Scrutiny changing policing
Where have all the police gone? It dawned on me while sitting in traffic on Georgetown Street during afternoon rush hour. They used to be all over the Georgetown neighborhood, pulling people over, questioning them and then letting them go without issuing any citations.
On some Friday and Saturday nights between Mercer Road and the Corner Liquor store off Newtown Pike, I used to see as many as three police cruisers: one on Georgetown and Price Road, another at Michigan Avenue and Georgetown, and another at Georgetown and Oak Streets. Officers would be searching vehicles hoping to find illegal drugs or open bottles of alcohol.
The same thing happened to people who live off Russell Cave Road, Asbury Lane and in the Winburn area.
And then it seemed like overnight everything changed. Police started to get into trouble for lying about why they did what they did. People stopped taking a police officer’s word as gospel. Cell-phone camera footage started to show everybody what was really going on to the detriment of the police. The subject of patrolling police wearing body cameras has turned into a soon-to-be reality. Thank God and hallelujah for body cameras.
Public retirees rallying
The General Assembly faces a multitude of challenges, one of the more critical being pension funding.
Legislative action in the 2013 regular session provided the framework for funding the plans managed by the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Public employee and teacher pensions will require tens of millions of new money simply to stem the erosion of funding levels.
Only through additional funding, possibly from a dedicated revenue source, will KRS have adequate resources for investing. The KERS non-hazardous plan, likely the worst plan in the country with a funding level of 17.7 percent, is in critical need of new money to stave off insolvency.
Kentucky public retirees have met with many legislators during 2015 expressing their concern over the pension plans. We urge retirees to contact their legislators at www.lrc,ky.gov to express their concerns.
KPR is also sponsoring a rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 1 p.m. Jan. 27 to express our concerns to the governor and legislators. Those wishing to add their voices to the message are invited to attend.
We are responsible for advocating for the pensions we earned. The time is now to do so.
Larry P. Totten
Legislative chair, Kentucky Public Retirees
Thanks for publishing The Washington Post article about the Syrian refugee family in Louisville. I wish them the best in adjusting to their new home.
Our governor has stated that Syrian refugees are unwelcome in Kentucky because they could be potential terrorists. Since the nearly five-year-old civil war, millions of Syrians have fled their homeland because of bombing of homes and businesses, killing of citizens and forced conscription of men into the Syrian army. Not to mention the brutal regimes of ISIS in some parts of Syria.
Most refugees are residing in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Despite some support of the host countries and the efforts of the United Nations refugee agency, many camp residents must live with intolerable hardships.
To settle in the United States, refugees must undergo extensive investigation by the FBI, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
This process takes from 18 months to two years. Any terrorists bent on committing crimes here would surely search for easier entry.
I hope other Kentuckians, like the caring people in Louisville, will welcome and provide aid to refugees, who are only seeking safety and a way to resume their lives
Kynect promotes efficiency
Kudos to Gov. Matt Bevin for taking prompt action to begin addressing the Medicaid program. The previous administration’s expansion of Medicaid, knowing full well that our cash-poor state could not support expanded levels when federal funds were gone, was a disservice to all Kentuckians.
Kynect, on the other hand, is somewhat more than Medicaid specific and has proven to be of great assistance in finding the best mandatory health insurance for thousands of our residents. Kynect has the added feature of providing a few needed jobs for our state, and its alternative, HealthCare.gov, like many federal programs is likely to be as efficient as the Veterans Administration and as compassionate as the Internal Revenue Service.
Kynect could also provide the framework for a single entry point for all of Kentucky’s health and social programs. I understand the Republican views on government involvement and spending, but I think we can all buy into more efficiency in government. To simply eliminate Kynect would be akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Jimmy D. Helton
Health care not a ‘game’
Seriously, Gov. Matt Bevin wants Medicaid recipients to put more “skin in the game,” meaning they would be responsible for more of their medical expenses? We have our lives and health in the “game,” as Bevin calls it. Only Bevin could diminish Kentucky lives into something he calls a game.
Kentuckians are already stressed to the maximum with what they must pay in premiums. What does Bevin not understand about affordability? I know people who have health insurance and disabling back problems that prohibit them from employment but their insurance companies call surgery “elective,” knowing that as unemployment benefits run out they will be forced on disability.
This is just another attack on the middle class, making Bevin chairman of the Kentucky death panel.
Now that’s a lie
Gov. Matt Bevin stated Dec. 30 that the findings of an outside consultant that Medicaid expansion, which brought health care to 420,000 Kentuckians, would help Kentucky economically is “a straight up, straight out lie.”
The statement is an opinion based on economic data. A lie is saying you’ll release your income tax returns when elected then refusing to do so.
Paul F. Guthrie