Where are our state legislators going to find enough time to fix all of these problems that exist in only their deranged, alternative-fact world?
Instead of helping Kentuckians climb out of poverty, get off Medicaid, no longer need food subsidies and end drug addiction, they’re focused on:
Voter fraud — that doesn’t exist.
Care for babies who survive a failed-abortion — which has have never actually occurred.
And, most important: preserving the traditionalist view of milk, the way the Founders intended — it comes from only cows! Because those coastal elites with their almond milk will have to pry this cow udder from my cold, dead hands!
The state legislature is scheduled to be in session for just 60 days this year.
How will legislators find the time to fix these critical issues in addition to passing a two-year budget, finding a way to fix the failing public pension systems and undertake all of the issues that actually affect Kentucky?
The first priority of the Republican-controlled state Senate — Senate Bill 1 — reflects the GOP’s commitment to Trump-first, Kentucky-later governing.
SB 1 would ban sanctuary cities in Kentucky, where no sanctuary cities exist.
State Rep. Richard Heath filed a similar bill in the House, House Bill 240, because obviously sanctuary is such a problem for his constituents. He represents McCracken and Graves counties — where 30% of his constituents are on Medicaid, 15% live in poverty and 11% are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. There are also six state-regulated, high-risk dams in Heath’s district, according to 2019 WFPL story, “At Dangerous Kentucky Dams, Locals Aren’t Prepared For Disaster”.
Those are real problems afflicting the people he represents. Instead, he’s focused on problems that — even he acknowledges! — don’t exist.
“I think now’s the time to address it before it becomes a big issue. Let’s just go ahead and state our position now, put it in law and eliminate the problems going forward. Be proactive instead of reactive,” Heath said in a public radio report.
Another bill addressing a contrived, non-existent problem is SB 9, “An act relating the protection of born-alive infants and declaring an emergency.”
The “emergency” is a legislative-procedure designation. It’s also a flat-out lie, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield. The bill would require physicians and health providers to “preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant” or face felony criminal charges for failing to do so.
Westerfield, who represents Christian, Logan and Todd counties along Kentucky’s southern border, told The Courier Journal he wasn’t aware of any instances of “born-alive” infants during an abortion, but: “We want to make sure the law is there to prevent it from ever happening.”
About 28% of Westerfield’s constituents are on Medicaid, over 10% are on SNAP and over 17% live in poverty. There are five state-regulated, high-risk dams in his district.
Republican Sen. Matt Castlen is the champion of SB 81, which defines what milk is and what it ain’t.
“No food product shall be labeled as milk unless the product meets the definition of milk,” which can only be the “lacteal secretion” of cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, yaks, deer, reindeer, moose, horses and donkeys. Absolutely forbidden from being called milk in the state of Kentucky is any other food product “ … such as plant-based products that are mislabeled as milk.”
Instead of worrying about “lacteal secretion,” Castlen could focus on helping his constituents in Daviess, Hancock and McLean counties, where more than 30% of the people are on Medicaid, nearly 10% are on SNAP and 12% to 15% live in poverty. There are also three state-regulated, high-risk dams in his district.
Legislators are tackling other important issues, such as: SB 2, the voter ID law, would require a government-issued photo ID to vote.
Underscoring the importance to Kentucky, new Secretary of State Michael Adams testified on behalf of the bill but could not cite a single case of in-person voter fraud, the CJ reported.
Republican Sen. Rick Girdler introduced SB 114, which would require transgender students to compete in school athletics according to their birth gender.
Yet, over 35% of Girdler’s constituents are on Medicaid, 13% are on SNAP and 18% live in poverty. At least five state-regulated, high-risk dams are in his district.
Anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-voting and anti-almond milk is what the Kentucky GOP stands for, apparently.
At least a well-armed, masked militia has the right to bring loaded assault weapons into the state Capitol. •