canada, signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Nov. 30, 2018. Since then, Canada began the process to vote on implementing the legislation in May of this year and Mexico's Senate overwhelmingly ratified the agreement sh…

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At our house, like yours, we have a tradition of taking a photo of our kids on the first day of school. We've done it for years as a keepsake to see how they have changed from kindergarten over the years.

"Do something!" emotional protestors shouted at politicians in the wake of the recent mass shootings which killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens of others in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

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The Kentucky Legislature met in a special session this summer to give a little relief to government agencies such as public health departments, faced with skyrocketing pension costs that could force a substantial number of them to dramatically scale back services or even close.

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The usual adjectives media members use with delight leading up to the annual St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic are "hot" and "spicy." Those words generally touch on three points: the weather, the barbecue and the political rhetoric.

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As your attorney general, I have made it a top priority to protect Kentuckians from scammers and stop annoying and illegal scam phone calls.

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For much of our state's early history, Kentucky was a dominant force in our nation's economy. The ingredients for our early economic success were simple: thousands of acres of undeveloped land, an easily accessible location and a hardworking, skilled population. However, decades of poor lead…

Decked out in new outfits and loaded down with school supplies, many students across Kentucky will be heading back to the classroom over the next two weeks to a critical teacher shortage, state education officials warn.

Never before have presidential candidates offered voters so much "free" stuff.