Heroin bill's defeat a strike against Democratic House
The defeat of the heroin treatment bill by the Kentucky House is one of the best reasons I have heard for dumping Democrats from the House and giving the Republicans a majority.
Senate Bill 5 passed the Republican Senate on January 16 on a bipartisan vote (36 yes, one pass and zero no).
It went to the Democrat-dominated House where it sat until April 15, the last day and hours of the legislative session.
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The Democrats killed it by playing politics. Instead of voting up or down on it, they "junked up" the bill with amendments and a committee substitute so odious the bill was defeated, 41 yes to 51 no. Even some Democrats voted no.
Had House Speaker Greg Stumbo and the Democrats left the bill alone, it would have passed.
And, what is worse, by not being able to receive the services allowed by the bill, people are going to die.
The Democrat-dominated Kentucky House of Representatives is a disgrace to the state. Vote the Democrats out.
Edward L. Smith Jr.
Park HillsBarr wrong on ACA
Rep. Andy Barr's April 29 letter rebutting the Herald-Leader's editorial on his stance on health care betrays the underlying Republican desire to federally support corporate largess.
The Affordable Care Act was passed over the dead bodies of Republicans who refused to offer a timely, workable alternative.
Now Barr describes a "better option." Laws are not optional, as so many Republicans seem to think when they abdicated their responsibilities during last fall's government shutdown.
Republican opponents of affordable care receive huge contributions from Humana and other health giants. These will only grow as the Supreme Court's decision to allow corporations to buy politicians takes effect.
In urban areas, large corporations own all medical practices. Doctors are simply workers on quota. Primary care is being relegated to "cheaper" less medically trained nurses. We get our health care in grocery stores.
Maybe if Republicans would support the law, it would work better. But money always talks.
Daniel L. French, MD
Invest in coal region
A big thank you to Mayor Jim Gray for agreeing to repay $2.5 million in severance funds used for the Rupp Arena renovation designs.
On behalf of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, we hope other local and state officials will take notice and create a permanent, secure severance fund to help drive a just economic transition in both Eastern and Western Kentucky.
Coal communities need those funds to put miners back to work, spur resilient local economies and create jobs in environmental reclamation and restoration.
For too long, there has been little transparency and little regard for using that money in impacted counties.
Last fall, KSEC created an online petition calling for the return of the money and asking state government to increase transparency around the fund; to date, it has over 1,500 signatures.
The dwindling money should be used to help repay communities that risked everything to power this country.
Lexington Kudos to Scout leaders
Girl Scouts throughout the eastern half of Kentucky honored volunteers on Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day April 22, during National Volunteer Week.
Our dedicated leaders give of their time to plan and lead fun, educational Girl Scout troop meetings and field trips.
Whether it's teaching them about health and wellness, taking them on a caving expedition or out to the stables to learn to ride a horse or going to an international fair to experience different cultures, Girl Scout leaders have creative minds and caring hearts to share with the girls.
They dedicate themselves year-round to helping girls grow into confident, resourceful young women.
For those of you who have a girl in scouting, take a moment to think about her leader. Think about how at every meeting the leader is there to help your girl experience new challenges and gain new skills for the future.
Think about the amount of time the leader devotes to preparing for the meetings while balancing family, wor, and other time constraints.
Remember your Girl Scout leader with a note of thanks or a personal phone call or greeting.
I encourage more people to join the ranks of these incredible leaders. Please contact Angie Tinch, membership director, at email@example.com or by calling 859-293-2621, ext.213. We build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts of Kentucky's Wilderness Road Council
Increase minimum wage
The GOP blocked an increase in the minimum wage, arguing it hurts job growth and puts people out of work. They don't believe anyone should lose their job, just so workers are paid a livable wage.
So, why not eliminate the minimum wage, and let people work for as little as the market will offer? Unemployment up, just gut wages to encourage more hiring.
Is $10.10 an hour too much to pay a worker?
If not, let's end the idea of business deciding what minimal value they can set for human work, driven by their selfish dependence on cheap labor.
What kind of society are we, if we accept poor treatment of other humans based on whatever circumstances best suit the prevailing business interests?
This attitude remains precisely Sen. Mitch McConnell's position on the minimum wage. If he is re-elected, he will continue to promote business interests over those of hard-working Kentuckians.
LexingtonNo downtown pyramid
When I saw the picture of what the "new" Rupp Arena would look like, I thought of the great pyramids of Egypt.
The Egyptian people paid taxes and had to contribute labor to build the edifices for the Pharaohs. The pyramids were of no use to the people. They were for the glory of the Pharaoh.
Some of the money for Rupp will come from the state and Fayette County. Few will get to use the edifice, but all will pay for it.
Downtown was put through a similar renovation in the early 1970s and it has failed. Rupp and other yuppification of downtown will fail again.
This money could be used for priorities like fire and police, road repair, traffic control and Environmental Protection Agency compliance.
This year the people of Lexington must choose between responsible public-oriented government or building and financing for a Pharaoh.