It has been a busy couple of weeks in Frankfort! Here are a few of the highlights as we pass the halfway point on this Session…
Several days ago, a single Federal judge decided to overturn part of Kentucky’s Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Although that part of our Constitution was passed by the Kentucky Legislature, signed by our Governor, and overwhelmingly agreed to by the People of Kentucky, this ruling would seek to force Kentucky to embrace any marriage deemed acceptable by another state or jurisdiction.
As you can imagine, this issue goes to the heart of several principles: the desire to recognize marriage as an institution created by God - not government; the need to stand up to overreaching Federal mandates; and the threat that our society is eroding around us. Government efforts to alter the God-ordained of marriage will put us on a dangerous path. On February 14, I filed a House Joint Resolution urging the Governor and Attorney General to appeal this ruling and fight for Kentucky’s right to determine the laws within our own Commonwealth. Many legislators have already joined me in this fight for right, and I hope this binding resolution moves forward very soon. While I respect folks who might disagree, I am a strong advocate of traditional marriage.
Last Monday night, I was asked to represent the Conservative perspective on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” show focused on tax reform. Although the liberal voices on that program again clamored for the Governor’s proposal to significantly increase taxes, I pointed out that “good for Kentucky” should not be defined as beneficial to the government. Instead, we should focus on what is good for the people of our Commonwealth - who overwhelmingly oppose higher taxes. Growing government revenue at the expense of our citizens’ wealth is bad policy. And, when the representative from Louisville asserted that our tax system needs more fairness (meaning, to him, higher rates), I pointed out that God Himself deemed it fair for everyone to give 10%. I also pointed out that it would be far wiser to grow our economy and tax base by promoting new business and jobs instead of squeezing existing taxpayers for “more revenue.” If you want to watch that exchange, go to www.ket.org and click on the “Kentucky Tonight” archive link for February 17.
The very next day I was privileged to host the “Christians at the Capitol Day.” Although the Lexington and Louisville TV stations were more interested in the much smaller gay-rights rally the following day, over 800 visitors came to stand for their Christian faith. They heard from speakers and made their own voice heard as they advocated for Christian values. I thanked them for coming and stressed that it is necessary to hold your elected officials accountable, because many candidates claim different values while campaigning than they demonstrate once in office.
Later that same week, I joined with Senator Carroll Gibson and other stakeholders to meet with Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker about projects at Rough River State Park. As we coordinate with the US Army Corps of Engineers to move the boat dock at Rough River into a location that will provide year-round accessibility, Senator Gibson and I are also working to leverage state funding to provide the roads and infrastructure that will make a signature improvement to this beloved park.
Over the next few weeks, I anticipate that the pace in Frankfort will accelerate. We will move several bills forward and will tackle our primary responsibility of crafting a budget for Kentucky to live by. I will continue to aggressively oppose increased tax burdens on Kentucky families even as I support wise investments of existing state resources to grow our economy, promote jobs, and leverage opportunities to make Kentucky an even better place to work, live, and raise a family.
Please contact me with any questions or suggestions. And know that I would be honored to welcome you in Frankfort while we are in session.