In the fifth video in our digital learning series, education analyst Richard Innes talks about the efficiency of digital learning.
Representative government is almost always a messy business, frequently frustrating and rarely a hundred-percent satisfactory.
A contentious 2012 Kentucky General Assembly came to a close this month. Scott Payton, assistant public relations officer with the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, provided a great, nonpartisan press release chronicling some of the dramatic issues this year. You can read the full release here.
He touches on Senate Bill 1, an effort to curb Kentucky’s “pill mills”:
A key and much-debated provision of the bill involved transferring oversight of the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting program…to the Attorney General’s office. Proponents of that move hoped monitoring and enforcement of questionable prescribing trends would be more aggressive there than is currently the case in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services…But persistent concern was expressed that the bill (especially more-aggressive AG enforcement) might unduly hamstring legitimate practitioners, who are simply prescribing pain meds, in good faith, for real medical need. Late and at length, that concern prevailed, and KASPER will stay put.
and the “Road Plan”
Time ran out on the 2012 regular session (constitutionally limited to 60 days) as the Road Plan itself — which had passed both chambers earlier in the session’s last day – went unsigned by a governor who said he needed time to review it.
In all, this piece provides a nonpartisan overview of what the session ultimately looked like. The author is correct in that representative government is messy and not 100 percent satisfactory. I think we are all okay with that, as long is the messiness is constitutional.
The list of allies fighting for Kentucky’s energy sovereignty against the unilateral mandates of the Environmental Protection Agency continues to grow. One ally that deserves special mention on that list is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
This May, representatives from the Bluegrass Institute will attend ALEC’s Energy and Environmental spring task force to sponsor the Intrastate Coal and Use Act. This piece of model legislation would rely on the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution to boldly proclaim that any coal mined, refined, and used completely within the borders of the Commonwealth is outside the jurisdiction of the unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.
Given that nearly one third of all coal mined in Kentucky remains in Kentucky, such a bill would have great benefits for the denizens of the Bluegrass State and the businesses attracted here by some of the nation’s lowest energy rates – rates that are being continually threatened by the EPA’s sweeping regulations against Kentucky coal.
Thanks to ALEC, such a possibility could become a reality. We’ll keep you up-to-date on the ALEC task force and all the ways ALEC has helped Kentucky’s energy sector.
Interested in how much taxpayer money is being shelled out to retired legislators, judges and state workers in the form of public pensions? Too bad. You can’t find out. Regardless of the fact that public pensions are largely funded by Kentuckian’s tax dollars, Kentuckians remain in the dark about which public servants are receiving once they retire and how much.
What is difficult to understand is that in Kentucky, salary information for most of those same individuals is publicly accessible. Hard to understand how we can know how much a person is making while working for the state but not what they are paid once they aren’t working. Hmm…
Sunshine Review, a site dedicated to the ideas of government transparency, has started keeping track of how transparent states’ pension systems are. Sadly, Kentucky is not alone in this lack of transparency. I recommend taking a look at the fine work the Sunshine Review team has done as it illustrates the never-ending need for an open government.
If you are interested in the ugly truth about Kentucky’s pension crisis, you can read more here.
The list of allies fighting for Kentucky’s energy sovereignty seems to get longer every day.
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY, 2nd District) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN, 9th District) joined forces this past Monday to speak out against the Draconian mandates of the Environmental Protection Agency which threaten to choke the economic vitality out of Appalachia’s most valuable natural resource – coal.
Rep. Guthrie did not advocate leaving environmental concerns by the wayside, but for the EPA to embrace more realistic and cost-effective alternatives for Kentucky’s energy sector: “We just want it to get reasonable, we want it to have common sense, and have it have economic sense.”
Concerned Kentuckians and local officials will have their day to take on the EPA and its sweeping new regulations at a head-to-head public hearing on June 5th and 7th in Pikeville and Frankfurt, KY respectively.