Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Walmart on Morgantown Road donated $2,500 to Edmonson County charity, Santa's Helping Hands, INC., on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Charity founder Mark Wardlow said the Bowling Green location has continued their generosity to the organization once again.
"We appreciate what Walmart is doing for Edmonson County," he said. "We also want to remind everyone that our charity works all year long, not just at Christmastime. We welcome your help anytime, whether you are an individual or business that wants to donate, or someone looking to volunteer, please give us a call at 270-991-2972."
Santa's Helping Hands, INC., helps provide Christmas gifts and necessities to those in need within Edmonson County each year. It is a non-profit organization which is run 100% by volunteers.
The Edmonson County Baseball/Softball Board has extended the signups for the 2020 youth league season for Saturday, February 22, 2020.
The board will be available at the Parks and Rec Office at HWY 70 Ballpark, South Edmonson Elementary, and the EC 5/6 Center from 9am to noon on that day.
For more information, please send the board a direct message via their Facebook Page.
by: Representative Michael Meredith
Week six of the 2020 Regular Session allowed legislators an opportunity to work on several critical issues, including public health, our public pension, and criminal justice legislation. I have shared some information about the bills we passed in this week’s update. Of course, I always look forward to hearing from my district, so please feel free to reach out using the contact information at the end of this article.
This week, the House approved HB 129, legislation that seeks to transform the way that public health services are delivered. The bill changes how local health departments approach the programs they offer by placing a priority on essential services they are mandated to provide. HB 129 has broad support from public health departments across the state. Paying for public health has become a struggle in many of our communities. The state’s 81 public health departments face an almost $39 million deficit. Additionally, an estimated 18 face closure if they do not immediately deal with their financial problems. This would spell disaster for the 41 counties they serve. The majority of financial issues are directly related to their public pension costs. However, many within the public health system have brought forward concerns that new programs have been added over time, while the ongoing need for existing programs is rarely evaluated.
Health departments and other “quasi-governmental” agencies are also the topic of HB 171, which we approved this week. This bill is part of an ongoing effort to address our public pension crisis and provide relief to these “quasis" as we describe the public health departments, domestic violence shelters, and even our regional universities who participate in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System plan. During the 2019 Special Session, we passed legislation aimed at giving relief to quasi-governmental agencies that were struggling with the skyrocketing cost of their employee pension payments. HB 171 is based on the recommendations of the Public Pension Oversight Board and basically shifts how we base payments from a percentage of the payroll to the dollar value of how much they actually owe.
We also took action on two common sense pieces of legislation aimed at cleaning up criminal justice laws. We passed HB 327, which calls for the automatic expungement of criminal charges when someone has those charges dismissed or when a grand jury fails to indict them. One of the basic tenets of our criminal justice system is that we are innocent until proven guilty, so it is incredible to me that this is not already happening.
If it becomes law, HB 284 would establish credits for men and women who complete GED, vocational/technical education, or drug treatment programs while on probation. The program credit should incentivize those who have committed crimes to pursue a path that helps them find an alternative to further criminal activity and allow them to contribute positively to their communities.
We also took an opportunity to honor our Family Resource and Youth Services Centers and the men and women who staff them. The bill, HB 241, designates the second Wednesday in February as Family Resource and Youth Services (FRYSC) day. It is just seven short lines, but HB 241 conveys the respect that the House has for this group of educators and the work they do in our public schools. A product of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1994, FRYSCs basically plug both students and families into a network of resources and support to ensure that children can focus on learning. While they are not classroom teachers, the work they do has a direct impact on how well our children do in school.
The House Committee on Education is preparing more legislation for House consideration. This week, committee members approved legislation that would further expand the 529 educational savings plan uses. Under the provisions of House Bill 331, 529 educational savings plans could be used for tuition on any qualified education loan for the account’s beneficiary or sibling. If passed, 529 accounts could also pay for fees, books, supplies, and equipment for participation in any Department of Labor registered and certified apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are driven by the needs of the job market and allow students to develop skills and prepare to enter the workforce. Examples include everything from mechanics to nursing aides. When they finish, they walk away with a nationally-recognized credential. We know that the traditional four-year college path is not for everyone. Good-paying careers should be equally available to those who want to pursue apprenticeships. This bill makes it easier to do just that.
As always, if you have any questions or comments about this session, I can be reached during the week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (EST) through the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at legislature.ky.gov.
Up To 10 Nominees Accepted For Each Local District
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Nominations for the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ first-ever Distinguished Educator Awards opened today.
The awards will celebrate the individual and significant contributions educators make to the teaching profession. From literacy to innovation, WKU will recognize 10 P-12 educators within the university’s service region based on their inspiring solutions in the classroom.
“There are never enough opportunities to say ‘thank you’ and recognize the work of our Kentucky teachers,” said Corinne Murphy, Dean of WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. “Our goal is to ensure these community mentors and leaders understand WKU’s appreciation for their continued contributions to students.”
On April 14, 2020, WKU officials will recognize finalists and category winners at an awards ceremony held at the WKU Augenstein Alumni Center. Category winners will each receive a $200 cash prize and a commemorative plaque. Additionally, a perpetual plaque in the Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame will feature the winners’ names for years to come.
Each school district may nominate up to 10 educators, which includes Edmonson County. All submissions will require a letter of recommendation about the nominee. For more information, visit https://www.wku.edu/cebs/educatorawards.php or email Stephanie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for entry is Feb. 28, 2020.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Local farmer Royce Vincent was inducted into the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association Hall of Fame at an annual ceremony in Owensboro on January 17, 2020.
Each year, the KCA chooses one recipient from each region in Kentucky. Edmonson County is part of Region 2, which also covers Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Barren, Warren, Metcalfe, Simpson, and Butler Counties.
Mr. Vincent and his wife Dot, have lived in Edmonson County for most all of their adult lives. He served as president of the Edmonson County Cattlemen's Association for 17 years. Current local secretary/treasurer Scott Childress said the organization grew steadily under Vincent's leadership.
"Royce always worked to help Edmonson County farmers and make our association family oriented," he said. "Edmonson County never had the biggest, but our association has always grown. We've got 100-plus members now and Royce has a whole lot to do with that."
Video presentation from the ceremony in Owensboro
Childress said Vincent's HOF induction is not to be taken lightly.
"They don't give these awards out to just anybody," he added. "To be chosen for this, you have to be someone that has made a huge impact over a number of years in the areas of agri-business or the beef industry. There's certainly no one more deserving than Royce Vincent."
The Edmonson County Cattlemen's Association meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Edmonson County Library at 6:30pm. The public is invited to attend to hear a special presentation and enjoy a sponsored meal.
Nine Students Recognized
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The February meeting of the Edmonson County Board of Education was held on Monday, February 10, 2020, at the Edmonson County 5/6 Center.
Pictured are EC 5/6 students who received awards for their academic excellence: Back row, left to right - Preston Doyle, Lillie Webb, Chloe Whittle, Lilly Carroll, Brayden Johnson, Xavier Gravil, Principal Rex Booth. Front row, left to right: Bailey Ferguson, Evelyn Ulm, and Thomas James.
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by Representative Michael Lee Meredith:
The first full week of February saw several key pieces of legislation deliberated in committee and on the House Floor. At the same time, members of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and budget review subcommittees continue to work on the House version of the state budget. The budget must reflect our commitment to spend taxpayer money wisely, lay the groundwork for a solid financial future, and provide necessary services. We are working now to keep that commitment.
While the budget is a work in progress, we continue to send legislation from our committees to the full House, and from the full House to the Senate for consideration. I joined fellow legislators in voting for legislation aimed at protecting line-of-duty death benefits for surviving spouses. The measure, HB 271, preserves the death benefits of a widow or widower if he or she chooses to get remarried. Current law mandates that if a surviving spouse remarries, the death benefit they receive is reduced to 25 percent. Under the proposed legislation, the surviving spouse will receive 75 percent of the deceased spouse’s retirement if they choose to remarry. It is estimated that this legislation will only affect 14 people today, but it sends a strong message that we stand by the folks who serve and protect us.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee approved HB 327, which would automatically expunge the criminal records of anyone who was acquitted or had criminal charges dismissed. Those eligible for expungement under the bill would be able to request that the acquittal or dismissal not remain on their record, while individuals with past acquittals and dismissals would be allowed to petition the court for expungement at no cost to them. It seems to make sense that someone who was not found guilty of a crime should not have that crime on their criminal record.
This week we also passed a resolution urging Congress to allow Kentucky and other states to permanently adopt daylight savings time, or DST. Several other states have already approved legislation to make DST permanent, including Florida, Washington, and Tennessee. Whether or not a change is made is ultimately up to the federal government which sets the dates for daylight saving time—also referred to as “daylight time.” Those changes must be approved by Congress, which is where HCR 53 sponsors hope the legislation will shed some light.
Before I finish, I would like to share some information about the General Assembly's Legislative Page Program. This is a great educational opportunity to experience democracy in action by serving a day on the House Floor during the session. They work on the floor, delivering messages, running errands, and copying materials. Page supervisors oversee the program, ensuring that pages are safe and behaving appropriately. Children must be ten and older, and a parent or guardian must also be present. We all enjoy having the children in the chamber and, frankly, they serve as a fitting reminder that the work we do will impact our state for generations.
As you can see, we are off to a busy start. If you have any questions or comments about this session, I can be reached during the week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (EST) through the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at legislature.ky.gov.
by Senator Steve Meredith:
Before going to Frankfort on Monday to begin week five of the 2020 Legislative Session, I had the pleasure of joining my colleague in the House, Representative Samara Heavrin, in providing a legislative update to various county elected officials. They included Leitchfield Mayor Rick Embry, City Councilman Clayton Miller, And Caneyville City Council members, Debbie Embry and Mike Geary. We had a great discussion, and I want to thank county Judge-Executive Kevin Henderson for hosting us.
It was a busy but productive fifth week of the 2020 Regular Session as we passed a wide array of bills through the Senate and continued biennial budget discussions.
As we wait to receive a budget proposal from the House of Representatives, where all spending bills must originate, the Senate the Appropriations & Revenue Committee has already begun an intensive review process of the budget proposed by the Governor. Crafting the Commonwealth’s two-year financial plan is a lengthy process. Still, I am confident that the final product will be fiscally responsible while ensuring sufficient funding for our critical programs. I will keep you updated on the status of the budget in the coming weeks.
The Senate Majority made notable progress on the 2020 legislative agenda, successfully passing 11 bills over the week, including Senate Bill (SB) 1 and SB 7.
Also known as the Federal Immigration Cooperation Act of 2020, SB 1 ensures the cooperation of state and local governments with the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The bill will create no additional responsibilities for law enforcement or agencies, but it does require no less be done than what federal statutory law states. SB 1 preemptively prohibits local municipalities from enacting sanctuary immigration policies. There had already been discussions in one of Kentucky’s major cities to adopt such policies. That would be irresponsible and dangerous. While many can agree that federal immigration law needs to be addressed by Congress, current laws should be enforced to ensure the safety of the public, and provide law enforcement with the assurance that they can enforce laws in good faith.
SB 7, priority legislation relating to School-Based Decision-Making Councils, returns the appointment of the school principal to the Superintendent after consultation with the school council and equalizes council membership of teachers and parents.
I am pleased to report that an essential piece of legislation, SB 30, in which I am the primary sponsor, finally got a Committee hearing on Wednesday. SB 30 has been a priority of mine for three years. The bill would limit the number of managed care organizations our state can contract with to administer the Medicaid program. Presently there are five which create a bureaucratic nightmare for healthcare providers, especially in rural communities and unnecessarily drive up the cost of care. Limiting it to 3 will reduce healthcare costs for providers and, eventually, the patient. My bill passed out of committee and will now go the Senate for a floor vote.
Several bills with bipartisan support passed through the Senate this week. SB 63 is a measure that would allow high school dropouts who are at least 21 years of age to complete their graduation requirements through online programs. SB 45 requires licensed child-care centers to have standards on nutrition and physical activity. SB 45 also incorporates state and national expertise in developing new standards regarding screen time and sugary drinks.
Also passing in the Senate this week was SB 102, legislation to remove unnecessary red tape in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services by repealing 48 outdated and obsolete statutes. SB 87, an act to remove the automatic transfer of a child from a district court to the circuit court to be tried as an adult in cases involving the use of firearms, was approved. SB 40, legislation that would provide additional protections for Kentucky’s vulnerable children by requiring fingerprint background checks for employees of child protection and child welfare agencies were approved. SB 60, a measure to add SMA to the list of heritable conditions tested at birth, was passed. This screening would be provided at no additional cost to the family or the Kentucky taxpayer.
Finally, SB 42 would require issued student identification badges to contain emergency hotline numbers for domestic violence, sexual assault, and suicide prevention. Suicide rates among young people is a real epidemic. I encourage you to have honest conversations with the young people in your life and let them know they are loved. Tragic stories arise far too often of someone who has taken their life out of depression or perceived hopelessness. Life is precious, and we should take the time to let others know their life is precious to us.
I had one such precious young person join me in the Senate Chamber on Thursday as my Senate page, Ms. Maggie Cox, an eighth-grader from Grayson County Middle School. Maggie is a wonderful young lady whose future is nothing but bright. I was blessed to share time with such a gifted and talented young person who has a dream and vision for her future. Thank you, Maggie, for spending part of your day with me.
I invite other ambitious young people like Maggie to join me as a page in Frankfort. It’s a unique and fulfilling experience. If you know a student who would enjoy a day in Frankfort learning about state government and the legislative process, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. I invite you to reach out to me on any other matter of importance to you as well. Don’t forget; you can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.
20th Title In School History
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
It's now back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back championships for ECMS after winning one more Quick Recall competition at the KAAC Governor’s Cup Region 5 Tournament, which was held at South Warren Middle School on Saturday, February 1st, 2020.
In quick recall, the team took on Butler County in the first round of action, where EC easily defeated the Bears 40 - 12.
The second round saw the game of the day for the entire tournament where ECMS faced off against South Warren Middle School. The Wildcats led 22 - 14 at the half; however, the Spartans started the 2nd half on a 15 - 6 run to take a 29 - 28 lead. The game was back-and-forth the rest of the way but Edmonson County powered through with a hard fought 36 - 34 win.
After a bye in round 3, the Wildcats then faced Bowling Green Junior High School. The game began with teams trading points for a while but EC took advantage of their depth and experience as they put together a run larger than the Purples could overcome as the Wildcats took the 39 - 17 win.
The finals were then a showdown finale between Edmonson County and South Warren. Although both teams had secured a spot in the state tournament by making it to the finals each was ready to fight for the title of quick recall region champions. While the game began with SWMS taking an early 10-5 lead, they missed a bonus question. ECMS stole the bonus and went on a 12-0 to end the half that gave the Wildcats a 17 - 10 lead at halftime. The second half was all Wildcats as Edmonson County outscored SWMS 18 - 7 and won the championship 35 - 17.
It is the 20th overall Quick Recall Region Championship for Edmonson County Middle School.
The quick recall team will now try and defend their 2019 State Championship title. The members of the regional championship quick recall team are Evy Bolton, Brycen Daniels, Emma Sackett, Lyla Wood, Brayden Johsnon, Ian Dooley, Ace Daugherty, Ashton Johnson, Emberlei Stevens, Lola Bolton, and Kennedy Webb. The coaches for the team are Nick Skaggs, Alan Florence, and Keela Skaggs.
Edmonson County also earned seven awards in written assessment. Brayden Johnson won 3rd place in language arts written assessment. Evy Bolton won 1st in language arts and 2nd in science. Brycen Daniels won 1st in science and 4th in arts & humanities. Emma Sackett won 2nd in language arts and 3rd in arts & humanities. Each of these individuals will compete in their respective written assessment competitions at the State Finals in Louisville.
With the success of quick recall and written assessment, the academic team captured 2nd place overall in the Governor’s Cup Region 5 Tournament, only one point behind overall champions, South Warren Middle School.
“This was a great day for the academic team,” said Coach Nick Skaggs. “The team is playing its best at the right part of the season. As a coach, you want your team to peak at tournament time and that is what our team is doing this year,” Coach Skaggs continued.
The team is scheduled to compete in the state tournament on March 14th - 16th in Louisville.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
South Edmonson Elementary hosted a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) day for 1st graders last week. Students participated in stations that included Warren Rural Electric Cooperative (WRECC), ECHS Science Club, and help from students from the 5/6 Center.
SEES Guidance Counselor Shannon Lowe said that first grade students learned about conserving electricity, conducted science experiments, built structures, learned about engineering, and participated in high school science displays.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky State Police is participating in Operation C.A.R.E (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) on Super Bowl Sunday. On February 2, 2020 KSP Post 3 Troopers will be taking part in a national effort to increase officer presence on Interstate and U.S Highways.
KSP Troopers and Officers will put a high emphasis on all traffic enforcement violations, including speeding, failure to wear safety restraints (seatbelt), impaired/distracted driving, and commercial vehicle enforcement. In this nationwide blitz to increase safety on the roads, troopers are encouraged to report all road activity that could be dangerous to others.
"KSP is committed to protecting travelers on our roadways, and troopers will be working vigilantly to keep impaired and dangerous drivers off the road. We urge drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe by obeying Kentucky traffic laws, operating their vehicle with courtesy, and being aware of others while driving," stated KSP in a statement.
KSP offers drivers the following tips to increase safety awareness on the roads on Super Bowl Sunday:
by Senator Steve Meredith:
Discussions of bills, budgets, and barber shop choir echoed in the Capitol as we concluded the fourth week of the 2020 Regular Session. While legislation continued to move steadily through the Senate over the course of the week, we were welcomed by a variety of talented constituents in the chamber.
Biennial budget discussions officially began while the Governor delivered his two-year budget proposal to the Kentucky General Assembly on Tuesday. The budget address is one of the first steps in preparing the state’s two-year financial plan. Now that the Governor has outlined his budget proposal, the House of Representatives now gets the first opportunity to move budget bills in the legislature. Once the House passes its budget proposal, it will then advance to the Senate for further discussion and consideration. We still face several weeks of studies, negotiations, and public hearings before we reach an official budget draft. The final budget document will likely look much different than what was proposed this week by the Governor, but the driving force behind it remains the same—we must move the Commonwealth forward on a path that is financially sound.
Senate priority legislation aimed at ending pension spiking, Senate Bill (SB) 6, advanced to the House this week following a unanimous vote on the Senate floor. SB 6 would prohibit state lawmakers who contributed to the Legislators’ Retirement Plan from June 20, 2005, through Dec. 31, 2013, from using salary credited in another Kentucky retirement system to determine final compensation in the legislators’ plan.
Other priority measures moving through the legislative process are Senate Bills 1, 8, and 9. SB 1, also known as the Federal Immigration Cooperation Act of 2020, passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 1 would require law enforcement and other public agencies to support the enforcement of federal immigration law. The amended version of this bill includes expanded exemptions to local school districts to rape crisis centers, domestic violence centers, and other groups that provide social services.
SB 8 and SB 9 were both passed through to the House this week. SB 8 would amend the current school safety statute to expand school personnel with the designation of a school safety coordinator for each district, one school-based mental health counselor per 250 students, and a trained and certified armed school resource officer. SB 9, also known as the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” is a pro-life measure that requires a physician to take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant.
The Senate passed its first House measure, House Bill (HB) 236, legislation that incorporates federal guidelines, sets requirements for the transportation of products, and establishes testing procedures. This bill included a Senate Floor Amendment, which now requires the House to either approve of the bill in its current form or continue the legislative process required to get concurrence from both chambers. If approved with the Senate Floor Amendment, HB 236 will then head to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.
We also passed a number of other bills in the Senate:
SB 45, legislation to set standards for food nutrition, physical activity, and screen time at childcare centers, passed through the Senate Health & Welfare Committee this week. This measure would require licensed care centers to meet the most recent version of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s food and nutrition standards. SB 79, a measure relating to background checks for school employees who have been assigned an administrative hearing for potential child abuse or neglect.
SB 57 is a bill that amends statue to provide school districts with flexibility in renovations of existing school facilities. It removes the requirement that bottle-fill stations and water fountains be installed for minor renovations. This fix will save school districts money, which is especially important during tough budget times.
SB 64 is also a bill that will enable money to be saved locally, as it provides Commonwealth Attorney's, & County Attorney's security against financial liability resulting from the performance of their sworn duties to prosecute state law. Losses will be compensated by funds appropriated through the state Finance Cabinet. SB 64 also applies to the Kentucky Attorney General.
SB 74 provides the authority for a judge to issue a warrant for a blood and urine test in DUI cases. Current law only permits a warrant to be issued if there is a death or serious injury involved.
SB 79 makes some clarifications to 2017’s SB 236. It defines what is considered to be a “substantiated” case of child abuse or neglect. A “substantiated” case would be a case where a ruling was upheld, or that was not appealed. The bill would maintain the requirement that an employee self-report substantiated findings to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, while also ensuring due process for employees accused.
SB 94 Updates Kentucky law to comply with federal regulations, which changed last year to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round.
To those who have reached out to my office in the past weeks, thank you for staying engaged during these early weeks of session.
To those who have reached out to my office in the past weeks, thank you for staying engaged during these early weeks of session. It’s an honor to serve you in Frankfort.
If you have any questions or comments about the issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.
by Representative Michael Lee Meredith:
As I file this update from my Capitol desk, it is hard to believe that January is over and we are almost a third of the way through with this year’s legislative session. We continue working on meaningful legislation, sending bills and resolutions to the Senate for that body’s consideration. The first bill passed by both chambers is also on its way to the Governor’s desk. This week we focused a good bit on health and children's issues. At the same time, our budget committees and staff began reviewing the budget draft presented by Governor Beshear on Tuesday.
Let me start with an overview of some of the legislation that moved this week. For example, the Senate will now consider legislation that closes a loophole in our existing registered sex offender statutes. Existing laws prohibit registered sex offenders from being on the grounds of or living within 1,000 feet of a public playground. The House voted 86-9 on Tuesday to expand, those requirements to publicly operated playgrounds on leased property.
On Thursday, the House voted 89-2 to approve a resolution asking the federal government to complete research on medical marijuana. The bill, HCR 5, sends a message to federal regulators that our state joins others in requesting more federal research into the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana.
Members of the Health and Family Services Committee approved legislation with the potential to boost efforts to find cures to major diseases. The measure, HB 5, would set Kentucky on course to improve public health, save taxpayer money, and promote medical research. The bill creates a multistate compact to offer prizes for curing major diseases; the prize would be equal to five years of taxpayer savings. There is no risk to taxpayers because, if there is no cure, there would be no payment from the compact. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.
The House Education Committee passed several pieces of legislation this week, including a bill aimed at helping students access millions in grants and aid for college tuition. The measure, HB 87, would require high school students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The money is currently available, yet thousands of Kentuckians do not take the time to fill out the FAFSA documents. The bill does include language that allows parents to opt-out.
School maintenance projects would be more efficient and cost-effective if a bill approved by the House State Government Committee becomes law. Under the provisions of HB 151, the minimum amount for advertising and bidding school building and maintenance projects would increase from $7,500 to $30,000. The legislature made an identical change to the bidding threshold for school supplies, streamlining that process and helping schools focus less on red tape and paperwork and more on the children in our classrooms.
On Tuesday, Governor Andy Beshear presented his much-awaited budget proposal to members of the House and Senate. This is the first step in a process that will take the better part of this session. The final product of this work is a spending plan that provides funding for state agencies and programs over the next two fiscal years. I am reviewing the document Governor Beshear presented, which is filed for consideration as HB 352. I will continue to update you on the budget process over the next few weeks.
As you can see, we are off to a busy start. If you have any questions or comments about this session, I can be reached during the week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (EST) through the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.legislature.ky.gov.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Kentucky State Police are featuring the rugged Jeep Gladiator Rubicon to support their fundraising efforts for Trooper Island Camp. The agency is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win this multipurpose vehicle recently named “2020 Pickup of the Year”. A full list of features and equipment can be found at https://squareup.com/store/trooper-island-inc/. To view a 60 second video about the car, click on https://youtu.be/trO56R858oI
Tickets are $10 each and will be available at any KSP post located throughout the state. Tickets are also available to be purchased online by debit or credit card payment at https://squareup.com/store/trooper-island-inc. They can be purchased at the KSP booth at the Farm Machinery Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center February 12-15 as well. The winning ticket will be drawn on August 30, 2020 at the Kentucky State Fair. Ticket holders do not have to be present at the drawing to win. Raffle winner is responsible for all tax and license fees. (Charitable gaming license #0000633.)
Trooper Island is a free summer camp for disadvantaged boys and girls age 10-12 operated by the Kentucky State Police on Dale Hollow Lake in Clinton County. It is financed entirely by donations, no public funds are used. Each year, the camp hosts approximately 700 children, providing good food, fresh air, recreation, guidance and structured, esteem-building activities designed to build good citizenship and positive relationships with law enforcement officers.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Mrs. Heather White, a 4th grade teacher at South Edmonson Elementary, has been named a winner of the Leachman Buick GMC and WNKY's "One Classroom at a Time" award, according to Principal Josh Long.
Mr. Long said that each week, contestants from all over south central Kentucky can nominate themselves or a classroom for a $500 check from Leachman Buick GMC to use toward a classroom project. Mrs. Heather was nominated for her classroom's 4th grade greenhouse and outdoor classroom project.
Through the help of Mrs. Kim Taylor and Mrs. Heather Deweese, they started a garden club at SEES and will be working this spring on planting seeds in the greenhouse. This will allow students the opportunity for hands-on learning in science.
Long said the money will be used for tables and supplies for the greenhouse. You can watch a television segment with Mrs. Heather on WNKY's Channel 40 Friday night at 5pm.