William McCann: Bevin’s budget is more of the same, legislators must look beyond traditional solutions

Governor Bevin — in his budget address to the Kentucky General Assembly — has called for budget tightening so severe it is going to mean the death of 70 programs and an across-the-board spending cuts of 6.25%. He is saving the principle funding program for K-12 education, SEEK, but asking school districts to pay the majority of the cost of pupil transportation. We’ve seen this movie play...

Bill Straub: Count the ways Mitch McConnell’s word can’t be good; another stopgap event looms

The immediate, knee-jerk reaction many people have when asked if they have faith in someone on the opposite side of a contentious dispute is to respond, “I trust him about as far as I can throw him.’’ While Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root and Branch’’ McConnell presents a very slight figure – 140 pounds soaking wet? – it’s doubtful that even the likes of Hulk Hogan could toss...

Dave Adkisson: Immigration reform needed to protect friends and neighbors, and fuel Kentucky’s economy

January is often accompanied by a sense of optimism and hope for the year ahead. But for Dreamers (children born in this country to undocumented immigrant parents), the start of 2018 brings continued uncertainty, as the program that has kept them protected from deportation still remains in jeopardy. In September, the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood...

Constance Alexander: Local papers, increasingly rare crucibles of truth, add value to community news

For as long as I could remember, Daddy worked for a newspaper. His first job was as a newsboy on the streets of St. John, in New Brunswick, Canada. He remembered hawking the daily headlines on busy city streets in all kinds of weather. In winter, he swore the snow was so deep, he had to leave home via an upstairs window and snowshoe downtown to get his papers. Daddy was still an adolescent when his...

Sandra Wilson: Kentucky film incentives are a success story and a great recipe for success

The Kentucky film industry is a success story in the making. Since the General Assembly adopted a new incentive structure in 2015, Kentucky has benefitted from a 900% increase in the number of productions shot in the Bluegrass State. Click image for Kentucky Film Association website. Those productions have led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in direct investment in...

Michelle Kuiper: Marsy’s Law insures victims don’t suffer further in navigating criminal justice system

Every two hours someone in our Commonwealth becomes a victim to forcible sexual assault or robbery. If you do the math, that comes out to 4,380 people per year. In 1994, as a freshman in college, I became one of those statistics. In 1994, four weeks into my freshman year of college, the course of my life changed. I was taken off my front porch, attacked from behind, and sexually assaulted. I reported...

Jim Wayne: Governor Bevin’s proposed budget hurts Kentucky; voters must raise the bar on legislators

One of my favorite spots in Kentucky is on top of a steep knob overlooking the Rolling Fork River valley in Marion County. The reward of a strenuous hike to this peak is sitting on a limestone outcropping on a clear winter day seeing the log home of my great great grandparents, the wide river valley pasture below, spotted with Angus cows and, beyond the river, the forests and fields of Casey County....

Dr. Molly Rutherford: New patient-centered model, Direct Primary Care, is spreading across the state

A new patient-centered model of primary care, Direct Primary Care, is spreading across Kentucky. In his KyForward commentary on January 17, Patrick Padgett made several valid points in “Patients shouldn’t have to pay for Anthem’s poor business decisions.” Another way to say this is, “patients and their physicians should have more control over their healthcare decisions.” As our politicians...

Terry Brooks: Lessons from Governor — services for children define our future, seize opportunities

The real takeaway from the address from Governor Matt Bevin is a question: What kind of commonwealth do we want to be? Is it one in which needed protections for kids are absent and a rising tide of poverty is pervasive? A place where families struggle to stay together and early investments for kids fall to the wayside? Or will we as a commonwealth move towards an environment in which current challenges...

Bill Straub: You can look it up or take a stand, but words do speak for themselves. Figure it out.

You may have heard, it’s been in all the papers, that the president of these United States, one Donald J. Trump, recently referred to many if not all nations on the African continent as shitholes, throwing poor, old Haiti and El Salvador into the discussion to boot, while expressing a desire to attract more folks to our shores from Norway, a rather nice but cold spot on the globe that is known for,...

Patrick Padgett: Patients shouldn’t have to pay for Anthem’s poor business decisions

Even though physicians, hospitals, nurses and other medical providers give care to people every day, they have very little control over how that care is delivered.  That control, unfortunately, rests with health insurers.  Their policies dictate not only what is covered, but how care is delivered, and it says a great deal about what insurers really value. Policymakers are sometimes forced to step...

Constance Alexander: Embracing poetry a good start to evaluating our values, beliefs on diversity

“Those Winter Sundays“ begins with a description of a father who gets up early, even on the day of rest. He gets dressed “in the blueblack cold,” his cracked hands aching from the weekday work he does to make a living; nevertheless, he still makes sure the house is warmed for the still-sleeping family. His child wakes to the sound of, “the cold splintering, breaking,” and half-heartedly...

Bill Straub: ‘St. Matt the Divine’s’ jokes about Trump and global warming no laughing matter

WASHINGTON – St. Matt the Divine dropped his parson’s collar a few days back to engage in the one thing his gubernatorial administration has proved he’s really good at – comedy. Gov. Bevin With much of the country trapped in a deep freeze last week, including single-digit temperatures throughout the commonwealth and minus readings in places like Florence, Gov. Matt Bevin thought the time was...

Constance Alexander: When ethics go south, God’s still on his side? But public support may be wavering

When ethics go south, God’s still on his side It’s a free country. Of course it is. People can change their minds lickety-split. No harm no foul, but there are downsides. A definitive 180 turn might indicate a wavering moral compass, a lack of discernment between right and wrong, thus creating an impression of impulsiveness, indecision, or just plain arrogance. Take, for example, Jeff Hoover, the...

Mitch McConnell: A year of extraordinary progress has Senate poised for productive 2018 session

In November 2016, the American people sent President Trump to the White House and Republican majorities back to Congress. We worked together to make 2017, by any objective standard, a year of extraordinary accomplishment. While the national media may overlook or downplay any of these successes, the fact remains that Congress has achieved a number of priorities this past year for the people we represent. One...

Mary Meehan: Real lives are at stake in rural areas and real journalism can help affect change

Hey there Blue State folks! Those of us out here in the rest of the country are glad that over the last year you’ve shown an interest in making our acquaintance. Recently, several prominent media organizations took it a step further, announcing support for local journalists. The Nieman Foundation recently announced the Abrams Nieman Fellowship in Local Investigative Journalism. These fellows will...

David Ward: Marsy’s Law would have dramatic negative impact on Kentucky’s legal system

If Marsy’s Law – a bill pre-filed in our Legislature is passed, Kentucky citizens will have a chance to weigh in on the following question that will determine whether the Kentucky Constitution is dramatically changed and whether every criminal case in the Commonwealth is altered substantially. Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be...

Bill Straub: With Ryan stuck on entitlements, is McConnell ready to work with Dems on infrastructure

WASHINGTON – One thing that can be said about Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root and Branch’’ McConnell, to paraphrase the late Democratic Sen. Henry “Scoop’’ Jackson of Washington, is that he’s a conservative, not a damn fool. McConnell While his counterpart in the lower chamber, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, is becoming increasingly bellicose about tackling entitlements during...

Commentary: Crime victims must have Marsy’s Law to correct imbalance in justice system

By Caroline Ruschell, Marcia Roth and Eileen Recktenwald Special to KyForward If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV or witnessed an arrest up close, you know what happens. The accused is usually handcuffed, read their constitutionally-guaranteed Miranda rights, and put in the back of a police car to be taken to jail to face the charges against them. But what becomes of victims – those left...

Constance Alexander: Carol Larson’s Tall Girl series affirms therapeutic process of creating art

Carol A. Larson defines her creative work as textile art, not quilting. Instead of using her name, she titles her website live2dye. And despite some gory and tragic details, she sees her life as a story of healing, courage and acceptance. Here’s the backstory in Carol’s own words: “When I was 17 years old and 78.5 inches long, I was surgically shortened six inches with the intention of giving...