Berea's Mary Turley-Renfro is a gift to her community, its taxpayers and citizens statewide who can stop tax-increase attempts coming soon by a government near you.

Congress and the media obsess endlessly over whether President Donald Trump should be impeached. Both ignore $23 trillion of bigger problems.

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No one likes more legislative regulations. But when it comes to your health, my health, our health and the health of our children and their children, shouldn’t we be willing to bite the bullet, so to speak, and see what steps we can take for a healthier you, a healthier me and a healthier future?

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Donald Trump Jr., in his better-selling book, "Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us," writes of his reactions to visiting Arlington National Cemetery and driving "past the rows of white grave markers." He explains: "In that moment, I ... thought of all the attacks …

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Legislators spent last week in Frankfort wrapping up many of our Interim Joint Committees.

Our homes will soon be filled with the aroma of roast turkey wafting through the kitchen and dinner tables decked with mounds of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and other holiday favorites that please our Thanksgiving palates. It's my favorite holiday, untainted by the commercialism that ha…

In listening to the Democratic presidential debates, we might conclude that "Medicare for All" is a legislative possibility. It is not, and any presidential candidate with a scintilla of self-respect must admit that fact.

In the nearly two years that I have had the honor of serving as Kentucky's Commissioner of Education, I have made students' preparation for success in the workforce a top priority. So much so that if there were any one area that I have given disproportionate attention, it has been workforce …

While University of Louisville officials see their purchase of the faltering Jewish Hospital and other properties as a bold move designed to buoy a too-big-to-fail health care provider which has been part of the community for a century, legislators - at least those from outside the River Cit…

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There is no doubt that putting in place quality infrastructure, including roads, bridges and water systems, is incredibly vital to our quality of life. We depend on safe roads, quality drinking water, and reliable forms of energy. It makes perfect sense that these should be among the most im…

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has impressive credentials: He graduated third in his class from Los Amigos High School in California's Orange County before winning an appointment from his congressman -- "B-1 Bob" Dornan, a conservative remembered for his unstinting support for the California…

I am proud that many of our nation's veterans call the First District of Kentucky home. Serving as these brave patriots' Representative in Congress is one of the greatest privileges of this office. Ensuring that we are adequately responding to the needs of our veterans is of the utmost impor…

Jonas Williams has been selling presidential merchandise since the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president, and here's what he knows about Donald Trump: "Business has never been better."

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"What do you think of the Berlin Wall?" a student asked me when my Thursday night history class resumed after our 7:45 break.

In Congress, we are tasked with serving the interests of diverse demographics within our congressional districts. The fastest growing demographic within many of our constituencies is Americans over 65. Today the life expectancy rate in our nation is at a historic high - an amazing achievemen…

Four years ago, the media were talking about a "Libertarian Moment."

Part of my daughter's morning school arrival routine is stopping to say "Hi!" to Officer Steve, her school resource officer (SRO). And daily, even with all he is managing during morning drop-offs, he never fails to share a smile or a laugh with her.

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I believe ghosts exist. They may not be the white sheet variety, but I'm open to the idea that maybe not all of those dearly departed "cross over" to whatever awaits them after death.

WASHINGTON -- As the 2020 election comes into sharper focus, one issue that seems to animate both sides -- the Supreme Court -- is once again taking center stage.

Most people are aware of our armed forces veterans whom we celebrate on Veterans Day each November. However, there are "unsung heroes" that are often forgotten. We're talking about the almost one million civilians who worked at nuclear weapons facilities across the U.S. from 1942 until the p…

The second of five gubernatorial campaign debates held recently at the University of Kentucky featured a statement you rarely hear uttered by a politician of either party, but especially one who portrays himself as a progressive with a spending wish list long enough to cover every inch of th…

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…

"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.

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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.

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…

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…

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…

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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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.