A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Edward Tonini: Communities battle urgent problem worsened by pandemic — healthy food access

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our nation in unprecedented and profound ways. Our nation’s vulnerable children are particularly compromised. Within their communities, they have to battle an urgent problem worsened by this pandemic: food access. Simply put, with schools closed, it is significantly more difficult for children to access the healthy foods they need. However, there are tools the federal...

Adrienne Bush: Congress can help communities invite new housing of all types by passing YIMBY Act

As the United States Congress returns to Washington this week, our Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an opportunity to advance sensible, meaningful legislation that acknowledges housing affordability and availability as central to economic recovery, social equity, and a more stable, prosperous life for every American. From 2000–2015, the country built 7.3 million fewer homes than were needed...

Charles Williams: How many nursing home residents must die from COVID-19 before Congress acts?

COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire through the nation’s nursing homes. Already, more than 56,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities — including more than 450 in Kentucky — have died from COVID-19. They account for more than 44 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths, even though less than one percent of Americans live in nursing homes. This is a national disgrace. To...

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom: The data is clear, Congress should provide fourth coronavirus stimulus package

Earlier this month, national economic data showed the second consecutive month of unexpected job growth and increased employment amidst the global pandemic of Covid-19. This is excellent news, but it comes with caveats: millions remain unemployed, businesses continue to struggle and shutter, and the virus is surging in parts of the country. An honest assessment of the economic recovery and our fight...

Lexington mayor prioritizes federal funding based on ‘community needs’ and ‘city’s financial stability’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has set her priorities for how federal money will be spent following last week’s announcement by Gov. Andy Beshear that Kentucky cities will receive funding for expenditures related to the coronavirus. During a press conference at Lexington City Hall, Gorton laid out her recommendations for how the money should be spent. “Funding for the...

Kentucky part of 18-state coalition asking for probe into China’s role in coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Monday he has joined an 18-state coalition calling on Congress to investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the coronavirus pandemic. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson led the effort, sending a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and members of House and Senate...

John Schaaf: McConnell’s talk of state bankruptcy is strange, and his timing of announcement is peculiar

In a strange move, Sen. Mitch McConnell recently announced he favors “allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” so he’s pushing an idea that would require states to raise taxes and sell off assets such as the Kentucky State Parks. Sen. McConnell’s announcement is peculiar because of its timing and because of the chaos that would result if a state declared it could not pay its bills. Luckily,...

Kim Moser: We will get through this crisis together — because Kentucky is better when we are united

COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has blasted its way across our world, forcing citizens to worry for the safety of their families as reports of more cases and deaths continue to mount. This pandemic has reached our shores and will likely worsen before it gets better. There are nearly 30,000 documented worldwide deaths and that number rises daily. Last week, Congress finally passed a support package to...

Permanent daylight savings time? Ky. lawmakers like the idea, pass resolution urging Congress to act

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A resolution urging Congress to allow states to opt for daylight saving time all year passed the Kentucky House on Wednesday. Rep. Brandon Reed, sponsor of the measure, told his colleagues on the House floor, “It saves energy, reduces traffic injuries, crime and helps with mental health, thus saving lives.” House lawmakers voted 92-2 to support a resolution urging Congress...

Neal Moser: Congress must protect Ky. patients from surprise medical care bills — an unfair practice

Protecting patients is a critical component of my work as a physician. But sometimes, we can’t protect them when it comes to the financial fallout of the medical care they require. Far too often, my patients are hit with large medical bills that they don’t expect, especially if they receive emergency treatment from an out-of-network physician or in an out-of-network facility. When this happens,...

Ryan Quarles: USMCA must be passed to protect, expand market access for American agriculture

On the heels of the successful passage of the federal farm bill, and with a new year upon us, there is a major opportunity to protect and expand market access for American agriculture in 2019: Congress must pass USMCA. The last year has been dominated by headlines about international trade and the tough tri-lateral negotiations involving the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Now, a new trade framework...

Tyler White: Don’t burden coal country with a tax increase on the industry; coal needs to compete

Black Lung is a terrible disease. Just one case is a case too many. All miners who suffer from black lung must receive the benefits they deserve.  These are indisputable facts. But we need to ensure the systems in place to secure benefits for those who need them are the right solutions. Handled incorrectly, future funding for The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund could do unintended damage...

Mitch McConnell: Industrial hemp legalization through Farm Bill provides new opportunity for Ky.

The Senate has opened a door to new opportunities for Kentucky agriculture. After extensive collaboration with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we passed one of my top Kentucky priorities for the year – a Farm Bill containing my legislation to legalize the production of industrial hemp. When President Trump signs the bill into law, Kentucky‘s farmers can continue to lead the nation in...

Bill Straub: A billion here, a billion there adds up, but even KY House tax plan doesn’t go far enough

Legend has it that Winston Churchill, trying to draw the United States into WWII, famously said you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else. Apparently old Winnie, in his travels, never made it to the Bluegrass where, having tried ad infinitum to escape that which needs to be done, continues on its merry way ignoring its responsibilities and...

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...

Ag Commissioner calls on Congress to remove industrial hemp from list of contolled substances

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has called on Congress to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances under federal law and challenged the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) position on consumable hemp-derived products in remarks delivered Wednesday at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meeting. “When I became Commissioner...

Barr proposes legislation to strengthen U.S. sanctions against North Korea

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr, R-Lexington, has introduced legislation that would include the most far-reaching sanctions ever aimed at North Korea. The bill, sponsored by the Sixth District Congressman, would punish foreign banks and other financial institutions for dealing with those facilitating North Korea-related business, which he said would be an incentive for traders,...

Mitch McConnell: Congress faces number of pressing issues related to disaster relief — and debt ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s upcoming agenda items:   Congress has a number of pressing issues to address in the coming days.   There are three critically important things before us that need be done very quickly: pass disaster relief legislation to allow us to rebuild from Harvey and prepare for future disasters...

Retired Marine fighter pilot McGrath announces she will challenge Barr for 6th Congressional seat

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Another Democrat has announced a run for Kentucky’s Sixth District Congressional seat, currently held by Republican Andy Barr of Lexington. Amy McGrath, a retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel and former F/A-18 fighter pilot from northern Kentucky, made her formal announcement in a two-minute YouTube video Tuesday morning. “I believe we need to elect a new generation of leaders...

Congress goes home for July 4 holiday after reaching yet another impasse on Zika virus

Congress took a break for the July 4 holiday after reaching another impasse on funding to combat the Zika virus that has caused birth defects in Mexico and the Caribbean. “Senate Democrats on Tuesday shot down a House-passed bill that would have provided $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne virus, citing opposition to the measure’s changes in pesticide regulations and restrictions on...