A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ron Daley: Helping Kentuckians get their REAL ID for air travel should not have taken so long

Don’t you just hate it when our great Commonwealth is at the bottom of rankings compared to other states? It is especially frustrating when there are easy fixes to address the concerns. This is the case when Kentucky has rushed to get to near bottom for allowing Kentuckians to obtain REAL ID drivers licenses by the federal mandated Oct. 1, 2020, deadline. The REAL ID (Voluntary Travel ID) is necessary...

Mitch McConnell: Trump’s landmark USMCA deal is a win for Kentucky workers, farmers and consumers

Kentuckians are rightfully known for being hard workers. I’m glad more of them, from Paducah to Pikeville, are benefitting from our country’s strong economy, which has been bolstered by Republican policies. The Republican-led Senate just gave Kentucky workers another boost in an overwhelming vote by passing President Trump’s landmark trade deal called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement...

Bill Straub: Making a hash of impeachment hearings — and of country; thanks McConnell, Barr and Paul

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has made a hash of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump but less noticeable thus far is Sen. Rand Paul’s determination to sling the same mélange out like a short-order cook at the corner greasy spoon. Paul, of Bowling Green, drew attention four years back when he emerged as one of the Republican Party’s biggest...

Richard Nelson: Beware of sweeping implications in current legislation, could limit faith-based counselors

Last week, the New York Times reported on a Kentucky Senate bill banning conversion therapy, a controversial technique whose extreme practitioners employ abusive practices to force change on those struggling with various sexual orientations.  The bipartisan bill—SB 85, sponsored by four Kentucky State Senators from Lexington and Louisville, was called a ban on “conversion torture” by...

Constance Alexander: When addressing health equity issues, having the difficult conversations is often key

Family conversations can be awkward, even downright difficult, according to Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Director of the Office of Health Equity for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health. Despite the discomfort, honest discussions are crucial, she remarked at the kick-off of a lively interactive session on health equity last week in Louisville, at the offices of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The purposes...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise, education, and training

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write to make a case for promoting free enterprise because this part of American life has set the stage to educate and train hundreds of millions of Americans. We want a system that unifies educators, business, and the rest of us, by rewarding educational attainment and training with workplace opportunities. That system...

Ron Daley: Beshear is a listening governor who can revitalize Eastern Kentucky, rural areas

Gov. Andy Beshear’s ability and willingness to listen is just what Eastern Kentucky and the rural areas of the Commonwealth need to in order to advance economically. Not all political leaders have the inclination to listen to the people, but instead desire to speak and pontificate on their own agenda. Over the past four years I have had the opportunity to observe Beshear interact as a listener with...

Jim Waters: Fix state’s retirement systems; one idea: no more sick day accumulation to spike pensions

Legislators campaigning to hold on to their seats may be jittery about dealing with controversial pension reform, but the problems plaguing the state’s retirement systems don’t hibernate just because there’s an election. Despite record amounts of funding in recent years, the ailing Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) is saddled with $14.5 billion worth of liabilities, remains under 60% funded...

Whitney Westerfield: Victims of crime are still counting on you, Kentucky; we need Marsy’s Law

In 2018, the General Assembly and Kentucky voters demonstrated their strong support for crime victims when they overwhelmingly adopted the Marsy’s Law constitutional amendment. Their intent was as clear as their message: “you deserve better, we support you, and your voice matters”. Victims were able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they would finally be afforded the same level of constitutional...

Bill Straub: The whole world is watching the ‘dive’ but that’s the way it is in McConnell’s world

America hasn’t witnessed a dive like this since Sonny Liston kissed the canvas after that infamous “phantom punch’’ from a young Muhammed Ali up in Lewison, ME, in ’65. And, just as then, the whole world is watching. Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, has made it crystal clear that, regardless of whatever information comes to the fore, the...

Commentary: New generation set to lead Kentucky as torch is passed and challenges remain

By Ashli Watts and OJ Oleka Special to KyForward In 1960, as the American people entered a new year and, notably, a new decade, the electorate chose a new face to serve as its president. As the youngest president ever elected, John F. Kennedy’s historic victory signaled that a new generation of leadership was ready to serve. He would say so himself in his inaugural address: “Let the word go forth...

Constance Alexander: The local library is a refuge where all are welcome, regardless of tax bracket

Mrs. Coppage was my first librarian. I remember her as a tiny woman with silvery gray hair piled atop her head in the manner of a Gibson Girl. She conducted regular story hours for little children in my hometown, and we clustered around her like petals on a flower to hear her read. As she acted out every character, she was transformed. Stray curls escaped from her up-do. The ruffled collar of her blouse...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise, freedom and hope

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We want an economic system that features hope because hope propels us forward and it leads to perseverance in difficult circumstances. We write to make a case for promoting freedom and capitalism because they have helped provide hope to hundreds of millions of Americans. In a free market system, productive effort usually leads...

Tyler White: After witnessing great injustice, Ky. coal industry stands with hard-working miners

Over the past few months we have witnessed a great injustice occur in some of our mining communities as certain bad actors have reportedly failed to pay their hard working men and women the wages they are owed. As the president of a trade organization that represents the coal industry, I am appalled at these unethical business practices. To not pay your employees what they have earned is simply and...

Charlotte Whittaker: Big Pharma’s prices just keep going up and up — Senate needs to pass HR 3

The price of a new invention usually falls as more people adopt it, but prescription drug prices somehow defy gravity. Kentuckians, like all Americans, pay among the highest drug prices in the world, and prices keep climbing. We can’t change the laws of physics, but we can and must change federal law to bring needed relief. For prescription drugs on the market, you might expect any price increase...

Al Cross: We have waited patiently for the moment that Mitch McConnell would come to his senses . . .

More than once, this space has said Mitch McConnell would face a day of reckoning in his relationship with Donald Trump – a moment when the Senate majority leader would have to decide to maintain fealty to the president of his party or would say, at least to himself, that “enough is enough” when it comes to Trump’s use of the presidency to serve his personal interests. We thought the day might...

Bill Straub: Sanctuary Cities — now, is this really the No. 1 problem facing a state like Kentucky?

It’s no secret that Kentucky, sadly, has been a bottom feeder among the states for so long that it swims almost undistinguished from the carp and the flounder. Consider just a few items. The Commonwealth ranks 46th in per capita income, 46th in residents with a high school diploma or higher (48th with a bachelor’s degree for those keeping score at home), 43rd in child poverty, 48th in a measure...

William McCann: For long-term benefit of students, charter schools deserve a chance in Kentucky

The first application for a charter school has been rejected. The Bevin-appointed state board of education has been ‘fired’ and replaced. Wayne Lewis, the former commissioner of education, is now living and working in Tennessee. Current and retired educators are running for the state legislature. So now is the time to formally adopt a funding mechanism and move forward with charter schools...

Constance Alexander: Fahrenheit 451 sparks programs about literacy, public libraries, free speech

For a man who wrote stories that make spines tingle and raise hairs on the back of the neck, author Ray Bradbury was a just a regular guy. Sure, he had a fabulous imagination and earned worldwide renown, but his beginnings were humble, his tastes simple, his education unique. “I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library,” he said, “and it’s better than college....

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about other economic systems; for a fair discussion

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Because of America’s liberties, capitalism became the natural basis for our economy, but of course, it’s not the only basis for an economy. Other systems, such as fascism, communism, socialism, or some blend of these ideas, all involve large, controlling governments. We write to explain several deficiencies in...