A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ashley Spalding: To improve health through work, Kentucky needs to commit to better job quality

With the state’s new barriers to Medicaid coverage soon to be erected under the guise of encouraging work, we’ve heard a lot in Kentucky recently about the health benefits of working. Besides the fact that revoking coverage for low-income Kentuckians who fail to meet a work requirement has been shown as ineffective in promoting employment, these barriers do nothing to improve the low quality of...

Andy Beshear: Response to Bevin’s Chief of Staff; Kentuckians know the truth about ‘Sewer Bill’

A wise teacher recently told me, “If you’re doing the right thing, you don’t hide it in a sewer bill.” That’s what the General Assembly did when it turned an 11-page sewer bill into a 291-page pension bill and rammed it through both the House and Senate in just 6 hours, all without a single public comment, without giving legislators time to read it and without any analysis on whether it would...

Bill Straub: Following Tuesday’s primary election, the Republican Party now the party of Trump

WASHINGTON – There can no longer be any doubt that the Republican Party, once known as the party of Lincoln and, later, the party of Reagan, is now the party of Trump. The proof comes in Tuesday night’s primary election results. In South Carolina, state Rep. Katie Arrington toppled incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford to capture the GOP nomination for that state’s 1st Congressional District seat centered...

Blake Brickman: Andy Beshear’s lawsuit threatens future of Kentucky teachers’ pensions

Attorney General Andy Beshear is getting plenty of practice for his next campaign as he travels across the Commonwealth to spread fear and misinformation about the new pension reform bill (SB 151), designed to save Kentucky’s public pension system. Brickman His most dangerous lies are those of omission. AG Beshear doesn’t want Kentuckians to know about the positive things SB 151 does to help ensure...

Brandon Porter: Lack of respect for others has consequences; contributes to societal problems

We tend to compartmentalize our lives. Our heads ache, yet we don’t consider the small amount of sleep we’ve had this week. We feel sluggish, but have forgotten about the donuts we finished off a few hours ago. A spouse or friend seems distant, and we have no memory of the harsh words we spoke to them yesterday. Life has more connecting points than we realize. Porter We can also find connecting...

Constance Alexander: Father’s Day tribute to an unconventional dad who ruled the dawn

Daddy talked back to the radio and TV when he disagreed with political news and views. He described the U.S.A. as “the greatest country in the world,” but stubbornly retained his Canadian citizenship. Father of five children, he left the details of our academic lives up to my mother, but had a reputation for relentless cross-examination of any potential suitor of one of his four daughters. Although...

Richard Nelson: Supreme Court ruling in case of Colorado baker restores dignity to people of faith

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a religious freedom victory to a Colorado baker who’s been through the legal wringer ever since he declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding in 2012. SCOTUS deftly sifted through the narrative that Jack Phillips’ bigotry led to unjust discrimination against a protected class. As the facts emerged, so did a distinct aftertaste of religious discrimination...

Community Farm Alliance: Defeated Farm bill failed to provide safety net, immigration solution

By Laura Peot Stevens and Bree Pearsall On May 29, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, the House’s version of the Farm Bill. Community Farm Alliance does not support H.R. 2 because it fails basic responsibilities of providing a safety net for farmers and the food insecure. Stevens (left) and Pearsall Ironically, the bill failed not because...

Bill Straub: McConnell to become longest-serving GOP boss, takes home-run trot as ‘Rome’ burns

WASHINGTON – Back in January 2007, when Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell was just beginning what will become his historic run as the longest serving Senate Republican leader in history, Congress was held in broad contempt by the American public with only 35 percent of those questioned in the Gallup Poll expressing approval. Sen. Mitch McConnell Under McConnell, first as the minority leader...

Sec. Quarles: As we celebrate Hemp History Week; let’s help Kentucky make its own mark

This week Americans celebrate Hemp History Week. Here in Kentucky, we know industrial hemp is a crop that connects our past to our future. A quick survey of the crop’s history proves it is time for us to make our own mark on hemp history and allow it to flourish. Quarles The history of the United States is entwined with hemp’s history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are believed to have...

Constance Alexander: As a teenager, a springtime drive along Main Street provided a lasting memory

In the northeast where I grew up, it was springtime until prom was over and graduation loomed. The promise of summer glimmered on the landscape, just barely out of reach. By early June, the days began to stretch out like a sinuous silk road that led to somewhere better, someplace special, something more exciting than a small town where you could tell time by the train whistles and the chimes of the...

AG Beshear: Every community must join our fight against modern day slavery – human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking are often the most vulnerable in our communities – victims of abuse and violence, runaways, refugees, immigrants or those who are homeless. Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal enterprise in the world and sadly, our Kentucky communities are not immune. Beshear In Kentucky, both adults and children are coerced into illegal sex trafficking, domestic servitude...

Tim Wells: In Louisville, Waste Management strives for sustainability, a template for others

Louisville is home to iconic landmarks, expansive parks, the mighty Ohio River and a downtown area rich with culture and history. There is no denying it’s a beautiful city.   Over the years, local officials and community leaders have protected the area’s natural assets while creating a clean and vibrant environment for its citizens.   The business community has also stepped up to make Louisville...

Bill Straub: It’s Trump, Trump and more Trump in KY, where he is in pretty high cotton, no matter what

Whither President Donald J. Trump? Well into his second year in office, Trump continues to divide the nation in a manner not seen since the late ‘60s. Polls show his job approval consistently hovers in the low 40s and Republican congressional leaders are concerned his status will result in massive losses come Election Day. But there remain some places where Trump is viewed with regard. And, despite...

Constance Alexander: Author Rick Bragg’s new book offers intimate look into his mother’s kitchen

Anyone who thinks the Calloway County Public Library doesn’t need more space for community gatherings should have been on hand for Rick Bragg’s visit the other day. The down-home writer typically attracts so many followers, the Friends of the Library asked people to sign up in advance to make sure there were enough chairs. The 118-plus who registered sat elbow to elbow in the library meeting room,...

Dorsey Ridley: Memorial Day a time to show respect to the brave Americans who fought for our freedom

Memorial Day is a time to remember those brave Americans who fought for our nation and its freedom. This national day of remembrance is especially close to our hearts this year as our young men and women are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for a safer America. Today, we should show respect to our servicemen and women and those who have gone before by putting aside our differences in honor of their...

Mitch McConnell: Senate’s confirmation of federal judicial nominees puts country on right path

The Senate is working with President Trump to secure significant accomplishments for the American people, from combating the opioid epidemic to providing the largest year-on-year increase in defense funding in 15 years. However, there’s one key issue I want to especially highlight because it can set our nation on the right path for generations to come. It’s the Senate’s successes in confirming...

Bill Straub: White House turned into ATM machine and other ugly stuff; McConnell’s getting fleas

Any attempt to pinpoint President Trump’s most grievous sin against the body politic is rather like picking out one particular star in a moonless night sky – the process could continue forever. A simple recitation of the known violence the president has perpetrated upon the nation he was chosen to serve would sate an entire column even without the usual smart-aleck asides. There is, of course,...

Constance Alexander: Royal wedding spurs memory of a childhood fascination with fairy-tale lives

When we were little, my sister Jeanne and I were fascinated by England’s Royal Family. The children’s room at our local library had a couple of tell-all tales about Queen Elizabeth from girlhood to growing up, including her marriage to dashing Prince Philipp, their children, and her coronation. We read them from cover to cover more than once, relishing every detail. According to the pictures,...

Matt Bevin: Kentucky’s low unemployment numbers, economic growth are reasons for optimism

“We are Kentucky!” This is more than just a simple catchphrase. From our cities to our rural communities, the Commonwealth’s greatest assets are our people. When given the opportunity, the ability of Kentuckians to accelerate our state’s economic engine is greater than any government program. A good job empowers our fellow citizens to provide for their families and contribute to their communities....