Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
August 5, 2021     Bath County News - Outlook
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August 5, 2021

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News Outlook ’August 05, 2021 11 Nearly two months of the 2021 Interim are on the books. The Kentucky General Assembly re- mains focused on press- ing issues preparing for our return during the 2022 Regular Session next January. Recent focus has turned back to increasing COVID-19 cases, most hotably the "delta vari- ant," as state is near- ing an 8 percent positivity rate. Forty—five percent of state's residents were. vaccinated when I submitted this legislative update. I encourage you to remain cautious and choose to take neces— sary measures to protect yourself and those you love. If you are interested in obtaining a vaccination, visit vaccines.gov/ search or kycovid19.ky.gov. Special legislative com- mittee meetings included several in which I serve as a member, such as the ICJ's on Local Govern- inent, State Government, and Transportation. An: ()ther important meeting Was UCs on Appro- priations and Revenue (A&R). l First, during IJC {)n Local Government l 34.. I t’ai'mr'.wui_£wsrev. A” 1“! _'AI‘LA%!.VAI‘ .i'i-i TW;‘I“UF v "1*. meeting, members of law enforCement provided updates on the challeng- es they face. Testimony called for attention to staggering shortage of officers. Our state and nation have endured a difficult past eighteen months. Tensions have been high, .as bad actors in our streets have in- creased the rate of seri- ous crimes. Meanwhile, law enforcement has en- dured excessive levels of criticism and even calls for defunding of depart- ments. Defunding of law enforcement is not some- thing I nor the majority of lawmakers will accept. Our law enforcement offi- cers deserve our support and will continue to have it. The DC on State Gov- ernment was presented Census data and how it will impact the bien- nial redistricting require- ment. According to data provided,‘ Bath, Laurel, and Menifee Counties population sizes in- creased '3—9%, Jackson and Powell County lost less than % of their popu- lation, and Estill County's population size decreased 3—9%. Go online with E ' your subscription to gain access to: , Front page news articles E-edition PDFs of the paper Sports coverage Obituaries E Classifieds Multimedia Video Legal Advertising ________92w_m_,__ SENATOR BRANDON STORM: ULY INTERIM UPDATE The emphasis during this meeting was on Ju- dicial redistricting, which has not been done in Ken- tucky since the 18905. Supreme Court of Ken- tucky Chief Justice, John Minton, noted that at that time, Kentucky had just its first governor, and the President of the United States was Grover Cleveland. Judicial re- districting is overdue, and redistricting efforts will assure Circuit and District Court Judges will be distributed to areas of need. On July 7, the IJC on A&R included a visit from the state budget director, who updated lawmak— ers on federal funding received in response to pandemic. Most have heard of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Econom- ic Security Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Still, in total, there were seven separate bills passed by congress that allocated funds to Ken- tucky. Those precious taxpayer dollars are now flowing through various state agencies after being prioritized by the lawmak- ' ers. During previous legislative session, the General Assembly allocat- ed about half of our Com- monwealth's federal fund- ing. There is just over $1 billion more left to be distributed. We intend to remain as diligent in ap- propriating the rest of funds as we were with the other half. The General Assem- bly made notable invest- ments with the first half of federal funding alloca- tions. Lawmakers appro- priated funds to grow the state "rainy day fund" over $1 billion, expand broadband internet, pay off most of the $800 mil- lion federal unemploy- ment insurance (UI) loan unilaterally taken out by the Governor’s admin- istration, address water and wastewater needs, and much more. An entire legislative up- date could be dedicated to an A&R committee meet- ing alone. I encourage you to find archived foot- age of forum for more details. That is available at ket.org/legislature/ar— chives. I am pleased to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee during the Regular Session and as a member of the IJC on Transportation. The IJC on Transportation heard . testimony from the Ken- tucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). Cabinet representatives detailed the challenge we face to meet our. infrastructure needs. There are current- ly two billion dollars in maintenance needs. The problem is the continuing inflation of maintenance costs along with decreas- ing road fund revenues. The General Assembly has prioritized precious taxpayer dollars, restor- ing $180 million to the road fund that has his- torically been diverted. A program called Strate- gic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow, also referred to as SHIFT, was initiated during the previous gubernatorial administration. It is a data-driven approach to prioritizing road fund dollars. The Senate had passed a bill to make SHIFT a statutory re- quirement, but it did not clear the other legislative chamber. Other information gathered this past month includes an update on UI and state road fund. The Governor's adminis- tration informed the UI Task Force that it has chosen to scrap its last 16-month effortto update its unemployment system and restart bidding for a business to modernize it. Members of the legis- lature want to see relief for the thousands who continue to struggle to receive their UI claims. That is Why the General Assembly allocated near- ly $50 million to the ex- ecutive branch for those upgrades. The Governor and his administration must consult with the leg- islature. We have stood Willing to assist since the onset of the pandemic. It is a true honor to rep- resent Laurel, Jackson, Estill, Powell, Menifee, and Bath Counties in the Kentucky State Senate. I will continue to keep you updated on topics and pol- icy discussions during the interim. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office'toll-free by call- ing 502—564-8100. You can also email me at brandon. storm@lrc.ky.gov. Stay safe. God bless. FOR knewsrou.com HOME NEWS SPO CLASSiFiEDS OBITUARIES SUB RiPEDN EyEDlTlnN MULTKM SUBMIT PAY LEGALS SERVlCES Furled by CMSIQ MA 5,4 View; F sauces run eminent” at February Fiscai Chm, meeting Finances mm am center a! 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