Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

On behalf my wife Elaynea and myself, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

As we sneak up on the new session, more postings will occur, starting with my thoughts on the Governor's deficit reduction plan.

Until then, enjoy the holidays.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Projected budget shortfall

A new projected budget shortfall was released today by the state Consensus Forecasting Group. The new number is $456 million.

First, if we are in a crisis, why is the Governor giving political cronies a $20,000 raise?

Second, anyone can identify a problem. That is not hard. I would like to help the Governor with a solution:

  • Suspend the prevailing wage law for this budget cycle. We would be better off if it was repealed in its entirety. However, maybe it would be more politically palatable by suspending it through June 2010. Estimated savings- $150 million.

  • Suspend the water and sewer projects put into the budget at the last minute. Now, this is also going to be hard to do. Heck, I don't want to give up the $1 million in water lines that I got for Campbell County residents. If these projects are suspended, they should sit at the top of the list if the budget turns around, or for the next budget cycle. Off the top of my head, I think those projects were for $250 million, so that is the estimated savings.

  • Allow grocery stores to sell wine. First year revenue, $20 million, and $10 million every year after that.

So, I have just come of with the first $420 million of the $456 million projected shortfall. This would tide us over for a least another 10-12 months, where we can then see if the projected deficit gets better or worse. In another year we will be in the beginning of a new budget session, where we can clean up anything else.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mortgage help

Everyone is familiar with the mortgage problems facing America. Kentucky is not immune of course. As I knocked on doors, I came upon plenty of foreclosed homes.

One of the successes of the 2008 session was an overhaul of the mortgage process in Kentucky. That bill set up the Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center. If you or someone you know needs help staying in their home, contact the KHPC.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters of the 69th District for putting their faith in me for another two years as your State Representative. This is a tremendous honor and a responsibility I take very seriously. As I mentioned during the campaign, this is the best job I have ever had.

This blog will continue and the pace of posts will pick up now that the campaign has ended.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gaming in Kentucky

There is a lot of talk in Kentucky about whether or not we should have expanded gaming. Whatever your opinion on expanded gaming, you may not know how huge gaming is in Kentucky right now. On Friday I attended a Licensing and Occupations Committee meeting where we received an update from the office of Charitable gaming. I was surprised at how much was wagered in 2007;

About $485 million was wagered on charitable gaming.

About $470 million was wagered on horse racing (yes, charitable gaming is larger that horse racing).

About $740 million was wagered on the Kentucky Lottery.

Now, I am putting these figures down from memory, so they are probably off a little here or there. But I do remember adding it all up at the committee meeting, and it was over $1.7 billion in 2007.

I found this very interesting and wanted to share it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

47% raise?

Yesterday the director of the Legislative Research Commission was given a 47% raise. Mr. Sherman is a great person who does an excellent job in a demanding position. Apparently this was done in order to keep Mr. Sherman from retiring.

I appreciate Mr. Sherman and the work he does. However, it is difficult to justify a 47% raise for anyone at anytime. It is even more difficult when every state employee is getting a 1% raise. According to media reports (which is where I learned this, just like everyone else), this was done because Mr. Sherman is "indispensable". I don't believe there is anyone who is indispensable. I disagree with this decision and I hope it is revisited.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kentucky in the spotlight

The past week Kentucky had the chance to be in the international sporting spotlight last week with the Ryder Cup. For those of you who are uninitiated, the Ryder Cup is a golf exhibition pitting the best players from the united States versus the best players from Europe. It is played every 2 years and moves from continent to continent. This year it was played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

The tournament went great. The US team had 2 Kentucky players on it, and they were integral to the big US win. Kentucky received a lot of the attention in the international telecasts. The fans were great, everyone commented on the graciousness of the Kentuckians. I had the opportunity to go to the event on Saturday and talked to a French television reporter and he said how well he had been treated here.

Why is this important to Northern Kentucky? Because the more positively Kentucky is viewed by the world, the more people will want to visit the state and spend some money. Tourism is an important part of the Kentucky economy, and whatever can be done to increase it benefits everyone.

Everyone should be proud of their state after last week.

I've been a bad blogger

Or more accuratly a non-blogger. But I am going to try to get back in the swing of things. Fact of the matter is that there is limited news to post from the Legislative branch, and it is campaign time and that takes up all my free time. However, the postings will begin again!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pension reform moving forward

The House today passed pension reform 98-0. It now moves on to the Senate where it is expected to pass easily on Friday.

I would like to expand on comments I made in my last post about double dipping. We received a briefing on the pension reform legislation on Monday. In the meeting I asked about allowing double dipping if you become a legislator. Apparently everyone is being treated the same, and here is the explanation:

Under this bill you cannot double dip in the same retirement system. Now there are several different systems, KERS (mostly state employees) CERS (county, city, and classified school employees) KTRS (Kentucky Teacher Retirement System) SPRS ( State Police) and the Judicial retirement system (Judges and Legislators). So future employees cannot double dip in the same retirement system. However, future employees can get multiple retirements from different systems. Here is an example. Joe Smith is a police officer in CERS. Joe retires with a full CERS pension. Joe can go back to work for an agency that is attached to CERS, but cannot collect another pension. However, say Joe then went on to become a teacher. Then Joe can begin working on a second pension with KTRS.

My primary concern was that everyone is being treated the same, and it looks like they are. Just wanted to clarify that issue now that I am more educated on it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Special session is on

The first (and hopefully only) special session of 2008 begins Monday. The topic is the pension system, which is currently $26 billion in the hole.

This desperately needs to be done. Overall the plan is a good start. We are taking some steps to stop the bleeding. However, this is akin to putting a band aid on a head wound. This will not fix the problem. It will slow down the rate at which we fall behind. But it must be done. Local Governments and school boards will be beneficiaries of these changes.

The Governor deserves credit for getting the issue moving again. The Senate President David Williams deserves credit for repeatedly saying that more needs to be done. Both the House and Senate leadership deserve credit for getting together and working this out.

That said, there are a couple issues I have with the legislation as I understand it. All I have seen thus far is a summary of the changes. First, it eliminates double dipping for all employees (which is good), except for Legislators (which is bad). Translation: If you are a current public employee, you can retire from your job with your full pension, come back some time later and start working on your second pension. This bill will eliminate that for future employees, and you can only have the first pension, unless you come back as a legislator or a Judge, then you can have that second pension. I think that is wrong and sends the wrong message. Perhaps this was an oversight in the summary, or I missed it. But I don't think so. Update- See above post for more information on this topic. The second issue I have is that there will be a schedule for the state to make the actuarial correct payment amount to the retirement fund. The percent will go up every year until the state makes the proper payment amount in 2025. That is 17 years from now. Not making the necessary payments is part of what has gotten us in this situation of the years. I would rather see this schedule accelerated.

Comprehensive bills like this always have little issues that every legislator can complain about. You have to consider if the bill does more good than bad. This bill is about 99% good. I look forward to voting for it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A leader in Transparency

Secretary of State Trey Grayson has launched an initiative called "Check it out Kentucky". In it he details all the expenses from his office. I would like to applaud him for this innovation. The citizens of Kentucky should be able to easily access information regarding the expenditures of their government. Secretary Grayson has taken the first step in Kentucky to making this information available. You can find it here.

We need more of this sort of action in all levels of government. It is cliche, but this is your money and should shouldn't have to jump through several hoops to see where your money is being spent.

There was a good bill this past year, HB 105, that would have accomplished this goal for all of state government. I was proud to be a co-sponsor of it. Sadly, it went nowhere. Hopefully it will see a better fate next year.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Special session coming?

From what I have heard it is 50-50. If it happens there will be an agreement ready and it will start June 23rd.

Also I am hearing that the reform will limited in scope and will just stop the bleeding. Frankly, we need more than that, but I suppose we will take what we can get. The wheels of government turn slowly.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pension reform still possible?

Governor Beshear had a meeting with leaders of the legislature this morning about pension reform. There is a move afoot to have a special session to get this done.

I certainly hope this happens. We are well past the time to make some changes on this topic. My only complaint is that it may not go far enough. The proposal includes more study of the already most studied issue in Frankfort. But, progress is progress. Below is the release from the Governor:

Gov. Beshear Proposes Pension Reform Measures – Will Save $500 Million Annually in Pension Costs and at Least $50 Million in Immediate Savings to City and County Governments and School Districts

Proposes Special Session Last Week of June; Creates Working Group to Address Remaining Issues

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2008)—Gov. Steve Beshear today called on legislators to agree on major pension reform issues in the next three weeks which will save taxpayers $500 million annually and city and county governments and school districts at least $50 million immediately. If such an agreement can be reached, the Governor said he would call a special legislative session to enact the reforms before June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

“Democrats and Republicans, public employees and public employers, we all agree that the state’s public pension problem is a real mess,” said Gov. Beshear. “And, we all agree that the failure to pass meaningful pension reform during the last legislative session has made the problem worse. And, most significantly, we all agree that we must act now to stop the bleeding of taxpayer dollars.”

During the last session, the House and Senate passed separate bills, many provisions of which were strikingly similar. Key issues that remain in dispute are governance of the systems and consideration of new models for future benefits, issues that have not been fully vetted and did not receive any recommendation from former Governor Fletcher’s Blue Ribbon Commission.

Gov. Beshear’s staff compiled all of the provisions of the two pension bills from the 2008 session that used the same language or shared principles.

“The draft language represents issues where there is substantial agreement between both Houses,” said the Governor. “In addition, this draft contains the recommendations of Governor Fletcher’s Blue Ribbon Commission.

Those recommendations include:
Raising retirement ages for future hires;
Lowering the cost of living adjustment to 1.5 percent;
Requiring new employees to contribute 1 percent of their salary to the health insurance fund; and
Reforming the practice of double-dipping.

Gov. Beshear met with House and Senate leaders this morning to provide the draft language and urged them to reach agreement on these core components in the next three weeks. If they agree, he will call a special session the week of June 23 to take up this compromise bill.

“Agreement on these reforms will result in savings of nearly $500 million annually to state and local government obligations to fund the pension system,” said Gov. Beshear. “It will also provide city and county governments and school districts with at least $50 million in immediate savings starting July 1.”

Gov. Beshear also emphasized that the state will realize a record number of retirees this year, and a failure to reform the practice of “double dipping” could impose significant additional costs on the state.

“It’s time to set aside issues that divide us, to identify all of the significant things we agree on, and work together to come up with a partial, but substantial solution to the pension mess we are in,” said Gov. Beshear. “We all agree there is a problem. We agree the problem is getting worse. We agree the time is now. And we agree on the basic changes that need to be made. Let’s get it done, now.”


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today is Election Day!

If you haven't already voted, please do so by 6:00 pm today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Industrial Road update

It looks like Industrial Road will be in the new 6 year plan that the Governor puts out soon. The only issue now is if the veto is legal. There is a story on that here.

Like I said in the last post, nothing is ever for certain in Frankfort.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The long story of a road

Here is the story of Industrial Road, its expansion, and where it is on the 6 year plan.

As I write this, work is being done to improve and widen Industrial Road from US 42 to US 25. That is Phase 1. Phase 2 expands and widens Industrial Road from US 25 to Turkeyfoot Road. Last year, Phase 2 was on the 6 year plan. This is important because a road cannot be funded unless it is on the 6 year plan.

Now in the Governor's first version of the 6 year road plan Phase 2 was removed. I made getting Phase 2 back on the 6 year plan this year a top priority for several reasons. First, I knew the chances of new roads being put on the 6 year plan was next to zero. Second, the cities of Elsmere and Independence and Kenton County each put up $100,000 for a local match to help the project along. Well, that money has been spent on Phase 1 (which is in none of those jurisdictions). It is unfair that their money is spent outside their areas and the part in their area is gone from the list.

I had the opportunity to share this with the Governor. I believe he interceded on my behalf to get it in the House version of the 6 year road plan because it was in there.

So then of course the budget goes to the Senate. In the Senate, Phase 2 came out, along with every other project the house added in their version. I don't blame the Senate, they treated every new project equally, it got cut out. Later, I was hopeful that Phase 2 would reappear in after the conference committee. That did not happen as again no new projects came out of the conference committee. So I thought it would be out for at least two years.

This is one of the more interesting things about this job, nothing is ever certain. Today the Governor vetoed HB 79, the biannual Highway Plan. Here is his statement:

FRANKFORT, KY (April 28, 2008) – Gov. Steve Beshear today vetoed House Bill 79, the Legislature’s version of a highway construction plan, citing the unprecedented manner in which it would have constrained his administration in the coming biennium.

“This legislation unnecessarily limits the ability of the Transportation Cabinet to make the kind of adjustments that are always necessary when implementing hundreds of road and bridge projects,” the Governor said.

In his veto message, the Governor said HB 79 would have severely limited the Transportation Cabinet’s ability to deal with project cost overruns.

“Without this veto, some critical projects may have to sit idle because the actual costs could exceed the amounts set forth in the bill,” he said. Adding to that untenable position, no change to the highway plan, no matter how badly needed, could be made without new legislation.

The Governor said he had directed Transportation Secretary Joe Prather to publish the Commonwealth’s highway plan combining all the projects he originally recommended with projects the Senate and the House added in their respective budget memorandums. In that way, all such projects can be considered for funding.

The state road plan will “provide maximum flexibility for the maintenance and the construction of the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure and maintain consistency with past practices,” the Governor said.

The plan also will contain a number of needed projects inexplicably omitted in HB 79. A listing of those projects will be made available when the replacement plan is published.

“There will not be enough funds available to move forward with every project included in the substitute plan,” Beshear added. “However, including them in the plan signifies their importance to me and my desire to move forward with them when funds become available.”


The way I read this, it looks like Phase 2 will be back in. I am going to try to confirm this.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Budget thoughts, part 2

It has been a while since part 1, but here are some more thoughts, mainly about revenue.

The budget we passed was quite lean, due to lower revenues. There was a bill passed to increase taxes by raising the cigarette tax, along with several other taxes. It passed the House 50-45, but never received a hearing in the Senate.

There were mixed feeling in the district about the cigarette tax. Most calls I received were against it. However, the was some real support for it also.

I voted against the tax increase, and here is why. There are many methods of either increasing revenue or saving money that can be implemented. These should be addressed before we look at raising taxes. These options include:

Repealing the prevailing wage law. I have talked length about this issue on this blog. We are looking at savings of $250-500 million per biennium.

Expanded gaming. This need no explanation, as it has been talked about plenty. Estimated revenue: $600 million to 1.2 billion per biennium.

Allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores. Currently, you can't buy wine in grocery stores. I don't understand why. Estimated revenue: $20-25 million per biennium.

You may not agree with all these options. Good people disagree on these issues and that is OK. But I feel that these need to be given the chance to pass before we look at raising taxes. My suggestions would generate between $870 million to $1.725 billion per biennium. The low end would mitigate the cuts in the budget, the high end would provided additional revenue needed for human services, education, and possibly even tax cuts that would spur economic development or eliminating the state portion of the car tax.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pension fix is dead

Where to start?

This was a vital item to pass this year. It is a crime that nothing got done. Because when your pension system is $26 billion in the hole, it is probably past time to stop digging and start filling up the hole. Last year then Governor Fletcher put together a "blue-ribbon commission" to come up with solutions to this problem. That commission did an excellent job putting together their suggested plan.

So this session the House passed their version of the plan, the Senate passed their version of the plan. Which of course means that the issues goes to a conference committee. The conference committee was put together before we left for break on April 1st. So there was about 2 weeks to get an agreement. Yet I am not sure that there were any meetings held during the break. Either way, there was no agreement when we returned to Frankfort Monday.

Fast forward to Tuesday, or our last day in Frankfort. At about 3:00pm I am hearing that the issue is dead. At 6:00 it has new life as the committee (as we are told) are meeting on it. About 8:00pm it sounds like there is an agreement. Shortly thereafter some information starts floating around about the details of the agreement. I find out later that the conference committee never met, it was leadership who apparently worked out a deal.

By 10:30, it was dead again. Why? You can see in this article from the Lexington Herald Leader, apparently the Jefferson County Teachers Association(JCTA) and the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) killed the bill with their opposition. Instead, the House gutted another bill at the final hour and put the House version of the pension bill in it to send to the Senate. Not surprisingly, the Senate did nothing with it as they thought they had a compromise agreement with the House.

Some thoughts:

Since when did the KEA and the JCTA start running the Democratic Caucus in the House? Why is it that they get to make such vital policy decisions that affect every person in this state?

I have seen the very difficult job leadership has on these issues. It is a demanding, often thankless job. So I am not questioning judgement or motives. That said, I just don't understand how an issue gets this out of control, the need for a solution so obvious, and yet it can't get done.

From what I finally saw on a 2 page outline of the compromise, it barely stopped the bleeding. There was to be more study of the issue. There is no more studied issue in Frankfort. Of course, now that will be done, there is no choice. This should be the most important issue in the 2009 session, assuming there is no special session to take it up.

The circus (aka session) is over

First, let me apologize for not posting in a week. Second, this one will be short, as I just drove home this morning after about 3 and a half hours sleep after last nights debacle.

I will have many thoughts on what happened last night, the budget, and the process in the next few days. For the next day or two I will be decompressing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

1000 visitors

In a little less than 3 and a half months, we have reached over 1000 unique visitors. Thanks to all of you who have checked in!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Budget thoughts, part 1

I label this part 1 as I figure I will have other thoughts to share as we go along.

First, this is no way to run a government. This is not a reflection on the people who negotiate the budget or the staff who put it together. But when a system exists that drops a 250 page document on your desk and a 30 page summary to digest about 6 hours before you have to vote on it, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system.

The good news is that for the first time in a while the state is doing a better job living within its means. The projects in the original budget document were at a minimum. We lower our overall debt ratio. We make progress toward fulling funding the state portion of the retirement system for this biennium. NKU now has the authority to build their dorm. Plus we have a budget, which is better than leaving without one and have to spend more taxpayer dollars coming back to finish up.

The bad news is that there are many cuts. The is no increase in the SEEK formula, but it holds steady. A 3% cut to higher education. Cuts to other educational services like Safe Schools. Cuts to Human Services. No adolescent treatment center for NKY.

More thought to come.....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Budget debate

I am blogging here live from the House floor. The discussion of the budget has begun. In a strange twist, the bill is being handled by Rep. Webb, because the sponsor of the budget and the A & R Chair, Rep. Moberly, is apparently going to speak against the budget. If you are near a TV, turn it on. It should be interesting.

Since we will be here until midnight tonight, I will try to blog on the budget in general tomorrow. I can say that this is an austere budget.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

budget in trouble?

OK, right now the budget is basically a series of rumors for those of us not in the budget negotiations. Even though no one has technically seen the budget, right now it does not seem to have the votes to pass the House.

Now there are strong rumors that an alternative budget proposal is being put together right now.

All this needs to be decided on by midnight tomorrow night to be veto proof.

What a mess.

Monday, March 31, 2008

session cancelled today

Leaders have cancelled session today and moved it to Wednesday. This was done so that budget negotiations can continue throughout the day. The hope of the leaders is to have a budget by midnight so we can vote on it by midnight Wednesday. From what I can gather, the chances of a budget coming together in time is getting slim.

I have to say that having to vote on a budget I haven't seen is not an appetizing one to me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

budget news

It is a little frustrating at this point. Apparently the negotiating is still going on. You can basically learn what I know at the Herald Leader or Courier Journal blogs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gambling bill on life support

I am hearing no plans to call up the expanded gambling bill. It seems that it is dead for this session.

In Frankfort, I have learned that you never say never. However, the votes aren't there. The budget conference committee is working on the state budget, and it needs to finish its work this weekend. Obviously, you can't plan a budget without knowing how much revenue you have. The conference committee seems to be going forward without planning on any expanded gaming revenue.

If it does come up, it should be renamed "The Lazarus Bill".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A suite fit for a President?

I slept on the same hotel floor as a former President last night.

Myself, Rep. Santoro of Boone Co. and Rep. Dossett of Christian Co. share a suite at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort this session. President Clinton is in Kentucky campaigning all day. His first stop was here in Frankfort, and he stayed on the same floor as our suite last night. Did not get to see him, but did meet a member of his staff and a secret service agent. Both very nice people.

Can't say I am a big fan of Pres. Clinton, but it was pretty neat to be on the same floor with him.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What happens if there is no budget?

I have had a request from a reader wanting to know what happens if there is no budget. First, I appreciate the question and request. What follows is an explanation of the process and then what happens if there is no budget.

First, the Governor submits his suggested budget. That budget is then introduced as a bill. This year that was HB 406. It is used as a starting point. Then House passes their version of the budget, which may or may not look anything like the Governor's budget. Then the budget goes to the Senate, who then passes their version. It may or may not look anything like the House or Governor's version. When the House passes a bill and the Senate passes it with changes made, it comes back to the House for either concurrence or non-concurrence. On budget bills, the House historically has always not concurred. Therefore, the bill goes to a conference committee. This is a committee made up of members of both bodies that try to work out the differences. For budget bills, it is always made up of the leaders of both parties in each chamber. They then will either successfully work out an agreement, it will be passed by both chambers and signed by the Governor, or we will go home without a budget.

So now we get to the question at hand, what happens if we leave without a budget? Well, the budget runs until June 30. So if we leave without a budget, a special session would need to be called between the end of this session and June 30th if we are to have a new one in time. Hopefully, negotiations would continue immediately so we do not get to June 30 without a new budget.

What happens if June 30th comes and goes and there is no new budget? As I understand a recent judicial ruling, the Governor could operate only "essential" government services. Everything else would have to be cut. Now the definition of essential may be in question. You have to imagine that the state prisons and state police are essential. We have to keep the court system going. You would imagine that the state parks, new roads, filling pot holes would not be essential. The question becomes from a purely legal perspective, is education essential? How about medicaid? I truly hope it does not come down to that, and I don't think it will.

Friday, March 21, 2008

budget issues

Today there was some heated back and forth between Senate President David Williams and House budget chairman Harry Moberly. Details can be found here. Why is this important? Because it probably increases the chances that there will be no budget. Hopefully that is not the case. Both these men are skilled legislators who can put issues like this aside and work toward a good budget.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another good day

Thanks to Sen. Damon Thayer for hearing HB 309 in committee today. It passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee 10-0 today. It now goes on to the full Senate for final consideration. Hopefully it can have its day on the floor of the Senate.

I was also successful in attaching amendments to 2 pieces of legislation today, HB 603 and HB 683. Thanks to the sponsors of both those bills for working with me on their legislation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Discharge petitions

A discharge petition is a maneuver that can be used to dislodge a bill from committee that won't be heard, and move it to the rules committee where it can be then put on the orders of the day.

The Republicans in the House have begun using discharge petitions to try to get some bills up for a vote this session. The first time was on Friday, attempting to dislodge SB 40 from the House Judiciary Committee. The motion to approve requires 51 votes. The vote was 40-16. Obviously, many people chose to not vote either way. So SB 40 remains in committee.

There was a discharge petition filed for HB 43, a bill to exempt military pay from income taxes. These petitions must come during a portion of the agenda called "Motions Petitions and Communications" and can only last 30 minutes. So yesterday we were educated for about 30 minutes about women's history. An interesting lesson, but obviously one designed by its length to thwart any opportunity for us to call up a discharge petition.

But good things to come from these petitions. Today in the House Appropriations and Revenue committee HB 43 was heard and passed. It is very unlikely that it would have been heard otherwise. So we are making progress.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Budget and Taxes

Wednesday we spent 5 hours in session, mostly dealing with increased taxes and the budget.

HB 262 raised taxes on cigarettes, janitorial services, chartered flights (including hot air ballons), and other services. It passed 50-45. I voted no. There are plenty of things we can do first before we raise taxes, like repeal the prevailing wage.

Then we approved the House version of the budget. I got my copy in the morning Wednesday, and read it all morning. All 312 pages. There is a lot not to like in it. However, there is plenty to like also. Therefore I voted for it to keep the process going. The final vote will come later after the conference committee.

Big day Tuesday

First, I apologize for the delay in updating. Tuesday was a long day, description of which will follow. Plus I was under the weather Monday-Wednesday. But I am ready to update.

Tuesday we passed HB 560 out of the House Education Committee. The sophomore class from Lloyd High School came down to check it out. Two students, Dezmen Ritchie and Andy Bard testified and did a great job. They received a terrific lesson in the way the legislative Branch works. I would also like to thank Pat Crowley from the Enquirer and Tom McKee from WCPO channel 9 news for coming down very early to report on it and give the kids a lot of attention. You can watch the video from WCPO at the link below.


Next step is getting it called up on the floor.

In addition, we got HB 423 passed through the Elections Committee that morning also. It is the bill I ran for the sophmores last year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Budget week

Sounds like the House budget will pass through committee on Tuesday, and a vote on the House floor on Wednesday. A few thoughts:

First, I generally like to read bills before they come up for a vote. Given that the Governor's proposed budget is 120 pages, and I expect the committee substitute to be longer, it may be difficult to accomplish this. Therefore I may vote against it just based on the fact that I don't have time to read it. I assume we (by we I mean House Republicans) will get briefed on it before we have to vote on it.

Next, this is just the end of the second quarter, if you will. The Governor's proposal was the first quarter, the House budget is the second. The Senate will then produce their version, which is the third. Then a conference committee will work out the differences, the final quarter.

Lastly, Wednesday will be day 44 of a 60 day session. This means that the Senate will have 14 legislative days to put together their budget, and then have a conference committee, come to an agreement, and get it passed by both houses. Translation - don't be surprised if we get to the end of the session with no budget. Hopefully that does not happen. But given the time situation, I would not be surprised. Usually, the Senate would have had the budget by last week, from what I am told.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Big News

On Friday, I passed my first bill through the House of Representatives, HB 309. It was very exciting and surprisingly emotional.

Now all I have to do is get it through committee and the Senate, in the next 18 legislative days. Anyone who thinks it is a good idea, please let your State Senator know.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A tale of two committees

Today in the House Economic Development Committee (which I am on), we heard two different bills that were designed to improve economic development. I forget the number of one, the other was HB 718. Now, HB 718 would not be an improvement in my view, but that is a topic for another time. There was much discussion during both about increasing job growth in the rural areas of Kentucky, especially Eastern Kentucky.

Then later in the day there was expected to be a vote in Appropriations and Revenue Committee on the "Stream Saver" bill. It would basically eliminate a certain type of coal mining called mountain top removal. Now, some people would view passage of this bill as a good thing. But there is no argument that it would cost hundreds if not thousands of jobs in.............yep, Eastern Kentucky. Right where we need all the jobs.

Only in Frankfort.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

no quorum

We could not pass HB 423 this morning, as the committee could not get a quorum. It was disappointing, especially considering about 10 students and 6 adults came down to watch and testify. But the testimony by student Cory Howell was very good and well received.

Also, we passed a good bill out of the House, HB 534, of which I was a primary co-sponsor. It will protect general contractors and employees from unscrupulous subcontractors who drop their workers comp coverage while working on a job. Hopefully it finds favor in the Senate.

Finally, my bill that passed out of committee, HB 309, has made the orders of the day. This means that it can be called up on the floor at any time at the discretion of the Majority Leader of the House.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another bill in committee

HB 423, a bill that I submitted both this and last year, is scheduled to be heard in the Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs committee tomorrow morning.

This is a bill that I submitted last year for the then sophomores at Lloyd HS. The chairman, Daryl Owens, was nice enough to give us a hearing last year with no vote. apparently they liked it enough to give us a hearing this year.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pension fix

Today we passed HB 600, a step in the direction of digging out of the pension hole we are in. In case you did not know, the state of Kentucky has a deficit in our pension system of $26 billion.

No, that is not a misprint.

So we took a step forward in eliminating some of that. Mostly, it changed benefits for future employees. Currently we have either the most generous or second most generous retirement system in the country, depending on who you listen to. Either way, we can't afford it.

This is not a perfect bill. No 200 page bill will be perfect. We could have gone farther in some things and that would be fine with me. But to make as many changes as we did, to get the unanimous support it did, was a great accomplishment for all involved.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As you probably heard, much has happened with the casino issue. In case you have not been keeping up, here is the short version:

After 3 votes and several parliamentary maneuvers yesterday morning in committee, the casino bill could not get passed. So I thought it might actually be dead. Freshman mistake. The Democratic leadership just removed one member that voted against it and put 2 new members on that favored a certain version. After session today, the committee had a special meeting and voted a casino bill out very quickly.

This issue is all the talk in the hallways of the Capitol.

Rumor is that the Speaker committed to the Governor that he would get it out of committee, and it was then the Governor's responsibility to get the votes to pass it on the floor. But that may be just a rumor. The bill needs 60 votes to pass out of the House. Of course, the President of the Senate has said publicly that it is not going anywhere in the Senate, so this may all be an exercise in futility.

Also, I got my bill, HB 309, out of committee yesterday. I want to thank the Chairman, Steve Riggs, for hearing my bill, and the members of the committee for voting it out. I also want to thank the gentlemen from the Louisville FOP who went out of their way to come to the meeting to support me, even though I did not ask and were not aware they were coming.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

what will happen with casinos

Right now, there is a hearing in committee that will determine how the casino amendment will look, if it gets out of committee at all. You can see an analysis of what may happen here.

I am getting plenty of feedback on casinos. If would like to let me know what you think, e-mail me at adam.koenig@lrc.ky.gov.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Committee hearing on HB 309

Tuesday at noon, the House Local Governement Committee is supposed to hear HB 309, a bill I introduced.

Sometimes agendas change, but it should come up. I will let you know how it goes.

HB 560

This is something I should have started doing already, but I am going to spotlight the bills I have introduced. I have done this already with HB 309. Now I will talk a little about HB 560.

HB 560 was developed by a student at Lloyd High School. This was done as part of class assignment for the Sophmore classes of Jonathan Davis and Beth Fields. Last year we did the same thing, had a hearing before a committee, and the kids from Lloyd were able to testify on the bill. I have introduced the same bill from last year again this year, Hb 423.

Anyway, the goal of HB 560 is to teach seniors in high school how to register to vote, how to actually vote, and fill out an absentee ballot. We teach kids in school how important it is to be engaged and vote, but leave out the part about how to actually vote.

We hope to have the chance to have a hearing again this year before a committee. If it happens, I will let you know about it here first!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HB 396, the HPV Vaccine bill

Yesterday we voted on HB 396, a bill to require girls 9 and 10 years old to get a vaccine for HPV, human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease. This virus is one cause of cervical cancer. It passed on a mostly party line vote of 56-37, with 6 Representatives not voting.

This has been a contentious bill for the last 2 years. Last year the bill mandated recieving the vaccine before going to school, this years version allowed a parent to opt in or out. Therefore this years version was better, in my mind. But not good enough to vote for.

There was a good, and mostly respectful, debate on the topic. There is much to learn and many different opinions on this bill. If you are interested in the issue, I encourage you to go to the KET web site and watch the debate for yourself.

Here is my main problem with the bill. The first sentence of the bill is as follows:

"All parents, guardians, and other persons having care, custody, or control of any child shall have the child immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B,[ and] haemophilis influenzae disease, and human papillomavirus in accordance with testing and immunization schedules established by regulations of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "

I have put the change in bold. The reason we require students to be immunized for these diseases before they are allowed in school is that we don't need them spreading these diseases to others. This requirement is meant to lessen the risk of communicating these diseases in the close confines of schools. Schools should be a place of learning, and not having to worry about whether or not the other students have measles. HPV is not easily communicable, it requires sexual contact for the transmission. Therefore this requirement is outside the bounds of why we originally began requiring students to be immunized; not just for their own good but the good of others around them. This sets a dangerous precedent of the government telling you what medical treatments you have to take for your own good. There is also the issue of the $1.3 million dollar cost to the state when we are cutting many other services.

Now, if you have a daughter between 9 and 25 years old, I encourage you to look into getting her this vaccine. It may be the difference between life and death. But I want it to be an individual choice, not the government's.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The way things run down here

Just a little glimpse into the way things go here in Frankfort.

Today at lunch I invited myself to sit with a couple Democratic lawmakers, who will remain nameless. One was a State Rep., the other a State Senator. Conversation quickly turned to SB 7, commonly known in NKY as the toll bill. I expressed my reservations about the bill, and then commented that my main problem was that NKY gets the short end of the stick in most everything, including roads, and how now that it is our turn at the front of the line for some big projects, now there is no state money for us.

They both literally laughed at me. Not chuckled, didn't ask for some facts to back it up, just literally laughed at me.

Then one said "Well, you did alright with Fletcher" and they got up and left.

I tell this story to illustrate the mindset of too many down here. NKY generates the money that they take to their districts, and have no interest in learning or caring about how we get it or making sure it continues. It is very dissapointing.

Monday, February 18, 2008


From what I am hearing, the casino amendment will be simplified and the enabling legislation will wait until the amendment passes, if that ever happens.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

28 days in, 32 to go

This is my first term. So I am always asking others who have been around for a while how this session compares to other sessions. Last year everyone said that it was the "weirdest" session they had ever been a part of. The Speaker of the House was running for Governor, our Republican leader was running on a ticket against the sitting Republican Governor, a member of the Senate was running for Lt. Governor. Therefore, not much happened.

Now this year, everyone tells me they can't remember a "slower" session. We have a new Governor who just released his casino plan. There is no money to spend, so that slows up the process and eliminates many bills from consideration. The House is about to change the Governors casino plan. There is talk of increased taxes. Hopefully there will be a pension plan from the Governor this week. But this leaves about 30 days to put together a budget, decide on casinos, fix the pension system, and do any number of other things. I look forward to seeing whether or not this continues to be a slow session.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Since yesterday morning, the only talk around the halls of the Capitol has been about the Governor's casino plan. A good recap of his plan by the Lexington Herald Leader can be found here.

Part of my weekend will be going through the plan and familiarizing myself with it. I really don't care for the way the Governor recommended wording the Constitutional Amendment. Also, what I have heard about the enabling legislation I don't really care for either. But I will be looking at it to make an informed decision.

Here are some things that I have overheard at the Capitol the last few days on the casino topic:

The proposed Constitutional Amendment language may not ever be heard, but a different version may get voted on in committee.

Concern that there is no local option for casinos at race tracks, but there is for the other free standing casinos. If the local option does not pass at any free standing locations, then we have just handed a monopoly to the race tracks.

There are questions as to whether or not the proposed language for the Constitutional Amendment is even in itself constitutional.

The Governor proposed 5 areas for free standing casinos. Two of those areas were Christian County (Hopkinsville), and Boyd/Greenup Counties (Ashland). The State Representatives from thsoe two areas apparently were not even given a heads up that this would be in the proposal.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bipartisianship run amok

Since I posted on this earlier, I thought I would follow up on this issue.

After Day 25, I was able to vote on my first Republican bill in committee.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Honoring A. Lincoln

Today is the 199th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. This is the beginning of a two year celebration of Lincoln's bicentennial birth.

We had the honor of having our session today in the Old Capitol, which was in use when Lincoln was President. It is hard to describe how neat it was to hold session where they did 150 years ago.

Friday, February 8, 2008

23 days down....

and not much is happening. But we are expecting the Governor's plan for casinos next week and pensions the following week.

Just to give you a glimpse of the way things work, we have 23 days behind us, and I have yet to have the opportunity to vote on a Republican bill either in committee or on the floor of the House.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

NKY day and night in Frankfort

Had a great time seeing much of Northern Kentucky in Frankfort today for Northern Kentucky day and night in Frankfort. The evening event is always the best party in Frankfort every year, and this was no exception.

I was my honor to be able to speak before the Northern Kentucky Leadership Class of 2008. As a 2006 graduate of that program, I enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts with them on being a State Representative.

Slow going

I am sorry to report that not much is happening. Some people would view that as a plus, but I would rather get things out of the way now so we have more time to digest the big issues at the end of the session, such as the budget, pension reform, gambling, etc.

Many experienced lawmakers tell me that they can't remember a session starting this slowly.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Help for our soldiers

The State Senate approved a bill to exempt active duty military personnel from state income taxes. I hope that we can pass it in the House this year. A similar bill made it through the Senate last year and never got a hearing in the House.

Why is this important? Besides helping our soldiers, we have Ft. Campbell that stradles both Kentucky and Tennessee. Tennessee has no income tax. Therefore, about 90% of the soldiers that are stationed at Ft. Campbell live in Tennessee. If we can get those soliders to live in Kentucky, economic growth will follow in building of new homes, property taxes, just spending more money in Kentucky.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I thought we were broke

On the heels of the Governor's budget address where an "austere" budget was proposed, some money was spent on Thursday. $2.6 million was spent by the Governor in Middlesboro in Bell County. Now apparently most road projects are on hold, but we can spend money on helping a telephone company.

Now first, I don't begrudge the people of Bell County their opportunity to improve their lot in life. They are very nice people and live in a beautiful part of the world. Second, maybe this money must be spent in a certain way. But even if that is true, spening it right now in a county that has a special election in 5 days, after pleading poverty 2 days prior, is a little suspect and sends the wrong message in my view.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Governor's budget address

Here are some thoughts and highlights from the Governor's budget address given Tuesday night:

The Governor indicated that there would be no money taken away from the SEEK formula for K-12. That is something I can support. However, according to Mark Hebert from WHAS 11, that is not entirely true.

Regarding postsecondary education, the Governor cut higher ed about 9%. He said need based scholarship money would stay the same, but KEES money would be cut back.

On health care, said that this would have the largest amount of new funding. Also supported bonds for the Glasgow Nursing Home. I suppose this means that the state is in the nursing home business. That should not surprise me. But it does beg the question, why are we in that business. Maybe in these tight times we should examine the possiblity of getting out of it.

No cuts in Agriculture and Coal Severance programs.

He uses most of the rainy day fund.

My favorite part, he cut in half the reliance on one time money, something the state needs to get away from.

But in the end, this just a starting point. The House will now create their version, and the Senate will do the same.

A little overwhelmed

Sorry about the lack of posts. I hope to catch up some in the next few days, so keep checking back.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Budget address

Tonight is the Governor's budget address. You can watch it on KET at 7:00.

I am looking forward to seeing what the Governor recommends regarding getting out of the deficit that is looming. Rumor is that everyone is going to get the ax.

One disappointment is that all House Republicans were supposed to get briefed on the speech at 3:00 today, but the "rank and file" have been essentially kicked out, and only our leadership will be briefed. Sad, but the way things run down here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Things got exciting today

Today during a debate on a bill that has to do with allowing public universities the ability to issue bonds for revenue generating projects on their own, the issue of prevailing wage became the focus.

The issue was brought up by my friend, Rep. Tim Moore of Elizabethtown. He brought up how we could save money on these university projects by repealing the prevailing wage law. Well, I got a good glimpse of the fervent support the issue has in the House. The supporters of prevailing wage could not jump up fast enough to defend this policy.

I applaud my friend for starting the conversation. My guess is that it is not over.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Plodding along

We are moving along slowly right now, passing about 2 to 4 bills a day. That is not too bad, I think things are moving quicker than they did last year. I am told that things will kick into high gear next week. Tuesday is the filing deadline, so everyone knows what they are up against. Then Tuesday night is the Governor's budget address, where we expect to learn the plan for the budget, and for the pension fix.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meeting with the Governor

Has the chance to meet with the Governor for 5 minuted yesterday in his office. Nothing earth shattering happened, just basically a get to know one another session. Governor Beshear has stated he has an open door policy, and so far it is true.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Survey results

As many of you know, I sent out a survey this year to get feedback from you my constituents. The survey consisted of 10 questions, and I received the results back on Friday. I thought you might be interested in seeing the results. A few points first. On Question #1, there was much confusion as to the question, so many people put no answer (so were counted as no opinion) but then wrote out to the side that they were against partial birth abortion. So the results there are skewed low. This is my fault for not having a better worded question, and a lesson I will learn from for future surveys.

1. Should the General Assembly pass legislation that would modify Kentucky's partial birth abortion law to mirror the provisions of federal law?

Yes: 48%
No: 33%
No opinion: 19%

2. Do you agree or disagree that writing portfolios should be removed from the statewide CATS testing for elementary schools providing that these schools use writing portfolios as part of the continuous assessment process?

Agree: 58%
Disagree: 16%
No opinion: 26%

3. Would you favor legislation that eliminates the runoff primary election for gubernatorial slates?

Yes: 38%
No: 40%
No Opinion: 22%

4. Do you agree or disagree that state agencies, including public colleges and universities, should be prohibited from offering health insurance to domestic partners of employees?

Agree: 70%
Disagree: 26%
No opinion: 4%

5. Do you agree or disagree that the CATS assessment should be restructured for all students K-12?

Agree: 61%
Disagree: 10%
No Opinion: 29%

6. Do you agree or disagree that there should be a constitutional amendment that limits punitive damages awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Agree: 77%
Disagree 19%
No opinion: 4%

7. Do you think the General Assembly should pass legislation to legalize the sale of raw milk?

Yes: 21%
No: 44%
No opinion: 35%

8. Do you think the General Assembly should appropriate funds to the Blue Grass Airport for relocation of the shorter runway?

Yes: 28%
No: 54%
No opinion: 18%

9. Do you favor offering a tax exemption for active duty military and reserve pay?

Yes: 84%
No: 10%
No opinion: 6%

10. Do you agree or disagree that the benefits for future state employees should be scaled back in order to help avoid a looming pension crisis?

Yes: 58%
No: 32%
No opinion: 10%

Thanks to all who participated!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First bills hit the floor

On Day 8 we had the first bills come to the House Floor today. The were two bills and one resolution. One bill that I signed on as a co-sponsor was HB 104, a bill to stagger the terms of the Board of Directors of 4 community and technical colleges across the state, including our own Gateway Community and Technical College. Doesn't sound very exciting, but it is good public policy to provide continuity in the Board.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My first bill this session

I have submitted my first bill for this session. Below is a press release I sent out on it. Thanks to Covington Officer Gary Smallwood, who brought this issue to my attention this summer.

Representative Koenig Files Legislation to Aid Active Duty Police Officers

Frankfort, KY- When city and county police officers who are members of the National Guard are called to duty, they lose a stipend that is received yearly after completing police academy training. State Representative Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) has filed legislation to remedy this misstep.
House Bill 309 would allow police officers activated for service to continue receiving payments from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund (KLEFPF) without counting the payments against retirement benefits.
"Numerous police officers across the Commonwealth perform double duty by also serving in the National Guard," said Representative Koenig. "Unfortunately, instead of rewarding and honoring them, we penalize them. I realize what a disservice this is and I am committed to correcting the problem."
Any police officer, city or county, who completes 840 hours of police academy training and 100 hours of yearly continuing training, qualifies to receive a stipend from KLEFPF totaling approximately $3,100 a year. When an officer fails to meet the required hours for continued training, they lose the stipend. This creates an obvious problem for active duty officers who are deployed and, therefore, unable to complete the training.
Representative Koenig added, "In no way is this legislation intended to relieve our police officers from the rigorous training that is required of them. Instead, it is a way to thank those individuals who place themselves in harm's way everyday. Whether deployed to foreign soil or protecting our communities, police officers deserve our gratitude."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The State of the Commonwealth address

Last night was the State of the Commonwealth address, given by Governor Beshear. Overall it was a good speech, very similar to the themes laid out in his inaugural address. The speech was short, which we appreciate. It was long on specifics and short on substance. It is my understanding that the specifics will be laid out in the budget address on January 29th.

My favorite part of the speech was when the Governor said that the status quo is no longer acceptable. I could not agree more with that statement. Of course, my vision of what needs to change and the Governor's vision may be completely different. But I am glad that he is open to change.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why are we in this budget situation?

Generally speaking I am going to try to avoid just putting up links, but this story explains in part why we are facing the deficit we are today.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is the budget situation a crisis or something less?

That is the question I have been trying to determine.

There are two issues, first the current Fiscal Year situation, and next years budget problem.

First, the current year. We are told that there is a $434 million shortfall for this Fiscal Year. That is broken down as follows:

$130 million less than budgeted,
$138 million in higher authorized spending
$166 million in "additional spending needs."

Now, as far as the $130 million less than budgeted, that I take at face value. However, for the entire 2 year budget, we are projected to take in $70 million more than anticipated. So for the overall budget revenue is not a problem. In fact, money remaining from the last Fiscal Year is being used to make up some of this years deficit.

My concern is with the categorization of $166 million in additional spending needs as part of a deficit. My example is, if I request $1 million dollars for something, does that push the deficit up another million? Just because something is identified as additional spending needs, doesn't make it part of a deficit. Now, the $166 million request includes $112 million for Medicaid spending and $22 million for Corrections. No one wants people to go without health care or see prisoners let out. However, requests should not just be added to a deficit automatically.

The next issue is the budget for future years. I have written about this previously, that next years projected revenue is $500 million less than this years budgeted spending. This is a problem, but can be solved in large part, if not completely, by repealing the prevailing wage law.

Monday night is the State of the Commonwealth address. I look forward to hearing the Governors plan.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First week in the books

4 days down, 56 more to go.

It has been an interesting week. I hope to post some this weekend on some facts and figures, mainly about the budget.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Day 2

Completed Day 2 today. Things seem to move slowly at first, but there is some reorganization to be done, bills to be introduced, etc. It is all a necessary part of the legislative process.

Also, I would like to congratulate Alecia Webb-Edgington, the newest member of the Northern Kentucky delegation. Alecia will be a great member of the delegation, and should be sworn in Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First day

Well we completed the first of our 60 day session today. Filled mostly with pro forma activities, but all needs to be done to make things function.

One sight to see was the employees of the Legislative Research Commission walking around with these large manila envelops, filled with copies of proposed bills that other State Representatives asked to be drawn up. Mine was relatively small. Others were not, meaning they intended to either file many bills, or some very voluminous bills.

Tonight there is a reception being hosted by the Governor at the Mansion for the members of the legislature.

It is session time

At noon today the General Assembly convenes for a 60 day session. I am looking forward to getting started and representing you in Frankfort.

Please feel free to let me know your opinions. You can e-mail me at adam.koenig@lrc.ky.gov. If you want to share an opinion on a piece of legislation or an issue, you can call toll free 800-372-7181. If you would like to get a tour or see the legislature in action, please call 502-564-8100 and ask for Capella McFarland who is my assistant.

Monday, January 7, 2008

How else can we solve budget problems?

Gov. Beshear has implemented a 3% across the board cut for much of state government in order to balance the budget. Something has to be done and he has had to make some difficult decisions already. Tough decisions come with the lofty position he now holds and I am glad that he has shown the backbone to make some.

But what else can be done. As I stated in an earlier post, repealing the prevailing wage law would help. Take NKU for instance. NKU has to cut $1.6 million in this budget year. This on the heels of building the Bank of Kentucky Center, a $64 million project. Because of the prevailing wage law, the project cost about $4-6 million more than it would have otherwise. That is our tax money being spent on inflated salaries.

So what could we do with $4-6 million dollars? Well, that would cover the shortfall for NKU, as well as Morehead State University, and possibly Western Kentucky University. All from one project. Imagine the money that could be saved if we eliminated prevailing wage from all public projects.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thanks Senator Roeding

State Senator Dick Roeding has announced his retirement from the legislature, choosing not to run for re-election this year. I would like to take the opportunity to thank him for his service to Northern Kentucky. Sen. Roeding has spent 18 years in the State Legislature working on behalf of all of us. He spent many years in leadership, and therefore gave Northern Kentucky a seat at the table in the State Senate.

Sen. Roeding has been very helpful to me over the years, and has always been generous with his time. I would also like to recognize his wife Nancy, who has had to put up with a lot over the years, as every politicians spouse must. She is a wonderful person and I wish them many years of good health and happiness in retirement.