CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
WHAT A WEEK! It’s been a week filled with anticipation and hope that the voice of the People would trump the expediency of payback politics. [Man, did it disappoint is this regard.] The week showed us there are ways to improve the quality of life for our people. And it did provide a showcase for the very best of Kentucky hospitality. One step forward…
For YEARS, you repeatedly said, “Just give us a chance to vote….just give us a chance to have our say”. You didn’t want us to decide the expanded gaming issue. YOU wanted that chance. And many of us wanted you to have it – including the Governor. It is not to be. At least not this session – and maybe not this Administration. There’s just too much poison in the water…and too many people are left exposed.
For all the hype we spout about being the Horse Capitol of the World; our Kentucky thoroughbred as being the “crotch rockets” — in motorcycle vernacular — of the Sport of Kings, the 21 – 16 Senate rejection of expanded gaming to bolster our horse industry had gig the Governor [as in stick ‘em one more time] written all over it. Many see it as being a cynical vote based in politics and personality, not one based on prudent public policy. One has to ask the obvious question: Who was doing the counting for the Governor?!
Fortunately, the feds got it right and prudent public policy was the key to passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. Under this Act, Children in Kentucky will no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies for pre-existing conditions, and if you have private insurance – like 2.3 million Kentuckians do – you don’t have to worry about running out of lifetime limits if you become seriously ill. About 770,000 senior Kentuckians on Medicare will be eligible for preventive care – like mammograms or colonoscopies – without deductibles or co-insurance requirements. And while there are still naysayers to this sound policy that benefits so many of our kinfolk, the voice of reason won out this time.
I took my granddaughter to see Michelle Obama this week. Here’s the deal. The First Lady came up in conversation a couple of weeks ago, and I promised I would call her and see if she would come to Louisville and meet Ms. Precocious…and she did! We shared a memorable time with a thousand of our closest friends at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage! I was also blessed to be able to present an award to The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Clifton Center [what an awesome concert & film series and other programming they have there! email@example.com .] If you’re in to Roots Music, they will melt in your mouth!! — http://www.carolinachocolatedrops.com/ These two amazing events were almost enough to wash the taste of Kentucky politics away…if only for an evening
SO, HERE’S WHERE YOUR BUTTER GETS CHURNED:
THE BRIDGE IS OPEN…. & HIS NAME IS CLEARED!!
“I don’t have to tell you WHICH bridge is open. Both Sherman and Minton are high fiving every angel they can find – wherever they are.”
Remember that quote from my last update? Well, I took some editorial license, but I really don’t want to mislead anyone. There is no Sherman and Minton — just Sherman Minton; former Indiana Senator and Supreme Court Justice. We’ll all drive easier over his bridge knowing the upper deck is not named for one and the lower deck for the other!
“Bucks for Brains” was a tremendous success for Higher Ed. Books for Brains we hope will be equally progressive. A partnership of the state, local governments and the private sector is working in Trigg Co. to put over 23,000 books in children’s hands; contributing to a 15% increase in preschool assessment scores. Our Education Committee approved this as a statewide initiative.
Economic Development was also on our minds as Ky received two national recognitions for job creating successes. We are a among the largest auto suppliers in the country. #3. So, to strengthen our position in these areas, we voted to expand the 2007 Jobs Retention Act tax incentives to GM and Toyota auto plants, and we added automobile suppliers to those lining up at the trough. The 2007 Act brought 3,000 jobs to Ford’s Louisville plants alone.
The bill to allow felons who to have their rights restored who have completely paid their debt to society also passed muster in the House again. Your voice to our good friends in the Senate will be needed…
Curbing Human Trafficking was the subjects of HB 350.We’ve seen a marked increase in children and adults being subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation. A special division within KSP will be established to ID and investigate these cases and there will be increased penalties and sentences for anyone convicted of these crimes.
Check out The Muhammad Ali Center, Daughters of Greatness Series: Friday, March 2, 8:30 AM, featuring: Marilyn Vann, President of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes. For generations, Black slaves lived among and became members of the Cherokee Nation. They are known as Freedmen. In 2007, Cherokees amended their tribal constitution and tried removing 2,800 Freedmen from tribal membership. Ms. Vann is leading the fight to regain their tribal citizenship. Contact Erin Herbert: firstname.lastname@example.org at 502-992-5341 for tickets.
Question of the Week – Was the gaming amendment mishandled by the Governor’s Office or did the Senate make the gaming amendment a target because of the Governor’s support for it?
Call me directly at 502.564.8100 or write me at Rm. 329C, Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601. I’m also on FACEBOOK so hit me up there or online at Reginald.Meeks@lrc.ky.gov or at http://reginaldmeeks.com. To reach any particular legislator, contact our toll – free number at 800.372.7181. For the deaf or hard-of-hearing, that number is 800.896.0305.