A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Opinion – Howard Whiteman: Our ability to live within the laws — both legal and scientific — benefits all

The letterhead on the news release was stark and official: “Department of Justice.” It was not like anything you have likely heard about in recent months. In Livingston County, Kentucky, a man was sentenced to five years of probation for a Lacey Act violation involving the illegal harvesting and sale of shovelnose sturgeon roe. Among other things, the Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person...

Opinion – League of Women Voters: How can they do that? Moving bills through with no public review

Last week, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved two budget bills (HB1 and HB 6) and we applaud legislators for considering these important bills early in the session. However, the process used to move the bills through the House Committee on Appropriations & Revenue (A&R) and to the House floor left little to no opportunity for public review and input. The process reflected concerns...

Opinion – Stephen Voss: The political battle of the sexes; it’s about more than love stories on gridiron

A cold war between men and women has been reshaping the political world for most of this Century. Americans may be aware of it like never before, though, for a silly reason: The political battle of the sexes recently bled over into the world of entertainment. Anybody with the slightest exposure to pop culture knows by now about the budding romance at the center of the firestorm. It’s a love story...

Joe Heller: Cartoonist’s view of news — groundhog day, Mideast conflict, Taylor Swift, stupid pet tricks

Joe Heller was the editorial cartoonist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis., from 1985 until being laid off in July 2013. He still draws several cartoons a week and distributes them through his own syndicate. Through Heller Syndication, his cartoons regularly appear in more than 400 newspapers, making him the most successful self-syndicated editorial cartoonist in the nation. His cartoons...

Opinion – Teri Carter: GOP supermajority — silly, unserious, unconcerned by Kentuckians’ real problems

On Jan. 31, I began my day reading a story that opened with a stunning sentence. “Some residents of a county in Kentucky are going on two weeks without running water, forcing them to use public toilets and catch rainwater to bathe.” As I was reading this news, a 7:31 a.m. tweet popped up from Rep. Josh Calloway. “Actually, what it means to be a good parent is to tell your children the truth....

Opinion – Bill Straub: Don’t KY’s AG, House have enough to do other than to intrude on border issues?

Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman and members of the state House of Representatives apparently don’t have their hands full addressing the myriad of problems facing the Commonwealth, so now they’re going to help run the state of Texas as well. Coleman has expressed his support for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who is embroiled in a death match with the White House over the millions of folks from...

Opinion – Al Cross: McConnell meets another legacy moment

When Mitch McConnell kept the Supreme Court from going liberal, then worked with Donald Trump to remake it and other federal courts in the image of the Federalist Society and big-money political contributors, that looked like the primary legacy of McConnell’s decades in the Senate. Then Trump falsely contested his 2020 defeat, inspiring the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, and McConnell called...

Opinion – Ernie Lewis: There is no ‘crime epidemic;’ lawmakers shouldn’t saddle KY with more prisoners

In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan during a debate with Jimmy Carter, there they go again. For the past 50 years, every so often the media, law enforcement, prosecutors and government officials start screaming at the top of their lungs that “crime is rising,” “something must be done,” and the like. Then the legislature passes laws, the police start arresting more people, prosecutors start...

Opinion – Open Letter to state legislators from KY Association of School Administrators re HB 6

KASA extends its gratitude to our dedicated legislators for their unwavering commitment to Kentuckians through HouseBill 6 (HB6). We understand the challenges lawmakers face when crafting budgets, and we acknowledge their dedication to the betterment of our state. It is because of their desire for a better Kentucky, we are compelled to emphasize the proposed state budget, while commendable in many...

Opinion – Vanessa Gallman: Left behind, outdated KY policy devalues citizens, diminishes competitiveness

Kentucky is too often slow to embrace beneficial economic and social change. Yet the news that 22 other states and 43 cities and counties raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 is especially frustrating, considering the years advocates here have pushed for reforms. We remain one of 20 states still adhering to the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage, set in 2009. Ohio raised its minimum from $10.10 to...

Joe Heller: Cartoonist’s view of news — aging, open borders, primary over?, awards, Sports Illustrated

Joe Heller was the editorial cartoonist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis., from 1985 until being laid off in July 2013. He still draws several cartoons a week and distributes them through his own syndicate. Through Heller Syndication, his cartoons regularly appear in more than 400 newspapers, making him the most successful self-syndicated editorial cartoonist in the nation. His cartoons...

Opinion – Amye Bensenhaver: Another open records exception passes without the least bit of discussion or vetting

An awkward silence accompanied the Kentucky House of Representatives’ passage of HB 80 by a vote of 94-0 on January 24. Sponsored by Rep. Kim Banta, HB 80 creates a new exception to the open records law for names and likenesses of winners of Lottery prizes — in any amount and for all time — if the winner requests anonymity. It creates a corresponding prohibition on release of names...

Opinion – Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell finds himself on the spot; question is can he hold on to power?

After 17 years finagling and conniving as the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell finds himself on the spot. His maneuvering over the next few days could determine whether he can maintain the confidence of his caucus, not to mention what sort of impact it might have on his already shaky legacy. McConnell, of Louisville, has been involved over the past several weeks attempting to forge...

Opinion – Susan Douglas: We’re unboxing the future of Northern Kentucky girls

There’s a lot going on with local Girl Scouts and it’s not just about boxes of cookies. Of course selling Girls Scout Cookies is an integral part of our organization. We use the revenue to continue our amazing programs that nurture girls’ development. But as booths start to pop up and a Girl Scout may ring your doorbell to test her marketing skills, much more is going on this year. Susan Douglas...

Opinion – Gary Houchens: It’s time for Kentucky to elect the State Board of Education

The Kentucky state legislature is considering a bill that would allow voters to elect members of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). As a former member of KBE, the time has come to make the board, and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Commissioner of Education that it oversees, more directly accountable to the people. Traditionally, Kentucky law provided that the governor would appoint...