As the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” The Christmas season always evokes a spirit of thankfulness and giving, when families come together to celebrate the reason for the season. And the New Year’s holiday is often a time to start with a slate clean, hopefulness toward starting something new like giving up smoking or losing weight.
In this holiday season for the Commonwealth we can be thankful in some ways, but in others we are hoping for a new start. Come January, Kentuckians will look to the State Capitol with eagerness for the General Assembly to take the actions necessary to improve our economy and raise the quality of life for our families.
Recently, House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover wrote about Kentucky being ranked the fifth worst run state in the nation by the financial news and opinion online publication 24/7 Wall St. The year before the Commonwealth ranked 13th worst on the list, meaning we went from bad to worse.
The reason for the rankings is like getting the same Christmas gift year after year. It’s always the same thing, and over time it starts to wear out. Unfortunately, in the Kentucky House of Representatives we are suffering from a bout of the status quo woes, in which legislation that could move Kentucky out of the worst run status and up toward the best run states often times ends up sitting in committee, never to see the light of day.
It is simply unacceptable that the whims of a few people, first and foremost House Speaker Greg Stumbo, can hold Kentucky back from passing legislation like public-private partnerships, expansion of broadband services, and real reforms to combat the growing problem with heroin in our communities. These bills, and others like them, were proposed during the last legislative session but failed to pass. Legislation has been filed again for the next session which begins in January, but because we have to once again try and pass these important pieces of legislation it delays other proposals that need our attention like comprehensive tax reform.
In this holiday season, it is my hope that we in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle can put people first in 2015 and help Kentucky grow and prosper. That can make it the most wonderful time of the year and the future for all of us.