Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Breaking News


February 20, 2013

Lawmakers productive in first 13 days

Feb. 20, 2013 —     We like to fuss at the Kentucky General Assembly for doing so little during the odd year, 30-day legislative sessions which started in 2001.

    But if this year’s first 13 days are any indication, the session could be very productive.

    We recall that voters were promised in 2000 that if we voted to allow annual sessions then it would not be necessary to call as many special sessions.

    However, there have been 10 special sessions since 2002 and we may get another one this year to deal with tax reform, the hottest potato in the 2013 session.

    But let’s get back to this year’s session and our evaluation of the first 13 days.    

    Lo and behold, the legislators got off to a fast start with the Senate passing a landmark bill to revamp the state’s badly underfunded retirement systems for public employees.

    Not to be outdone, the House also moved quickly on its top priority, a bill aimed at

bringing order to the state’s more than 1,200 special districts which operate everything from libraries to sewer systems in virtually every county in the state.

    The Senate then grabbed some more headlines as first a committee and then the full chamber blessed a bill to legalize the growing of industrial hemp for the first time since World War II.

    State Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer was joined by U. S. Sen. Rand Paul and Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie in testifying on behalf of the bill as a means of helping the state’s farmers with a new cash crop.

    Law enforcement officials fear that the similar appearance of hemp and marijuana will make it more difficult to detect pot. Also, it remains illegal to grow hemp without a federal license.

    Two House committees added to the good scorecard as one approved a statewide ban on smoking in all workplaces and another gave the OK to increasing the public school dropout age to 18.

    Legislators from both parties are being nicer to each other and that’s a refreshing change. We voted for lawmakers, not barroom brawlers.

    No one is saying so publicly but it appears the 138 legislators will ignore tax reform until a special session later this year.

    Supermajorities of 60 House votes and 23 in the Senate are needed to pass a tax or revenue bill in a 30-day session.

    In a special session, it takes only simple majorities of 51 and 20.

    In our view, waiting is the best strategy, despite the cost of another special session.

Text Only
  • Numbers say stop fussin’ and start fixin’!

    We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again. It is long past time for Republicans like U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to stop complaining about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and start working with the other party to fix the pieces of the massive law that need fixing.

    April 9, 2014

  • Benching Rupp Arena project a mistake

    Folks who believe that college basketball is more important than anything else in Kentucky apparently don’t serve in the State Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Snow days decision can wait no longer

    We had hoped this editorial would not have been necessary by the time you read it in today’s issue of the Journal-Times.

    March 26, 2014

  • Are some legislators smarter than experts?

    Ready - shoot - aim. No good deed goes unpunished. There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Frankfort way. We could go on with pithy sayings about the strange happenings at the State Capitol when the Kentucky General Assembly is in session.

    March 19, 2014

  • Shouldn’t majority rule mean smoke-free?

    Recent statewide polls show as many as 65 percent of Kentucky voters say they are in favor of outlawing smoking in workplaces and public facilities, including restaurants and bars.

    March 12, 2014

  • Legalized marijuana, hemp must be explored

    Whether you call it marijuana or cannabis or whether you believe someone can get high on industrial hemp, Kentucky is making history with both plants.

    March 5, 2014

  • We must protect against dating violence

    We were encouraged when the leadership of the Kentucky House of Representatives came forward last month with House Bill 8 to amend the domestic violence protection laws to shield unmarried individuals in dating relationships.

    February 26, 2014

  • Did Bluegrass Poll predict our future?

    Life may have become much simpler for Kentucky voters recently when the Bluegrass Poll released its most recent survey.

    February 19, 2014

  • Senate race poll attracts national spotlight

    “Mitch has met his match” shouted the headline on the Huffington Post, a trendy, online news aggregator and blog founded by socialite Arianna Huffington.

    February 12, 2014

  • Political season need not be open season

    Dozens of candidates have filed for office in Carter County. The 2014 political season is starting.

    February 5, 2014