Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


November 13, 2013

Change the name to General Disassembly?

Nov. 13, 2013 — In our opinion, a good case can be made some days for changing the name of our state legislature to the General Disassembly.

It seems they do a better job of taking things apart and wasting time and money bickering than they do trying to build Kentucky’s future.

For example, the lawmakers put on their mean faces in the 2012 session and passed a legislative redistricting bill that the state courts threw out in record time.

The majority party in each chamber put the screws to their minority party members in the most blatant display of partisanship in recent memory.

Then came the 2013 session where the House tried again with a reapportionment map that was considerably fairer but the Senate never gave it any consideration, saying it was too complicated to handle during the 30-day short session.

Within a few weeks of adjournment, unhappy citizens in two growing areas filed lawsuits in federal court, claiming they were not being fairly represented in the General Assembly.

They noted that the district boundaries at that time had been in place since 2002 and population changes over the ensuing 11 years had been ignored, thereby nullifying their rights under the “one person, one vote” principle.

Those lawsuits prompted the formation of a three-member panel of federal judges who said they would redraw the House and Senate districts if the General Assembly did not meet its constitutional obligation to do so.

That apparently struck fear in the hearts of the legislative leadership because they quickly developed new plans that could pass legal muster.

Gov. Steve Beshear obliged by calling a special legislative session for that purpose.

Lo and behold, the two new maps became law in a five-day legislative session in August that only cost about $300,000.

And just last week the three federal judges gave their blessing to the new alignments.

At this point, you may be asking, so what is the problem?

Now it seems legislative leaders can’t decide whom they will represent in the upcoming 2014 session – is it the people who elected them in the old districts or the residents of their new districts?

The redistricting bill contained an emergency clause that made it effective as soon as the governor signed it.

The federal judges said it was compliant with state and federal law.

Then Attorney General Steve Beshear said in a 1982 opinion that legislators represent the new districts formed by reapportionment.

Isn’t it long past time for our legislators to address Kentucky’s real problems?

Text Only
  • Five years and counting on Saturday mail

    It was five years ago when that marvel of fiscal management, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS), announced it would end Saturday mail delivery within six months.

    July 23, 2014

  • Yes, girls can become scientists, engineers

    We applaud the television commercials sponsored by Verizon which gently but effectively rebuke those among us who discourage girls and young women from careers in science, technology and mathematics.

    July 16, 2014

  • High court right on mobile phone ruling

    We don’t always agree with the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court which is often divided with multiple opinions. But, for the moment, we feel better about the high court because of its recent ruling on searching mobile phones.

    July 9, 2014

  • Would we pay the same high price today?

    As we Americans take a day off from work on Friday to mark the 238th birthday of our country, can we find a few moments to reflect on those who made it happen?

    July 2, 2014

  • Trading Saturday mail for roads is a hoax

    Just when we thought all of the idiotic ideas had emerged from the current Congress, along came another doozy. A Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed that Saturday mail delivery be ended and the resulting savings be used to fix roads and bridges across America.

    June 25, 2014

  • Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

    If last week’s news from Iraq left you with a sense of déjà vu, you are not alone. “Déjà vu” is defined as “disagreeable familiarity or sameness” and that certainly fits what appears to be the emergence of another Islamic militant group which took control of two major cities in Iraq.

    June 18, 2014

  • Technology bringing closure to MIA families

    After 58 years in an unmarked grave in a military cemetery in Hawaii, a Kentucky soldier came home last Saturday to his family and a final resting place in his native soil.

    June 11, 2014

  • New state veterans leader a great choice

    Some may criticize Gov. Steve Beshear for appointing former Miss America Heather French Henry as commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Veterans Affairs.

    June 4, 2014

  • As is, Rupp Arena project not worth saving

    When the General Assembly decided last month not to allow state bonds to be used to help fund the Rupp Arena renovation, we said it was unfair because Louisville got state money for the KFC Yum Center four years earlier.

    May 28, 2014

  • Cockfighting is more than animal cruelty

    A recent political issue arose over the visit to a cockfight by U. S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin. The resulting publicity brought cockfighting, which is illegal in Kentucky, back into the public eye.

    May 14, 2014