Mitch McConnell: Bipartisan budget a step forward in combating opioid crisis, but more must be done

On an average day, 175 Americans die from drug overdoses. Families in Kentucky and throughout the nation are bravely confronting substance abuse – including heroin, prescription drugs, and an alarming resurgence of methamphetamine – and law enforcement is working hard to help. With our communities in crisis, I remain committed to finding comprehensive solutions to end this suffering through coordinated...

Bill Straub: Guns are the problem; to say otherwise is ridiculous as well as dangerous. Stop

The Republican Party oftentimes appears to have been overtaken by zealots who have succumbed to what can only be described as a philosophy of willful ignorance. No matter the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they stick to their partisan guns – oftentimes quite literally – for the simple reason they choose not to believe. It’s clear, for instance, that human activity is the primary motivator...

Jeanine Grant Lister: It’s time to pay attention, ask young people what they think of gun violence

In light of the tragic shootings at Marshall County High School in Benton, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it seems that everyone is tut-tutting and wagging their heads over the tragedies. The WHY of these incidents has gotten me to thinking about how to create change. We need to find out why kids…and adults, too…think that a gun is any solution to a problem....

Constance Alexander: Frank X Walker brings Medgar Evers back from the grave with “Unghosting”

Summer days when I was nine, between endless games of hopscotch and hide-and-seek, I tried to finish at least a book a day. My quest was to score the most points in my local library’s vacation reading club, and that summer “Little Women” slowed me down. Probably the biggest book I had ever read, it was also the first one that made me cry. In the chapter entitled, “The Valley of the Shadow”...

Jim Gooch: Clearing up misconceptions about HB 227 and Kentucky’s net metering law

As chairman of the Kentucky House of Representatives Energy and Natural Resources Committee for more than 19 years, I have seen both the highs and lows of energy policy in Kentucky. I chaired the committee when coal production was at its all-time peak in Kentucky, and I fought the federal government as it tried to take down one of Kentucky’s signature industries. Electricity rates in Kentucky have...

Susan Donovan: By allowing school shootings to become the norm, we fail our communities, children

We are failing our children, we are failing our communities, and we are failing our nation. Three of the deadliest shootings have occurred in the last five months. How can we stand by helplessly and watch the continuation of such senseless violence? What do we tell our children and our grandchildren about the steps we took to correct the devastating violence in our schools? School safety should...

Commentary: Kentucky has earned a rightful reputation as a hub for modern manufacturing

By Susan Elkington and Jay Timmons Special to KyForward Though some may not know it yet, Kentucky has rightfully earned a reputation as a hub of modern manufacturing. In fact, more than 240,000 Kentuckians work in manufacturing, and modern manufacturers are looking to hire across the commonwealth. In Georgetown, Kentucky, modern manufacturing takes the form of auto production at the Toyota factory...

Bill Straub: How does Rand really feel? He was for it before he was against it — is that right?

WASHINGTON – Harken back for just a moment to the 2004 political season when John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, rather clumsily – even for him – attempted to explain his opposition to an $87 billion supplemental funding bill to pay for the never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by asserting “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Kerry,...

Mitch McConnell: Budget act ensures Berea College can continue mission for Kentucky’s students

Last December, Bernie Sanders, a liberal Senator from Vermont, led every single Senate Democrat to impose an endowment tax of around $1 million per year on Berea College. This was a particularly outrageous act of partisan hypocrisy from a Senator who claims to want free college for all. But when it came to this particular college – which already provides tuition-free education for students whose...

Constance Alexander: Murray Art Guild’s ‘Interwoven’ brings little pieces together for sense of community

Whether by chance or choice, in joy and sorrow, by accident or design, communities are made up of interconnected lives. As a reminder of that interdependence, Debi Henry Danielson, Executive Director of the Murray Art Guild (MAG), likes finding ways to invite people who do not think of themselves as artists to create individual pieces that will eventually blend into a larger design. MAG’s current...

Letter to the Editor: In order to protect state’s youth, marijuana should not be legalized in any capacity

In order to protect the youth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the drug-free and prevention coalitions of Northern Kentucky wish to educate our communities and legislators with regard to marijuana. It is our opinion, based on the facts presented below, that marijuana use should not be legalized in any capacity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has NOT recognized or approved the use of...

Damon Thayer: After six weeks of legislative session, Senate continues to make progress on key legislation

Week six of the 2018 Legislative Session is in the books, and bills continued to move steadily through the Senate as work on the budget and pension reform continues. While we have not released a pension proposal just yet, we are hopeful that it will be made public in the coming days as we continue to sort out details on this complex issue. As for the budget bill, its fate currently is in the hands...

Andy McDonald: Kentucky’s emerging solar industry threatened by HB 227’s ending of net metering

Kentucky’s young solar energy industry is being threatened by the state’s electric utilities, who are trying to stifle competition and limit their customer’s freedom to use solar energy in their homes and businesses. House Bill 227 would end net metering, a simple and effective policy that allows customers with solar electric systems to connect to the power grid and be credited for excess energy...

Bill Straub: Prayer is powerful, good and comforting, but actions are required to stop gun violence

WASHINGTON – It is becoming quite apparent that St. Matt the Divine has little or no interest in serving as the governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. No, what Gov. Bevin really aspires to do is serve as prayer leader of a 4.4 million-member congregation that, collectively, will chant all of the Bluegrass State’s worldly cares away. Mad Matt was at it once again this week at the 52nd Annual...

Lyn Hacker: HB 227 would end ‘net metering’ for solar customers; committee is debating

Kentucky HB 227, designed to effectively end net metering for solar customers in Kentucky, has once again been re-scheduled for later consideration due to lack of support by committee members. The bill, which was introduced by Kentucky state Rep. Jim Gooch, R-Providence, will severely decrease the amount that solar customers receive back from electric companies for the use of the energy that is produced...

Constance Alexander: Governor’s Award for the Arts recipients should be allowed public ceremony

In 2014, as the recipient of a Governor’s Award in the Arts for my work in the Media, I participated in a public ceremony at the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda, honoring me and eight others who were – according to the press release from July 9, 2014 – “…chosen for their significant contributions to the arts in the Commonwealth, across the country and around the globe.” The formal awards ceremony...

Glenna Bevin: We must fund programs to strengthen families, provide loving homes for children

The well-being of children in our state is of paramount importance to me. As I have said since my husband and I were first entrusted to serve the Commonwealth, our hearts are with Kentucky families. That’s why I am so passionate about my initiatives to improve conditions for children in foster care and to make the adoption process easier and more affordable. We have made strides in both areas. Our...

John Schickel: Activity picking up in Frankfort, long hours spent trying to resolve issues with pension bill

Last week was the busiest yet in Frankfort with a number of bills moving through committees and on to the Senate and House floors for votes. The halls are starting to get crowded as we are visited by lots of statewide advocacy groups that championed their great causes and rallied in the Capitol Rotunda. Some of the groups visiting me this week were officials from our school system, Boone County fire...

Bill Straub: The Napoleon of coal (good, beautiful, clean) coal is just playing along and enjoying the joke

There are many good things that can be said about coal. For decades, even centuries, in the United States it helped keep homes warm in the winter. Coal brought electricity to even the most remote regions of the country and, it should be noted, helped spur the economic revolution that truly made America great. But beautiful? Coal is a substance that ravages regions where it’s uncovered, dirties...

Constance Alexander: In both fact and fiction, emotional toll of Alzheimer’s is overwhelming

Ben has that memory thing. He forgets the name, but he knows it’s normal to be able to remember his childhood but not yesterday. Sometimes he cannot call his wife’s name or the name of the daughter who is walking beside him. Words get dammed up inside him. He knows he should not feel bad about these things, but he does. Ben is one of the main characters of “Stars Go Blue,” a novel by Laura...