News Archives – 2008

17th District should re-elect Thayer – Lexington Herald Leader Endorsement

Posted on Thu, Oct. 23, 2008
The Lexington Herald-Leader

By anyone’s definition, this is a tough year for incumbents and Republicans. That said, state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, the Republican incumbent in the 17th District, seems to have strong support and a likely chance at another four years in Frankfort.

We are impressed by his opponent, Robert Powell of Georgetown, a retired state worker making his first bid for office. But Thayer gets the nod for his service to the district and for distinguishing himself among Republicans on some key issues.

Thayer, who has spent his career in various jobs in the Thoroughbred racing industry, has taken a leading role in advocating tighter control on drugs used in racing and on funding for the Kentucky Racing Commission. He’s advocated for greater transparency in campaign finance, such as additional and more timely reports and electronic filing of campaign reports. He worked in a bipartisan fashion on seeking solutions to the state’s underfunded pension system.

Thayer was a co-chair of the task force that looked into the important but often overlooked issues of local government taxation options in Kentucky.

All that said, we take serious issue with Thayer on many points.

He has shared in enabling the combative, obstructionist and generally dysfunctional rule of Senate President David Williams.

Thayer’s unquestioning refusal to raise taxes extends to the cigarette tax, despite evidence that it would aid an ailing state treasury and prevent more young people from taking up the dangerous habit.

He has based his appeal to voters too often on divisive social issues and often pits Central Kentucky against more rural areas in distribution of state funds.

Thayer has earned another term. We congratulate him on the positive work he’s done and hope that, if he wins, he will be less wedded to partisan orthodoxy.

Cincinnati Enquirer Endorses Senator Thayer

Posted on October 25, 2008
Cincinnati Enquirer

One of the feistier campaigns in the region pits incumbent Republican Kentucky State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, against Robert Powell, a Georgetown Democrat with a background in criminal justice consulting and corrections. We think Thayer is the better-qualified of the two candidates.
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But Powell has mastered the ability of getting under Thayer’s too-thin skin by throwing out charges that demonstrate the political art of being sort-of true but not exactly. This made for a lively televised debate and in their joint meeting with The Enquirer editorial board.

Thayer is a man of strong conviction, but he must learn to keep a leash on his passion if he wants to achieve any worthwhile collaborations in the Legislature. And he needs to grow a thicker hide for the campaign trail or risk looking like a short-tempered zealot to the voters. He is clearly more astute on the issues than Powell. He needs to take a deep breath and let that show through the emotion.

Thayer’s record is one of the strongest in terms of keeping a rein on government spending, and he has been creative as opposed to knee-jerk. For example, he was a leader in finding ways to keep education funding from being cut 12 percent during the state’s recent funding crisis, instead voting to trim funding by a still-painful 3 percent.

A goal for a next term is to replace the CATS testsnow used in Kentucky schools with tests based on the ACT and also find ways to draw more teachers into math and science.

Both candidates support letting Kentucky voters decide if the Constitution should be amended to allow casino gambling, and they both oppose using tolls to pay for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement.

The 17th Senate District covers Grant, Owen and Scott counties along with most of Kenton County south of Int. 275, including Taylor Mill and Independence. A third party candidate, Michah Ingram of the Constitution Party, also is on the ballot but hasn’t been visible.

SENATOR DAMON THAYER HONORED AS A ‘FRIEND OF KENTUCKY CITIES’

LOUISVILLE, KY – Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) was honored with a “Friend of Kentucky Cities” award on Friday at the 2008 Kentucky League of Cities Convention & Expo.

“It is always a pleasure to work on behalf of the cities in my district,” said Senator Thayer.

“As always, cities can count on Senator Thayer as the Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee,” said Sylvia L. Lovely, KLC executive director/CEO. “Senator Thayer has always been available for discussion on issues that matter most to cities. He was very helpful with the recent retirement legislation that passed during the special session.”

The “Friend of Cities” award is given by KLC to legislators who perform outstanding work in the legislature advocating for issues that impact cities across the state.

“To paraphrase the Beatles, we get by with a little help from our friends. We try to recognize those that sponsored our bills, stood up and defended cities, or otherwise made a bold stand for local governments during the legislative session,” said Sylvia L. Lovely, Executive Director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities.

Six other legislators were also recognized as a “Friend of Kentucky Cities”, including: Representative Dennis Horlander (D-Shively); Representative Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro); Representative Ron Crimm (R-Louisville); Representative Johnny Bell (D-Glasgow); Representative Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville); Representative Kathy Stein (D-Lexington). Representative Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) and Representative Steve Riggs (D-Louisville) were honored as Kentucky League of Cities Big Hitters.

Speaker of the House Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green) and Senator David L. Williams (R-Burkesville) accepted “Excellence in Legislative Leadership” on behalf of House and Senate leadership, respectively, for their work in the passage of pension reform.

More than 800 city leaders, legislators, exhibitors and other public officials participated in the KLC annual convention and expo in Louisville at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Senator Thayer Enjoys Big Advantage over Rober Powell in Senate Race

FROM: NEIL NEWHOUSE B PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES
SUBJECT: RECENT POLL DATA
DATE: OCTOBER 14, 2008

As you know, we recently completed a poll of 300 likely voters in Kentucky’s 17th State Senate District on behalf of the Thayer campaign. The poll was conducted October 6-7, 2008 and has a margin of error of +/- 5.66% in 95 out of 100 cases.

The purpose of this memo is to briefly outline the survey’s key findings.

Key Findings

McCain’s doing well here.

Senator McCain defeats Barack Obama by a 59%-27% margin – doubling the Democrat’s support.

Thayer has a wide image advantage over Democrat Robert Powell.

Fully 39% of voters have a favorable impression of Senator Thayer, while just 10% have a favorable impression of Robert Powell, giving Thayer a significant image advantage in the district.

Thayer has a wide 51%-28% lead over Powell on the trial heat.

Thayer not only wins 70% of GOP voters in the district, but more than one-third of Democrats, resulting in a wide 51%-28% lead over Powell.

Bottom Line

Senator Damon Thayer is well-positioned to retain this seat against the lesser-known Robert Powell. He leads by a wide margin on the ballot, and gains a significant boost from Democrats in the district.

Senator Thayer Video of Stamping Ground Speech

Speaking Saturday, September 27 in Stamping Ground, Sen. Damon Thayer discussed key issues not getting enough attention elsewhere including the “fiscal trainwreck heading down the tracks here in the Commonwealth” in unfunded public employee benefits:

Kentucky Club for Growth’s 2008 Legislative Scorecard ranks Damon Thayer No. 2 out of 38 senators.

By JEFF KERR
Georgetown News-Graphic

They were ranked at opposite ends of the spectrum but their reactions were almost identical.

Scott County’s representatives in the Kentucky General Assembly, Sen. Damon Thayer and Rep. Charlie Hoffman, weren’t ranked very close together in the Kentucky Club for Growth’s 2008 Legislative Scorecard, but neither one was complaining after the rankings were released last week. Thayer was ranked second out of 38 senators and Hoffman was ranked 99th out of 99 representatives

The Kentucky Club for Growth, according to the press release about the rankings, “is a non-partisan taxpayers’ advocacy group. We score legislators on fiscal issues only. In other words, only those votes which affect the pocketbook of Kentucky’s working families are considered

Thayer, who was 29th in the 2007 rankings, trailed only Sen. Kathie Stine in the 2008 figures. Hoffman was ranked 91st in the 2007 numbers.

“I rededicated myself to fiscal conservatism,” Thayer said. “I opposed a bill which would have put tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge and I sponsored a bill to do away with the office of state treasurer.”

Thayer said he enjoyed the ranking.

“I’m obviously very proud of my record,” he said. “I’m the No. 2 conservative and I missed being No. 1 by one point. I represent a very conservative district. They accepted me, elected me and re-elected me and sent me to Frankfort to be watchdog over the taxpayers’ money.”

Hoffman, for his part, more or less dismissed the rankings.

“It doesn’t bother me a bit,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I wear it like a badge of honor. If anyone knew anything about this group and what their agenda is, they would know they are very anti-employee rights.”

Their touting growth, he added, is a little misleading.

“The interest they have in growth is the growth in the wealthy’s bank accounts at the expense of wage earners and working families,” Hoffman said.

Thayer, for his part, says his votes reflect his constituents.

“I never forget that the money the state spends is the taxpayers’ money,” he said, “the money of the hard-working people of Kentucky. I spend a lot of time in my district and it’s a big district. I fight to protect their money in Frankfort.”

Keeping grounded in his district is important to him, Thayer said.

“Part of my job is to be accessible,” he said. “It’s an important part of my job. I work hard at it and I want to know what’s on the minds of the people I serve.”

Hoffman said his votes have never been cast to please any certain group, except the people of Kentucky.

“I have always voted for an agenda to make a better economic landscape in the state of Kentucky for everyone’s benefit,” he said. “I don’t pay any attention to the rankings of fringe issue groups. These people make Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal.”

 

Senator Thayer Has Big Lead in New Poll

There’s little question that this district is going to stay in Republican hands. It’s tilted GOP from top to bottom, and Damon Thayer’s ID and image advantage over Robert Powell is all that’s needed to keep this safely in GOP control in the Fall, according to a Public Opinion Strategies poll.

Thayer has a two-to-one name ID lead over Democrat Robert Powell.

While Damon Thayer’s name ID in the district is 60%, Powell’s is just 23%. Further, while 34% of voters have a favorable impression of Senator Thayer, just 7% share positive feelings about Powell.

Thayer has a wide 53%-33% lead over Powell.

Thayer not only holds Powell to single digits among Independents, but he pulls one-third of the Democratic vote in the district to beat Powell by a wide 53%-33% margin.

For more on this poll, click here to read the PDF.

Bellweather Senate District 17 overwhelmingly GOP

Source: KyPolitics.org Email Update

Incumbent GOP State Senator Damon Thayer holds a commanding 20-point lead over Democrat challenger Robert Powell, according to a survey released this morning by the national polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies.

This Bluegrass district of four counties — Grant, Scott, Owen and Kenton — has a party registration that strongly tilts Democrat, 53% versus 38% Republican. However, Thayer defeats Powell 53% to 33%. Moreover, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and John McCain dominate in the 17th District. McConnell’s ahead  57% to 36% for Democrat Bruce Lunsford.

In the presidential race, it’s McCain over Barack Obama 57% to 29%. Not even close in any of the races. What’s significant is if Kentucky Democrats are to cut into the Republicans’ State Senate majority, they would have to be competitive in the 17th. Thayer’s campaign now has about $200,000 cash on hand compared to only $4,000 for Powell.

Bottom line, according to Public Opinion Strategies, “There’s little question that this district is going to stay in Republican hands. It’s tilted GOP from top to bottom, and Damon Thayer’s ID and image advantage over Robert Powell is all that’s needed to keep this safely in GOP hands in the fall.”  Margin of error for the poll is +5.66%, and was conducted July 22-23. Thayer was first elected to the Kentucky Senate in a 2003 special election and won a full term the next year.

Senator Damon Thayer’s Independence Day Remarks

Georgetown, Kentucky, July 4, 2008

Thank you all for having me here tonight. Isn’t it wonderful to live in the United States of America?

We do live in a wonderful country that makes it possible for each and everyone one of us to pursue and fulfill our dreams.

The brilliance of our Founding Fathers who gathered in the Summer of 1776 in Philadelphia was on full display. They surmised that summer that people could not pursue life, liberty and happiness without the essential element of…freedom.

And that’s what today is about.

It’s a day when we all reflect on the freedoms we enjoy. Freedom from tyranny. Freedom to say what we believe, either through the press or gathered in assembly.

Freedom to pursue our dreams, whatever they may be.

Often – especially during the heat of elections in this country – we hear politicians paint a picture of the United States that frankly I don’t recognize.

To listen to some, we live in a third-world country where no one can go to the doctor. Where no one gets a good education. Where no one has a job. Where no one has the freedom to pursue their dreams.

No, I don’t recognize that picture of my country.

And I suspect most people don’t recognize it.

I look around Georgetown, Kentucky, and I think to myself: those who would run our great Nation in to the ground with their words and rhetoric don’t know the United States that I know.

They don’t know the hometown that I know.

They don’t know the people who I know.

We don’t live in a perfect world. There are problems we must confront to shore up our economy, for instance.

But the wonderful thing about the country in which we live is that it is filled with smart, creative, industrious people who have the freedom to pursue solutions.

Every generation faces its problems. We face down terrorism abroad and the threat of ever expanding oil prices at home. Previous generations faced encroaching communism and absolute evil in Europe. They faced economic depression. They faced threats from enemies who sought to wipe democratic ideals off the planet.

And the catalyst for solutions to these problems? Freedom.

And so it will be again during our generation.

No matter what we obstacles have been thrown in the path of the United States of America, the catalyst for solution has always been a deep and abiding faith in the founding principle of our Nation – that all men should be free.

Just as we carried the principle of freedom to the shores of France, American soldiers carry the principle of freedom from terrorism to Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the globe where they face down a new and dangerous enemy.

Just as a country filled with free people has time and again reinvented the American economy to make it even more prosperous for the next generation, I believe we again have the chance to escape our dependence on foreign oil and re-create an American economy filled with energy that we produce and technology that we invent.

None of this is possible without freedom.

None of this is possible where tyranny reigns.

None of this is possible where people cower in fear rather than enjoy the freedom to think, to innovate, to create.

Our freedom is guaranteed by the United States military. I am grateful for the men and women who serve. If there are any with us tonight, current or veteran, please stand and be recognized.

<applause>

Have you ever heard the old saying: “that person wears that heart on their sleeve?”

These people literally wear their heart on their sleeve – they wear the Stars and Stripes of the United States of America. They were it proudly. They shows our colors to our friends and enemies around the world.

They carry the banner of freedom wherever they go.

And we are eternally grateful for all you have done.

<applause>

For those of you who know me, you know I am an avid reader of historical books. Someone I admire and revere is John Adams, our Second President.

It can be fairly said that President Adams is sort of the Father of the Fourth of July. Not only was he instrumental in guiding the Continental Congress towards signing the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776, but he then wrote a letter to his wife Abigail about the occasion.

Of that moment in time, he said it…

will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

Today is the Fourth of July.

We are about to fulfill the wishes of President Adams by illuminating the night sky in honor of our Declaration of Independence, and in honor of those who have given their lives to preserve it.

As we go forward from this celebration tonight, we should all do our part to preserve the freedom we have. We should all participate in the civic life of our communities. We should all vote. We should all be vigilant against those who seek to encroach upon the freedom God has endowed on our great Nation.

And we should all continue to hold President Adams’ words in our hearts – that it takes blood and treasure to maintain this freedom, and that there are days that seem gloomy.

But on the other side are rays of ravishing light and glory.

Because we are free.

Thank you for having me here tonight, and enjoy the celebration.

Thank You,
Senator Thayer

Senator Thayer’s Special Session Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – As a result of the work completed by the Senate during the Special Session in Frankfort this week, the state employee retirement system became more fiscally sound, but there is still much work to be done. Without key changes, the public employees pension system faces a $27 billion unfunded liability. That’s three times our annual budget. With a wave of retirements this year, we had to act quickly to make sure we could afford benefits to our incoming workers and preserve the system for current employees and retirees.

Senate and House leaders worked together to design a plan that makes considerable improvements to our current system. It’s not a perfect plan, but it sets the stage for further progress in the next few years. It also will mean significant savings to taxpayers in the generations to come by containing our costs and slowing the growth of the unfunded liability. By working in a bipartisan fashion, we were able to work quickly in this special session, passing House Bill 1 in the minimum five legislative days.

Retiree benefits can be broken down into two forms, pension payments and health insurance premiums. With health care costs skyrocketing for all employers, including state and local governments, we must find ways to shore up our health insurance fund. To that end, all employees hired after September 1 will contribute one percent of their salary toward their retirement insurance costs, in addition to their pension contribution. Teachers hired after July 1 will contribute an additional 1 percent of their salary toward retiree health insurance, above and beyond the 0.75 percent they pay currently.

House Bill 1 also extends the amount of time an employee must work in order to retire with full benefits. Under the new plan, any worker age 57 or older can retire with full benefits if their age and years of service adds up to 87. Those 65 or older, however, could retire with five years of employment.

It’s important to remember that none of these changes above will affect current employees. Their retirement benefits and contributions will remain the same as they’ve always been.

However, there will be some changes for them going forward. The most notable is the annual cost-of-living adjustment. The current COLA is capped at 1.5 percent, but the General Assembly traditionally matches inflation increases, even if the money for that increase is not included in the budget. In the future, any COLA increase above 1.5 percent must be prefunded by the legislature, so the pension system can remain fiscally sound.

As I said earlier, this is not a complete solution, and no one is 100 percent satisfied with the bill we passed this week. House Bill 1 is, however, a good first step on the path to fiscal stability. With this legislation, we will assure our public sector employees that we will honor our obligations to them, while also assuring the taxpayers that we will not leave their children and grandchildren holding the bag for the missteps of yesterday.

In the end we must empower employees and retirees to become better informed health care consumers, which would hopefully avoid any need to reduce benefits when the Personnel Cabinet releases the new state employee health care program this fall and in the future. We must also look to a possible 401(k) plan currently being considered by the Governor’s Working Group on retirement issues.

 

Senator Thayer’s 2008 Session Final Report from Frankfort

Frankfort –The 2008 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to a close and I am proud of the bipartisan work of the General Assembly as Republicans, Democrats and Independents came together to pass significant legislation. During the 60-day session, the General Assembly passed a budget with no new taxes as well as laws protecting families and the environment, promoting educational achievement and ensuring access to affordable healthcare.

Once again the Senate provided the common sense leadership needed to pass significant legislation and continue the debate on other important issues such as public pension reform, ethics, high stakes testing and clean elections.

Jobs in the math and science fields will be in high demand in the future. As a coal-producing state, we must be prepared to lead in the energy industry. We must not only help our students be competitive in a world economy but also must prepare our teachers for the changing demands of their profession. Senate Bill 64 creates an incentive fund to provide grants to nonprofit organizations, institutions, and agencies for the purpose of conducting institutes to certify teachers. People who want to teach math and science will have priority.

Senate Bill 2 increased the rigor of the high school curricula by increasing the number of schools offering advanced placement (AP) courses as well as the number of existing AP classes and the number of exams taken. The bill provided incentives for students to take AP examinations and provide grants for schools to start AP programs in advanced math and science. It is our hope that as students excel in these classes and score well, this will decrease the college costs for parents with meaningful college prep classes – colleges give credit for scores of 3 or above. The bill would also provide financial incentives to middle schools to set up demanding math/science tracks and to teachers to improve content knowledge.

Senate Bill 98 provides Medicaid coverage benefits to uninsured women who are under age 65 and have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. Senate Bill 96 requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for colorectal cancer screenings. With both these bills, men and women receive valuable help detecting and combating these deadly diseases.

With so many military families on the move, we must also be mindful of the transition children must endure. With Senate Bill 68, Kentucky will become a member of an interstate compact that will help ease the paperwork on children in military families who switch school districts.

The designation of Senate Bill 1 has traditionally been reserved for bills important to the future of Kentucky and this Session was no exception. In response to concerns heard from teachers and parents about the CATS test and the pressure to “teach to the test,” as well as alarm with the lack of academic instruction after the CATS test is over. Senate Bill 1 would have implemented an academic achievement program saving millions of dollars in addition to reducing testing time and providing teachers and parents with valid and reliable information about individual student’s learning. It would have replaced CATS with a national norm-referenced test in middle school and with the EPAS system (EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT) in high school. Through this reform, education experts we consulted anticipated that the up to 21 instructional days would be saved. Unfortunately, after passing the Senate, SB 1 never received a hearing in the House.

For the second year, the most important issue to be left unresolved by the General Assembly is the need to reform Kentucky’s public employee retirement systems. Kentucky State Government faces a financial perfect storm threatening the very future of our Commonwealth. In the very near future, Kentucky’s public employee retirement systems will have depleted all of their financial reserves requiring an immediate $2 billion transfer from state government. To put this very large number into context, the entire budget for the Transportation Cabinet in 2007 is $1.5 billion and Kentucky’s contribution to the Medicaid Program is just over $1 billion.

After a bipartisan vote for passage in the Senate, leaders in the House were unable to obtain the necessary votes for passage and the agreed upon plan failed in their Chamber.

Fixing our public pension crisis remains the most important financial issue facing the Commonwealth. The Senate stands prepared to return to Frankfort in a Special Session if called by Governor Beshear to deal with this problem. There is already an agreement in place and the Senate is ready to act. If Governor Beshear fails to bring the House to the negotiation table our cities, counties, school districts and state government will continue to be forced to squander scarce resources on a problem for which a solution already exists. A failure to act in a quick and decisive manner is intolerable.

Absent a special session call from the Governor, the General Assembly will next convene for a 30-day session in January 2009. Between now and then, legislative committees will be holding interim meetings to research new issues and review past ones. I thank everyone who has contacted me during this session and encourage you to call my office toll-free at 800-372-7181 or email me at [email protected] with any questions or comments.

State Awards $3-Million to NKWD to Construct New Water Mains
New mains will give hundreds access to public water

Erlanger, KY – Hundreds of households in Northern Kentucky will soon have access to public water thanks to funding approved by the State of Kentucky in the 2005 and 2006 Kentucky General Assemblies. The State has committed $3-million dollars to NKWD for the construction of water mains in Subdistrict G in southern Kenton County.

“There are still more than 1,200 families in Kenton County who don’ t have direct access to public water service,” said Ron Lovan, NKWD President and CEO. “This project will reduce that number by 20%.”

A check from the state will be presented to NKWD in a ceremony April 30, 2008 at the Kenton County Independence Court House. Several state and local officials will attend the event, including State Senator Damon Thayer. NKWD received this project funding with help from Senator Thayer, who represents the 17th District and members of the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus.

“This is a service that is critical to the people in southern Kenton County so I felt it was something worth working hard to secure,” said Kentucky State Senator Damon Thayer, (R) 17th District.

Construction of the water mains in Subdistrict G is underway. Subdistrict G serves 243 potential customers and involves the construction of approximately 11 miles of water main along the following roads: Banklick Road, Bramlage Road, Independence Road, Klein Road, Petty Road, Estate Lane, Pleasure Isle Drive, Bullock Pen Road, Cody Road, Webster Road (off Cody), Upton Drive, Holly Hock Road, Wolf Road, Fowler Creek Road, Lieberman Drive and Sugar Camp Road in Central and Southern Kenton County.

The total cost of the project is $5.5-million. Sources of funding include:
• The State of Kentucky ($3,000,000)
• The Kenton County Fiscal Court ($50,000)
• The Northern Kentucky Water District ($1,853,095)
• Subdistrict G customers through a $30 monthly surcharge ($618,286)

After the completion of this project, more 98% of Kenton County residents will have access to the public water supply.
Thayer Announces Water and Sewer Projects for Grant (Kenton, Owen and Scott are below)

(FRANKFORT) State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) announced today additional water and sewer projects for Grant County thanks to an agreement between House and Senate leaders. Senator Thayer and State Representative Royce Adams (D-Dry Ridge) worked in a bipartisan way to ensure that Grant County would receive $1.2 million to be used for water and sewer line extensions and upgrades in Corinth and underserved rural areas.

In addition, Senator Thayer included in these funds $400,000 for Phase I of the Grant County Sewer Line Extension.

“Clean water and a comprehensive sewer system is important not only for economic development but also for the quality of life of our families,” Senator Thayer said, “I was pleased to obtain these additional funds.”

These funds are for distribution for the fiscal year 2009-2010 biennium.

Roeding, Westwood & Thayer Announce Water and Sewer Projects for Kenton

(FRANKFORT) State Senators Dick Roeding, Damon Thayer, & Jack Westwood announced today additional water and sewer projects for Kenton County thanks to an agreement between House and Senate leaders. The three senators and State Representatives Tom Kerr, Adam Koenig, Arnold Simpson, & Alecia Webb-Edgington, worked closely together to ensure that Kenton County would receive $3.2 million to be used for water and sewer line extensions and upgrades by the City of Covington, Sanitation District #1, Northern Kentucky Water District, and Kenton County Fiscal Court.

In addition, Senators Roeding, Thayer, & Westwood included in these funds $1,950,000 for the underserved areas of rural Kenton County, as well as updating sewers in the Latonia and Park Hills areas served by Sanitation District #1.

“Clean water and a comprehensive sewer system is important not only for economic development but also for the quality of life of our families,” Senator Westwood said, “I was pleased to obtain these additional funds.”

These funds are for distribution for the fiscal year 2009-2010 biennium.

Thayer Announces Water and Sewer Projects for Owen

(FRANKFORT) State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) announced today additional water and sewer projects for Owen County thanks to an agreement between House and Senate leaders. Senator Thayer and State Representative Royce Adams (D-Dry Ridge) worked in a bipartisan way to ensure that Owen County would receive $1.7 million to be used for water and sewer line extensions and upgrades for Owenton, Eagle Creek Sewer Extension Project, and the Peaks Mill Water District.

In addition, Senator Thayer included in these funds by $400,000 for the Eagle Creek-Owen County Wastwater Project.

“Clean water and a comprehensive sewer system is important not only for economic development but also for the quality of life of our families,” Senator Thayer said, “I was pleased to obtain these additional funds.”

These funds are for distribution for the fiscal year 2009-2010 biennium.

Thayer Announces Water and Sewer Projects for Scott

(FRANKFORT) – State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) announced today additional water and sewer projects for Scott County thanks to an agreement between House and Senate leaders. Senator Thayer and State Representative Charlie Hoffman (D-Georgetown) worked in a bipartisan way to ensure that Scott County would receive $ 2.8 million to be used for future construction of the proposed Scott County Reservoir and the proposed sewer line extension/upgrade between Georgetown and Sadieville.

The allocations include $1,075,000 for the reservoir and $1,725,000 for the Sadieville-to-Georgetown sewer line extension.

“Access to clean water and a comprehensive sewer system is important not only for economic development but also for the quality of life of Scott County families,” Senator Thayer said, “I was pleased to help obtain these additional funds.”

These funds are for distribution for the fiscal year 2009-2010 biennium.

The Gubernatorial Runoff Law to be Part of the History Books, Law is Repealed Upon Governor’s Signature

Press Release from Les Fugate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

(Frankfort, KY) Kentucky legislators finally dealt the gubernatorial runoff its final blow today after the House Bill 370 was passed by the House of Representatives. On April 2, 2008, the Senate State and Local Government Committee reformulated the bill to include a provision to repeal the runoff. The repeal was one of the top legislative priorities for Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the 2008 session of the General Assembly and was sponsored originally by Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown), and Chairman of the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Darryl Owens (D-Louisville).

Grayson, the State’s Chief Election Official, noted that a runoff is not only an expensive ordeal for county governments and taxpayers, but also rarely meets its desired effects. “Turnout in most runoff elections is abysmal which often leads parties to nominate a candidate with fewer votes than the top vote-getter in the original primary,” remarked Grayson. “This legislation is something that most, if not all legislators, agreed was bad public policy.”

The runoff provision was added as part of election reforms in 1992. The provision only applied to gubernatorial races and was applied if the top vote-getter in each party’s primary election received less than 40% of the vote. The provision was never used but came closest in 2007 when now-Governor Steve Beshear narrowly topped the cutoff by garnering 41% of the vote.

“Taxpayers were nearly forced to pay for an unnecessary election last year, and this legislation will prevent that situation from arising again.” said Sen. Thayer, Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. “The runoff election is bad law and the last remaining provision of taxpayer funding of gubernatorial campaigns that needed to be removed from the law books.”

The runoff election was estimated to cost counties at least five million dollars with the Commonwealth projected to incur other costs. Several county officials testified during the 2007 Session that counties would need to consider cutting back services in order to find the resources to fund the runoff election.

Caldwell County Clerk Toni Watson, President of Kentucky County Clerks’ Association, commended the legislature on the repeal of the runoff, “County clerks across Kentucky are pleased with the elimination of the runoff primary. This will save county governments and taxpayers several million dollars. This is especially important during these tough economic times. My thanks to the members of the Kentucky General Assembly for taking this important step in saving much needed revenue.”

Senator Thayer’s Week 13 Report from Frankfort – State Budget Passes, No New Taxes

Frankfort –After a long week of tough negotiations, the General Assembly in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner passed Kentucky’s budget for 2008-2010. We crafted a solid budget that respects your dollar and still boosts education funding. In tight economic times, we must address health, safety, or other emergency needs first. We must tighten government’s belt and not raise taxes. We are ever mindful that government needs to work for the people, not the other way around.

The budget will keep our state competitive and growing without raising taxes. Instead of the 12% cuts to higher education that the Governor proposed, our budget restored enough money to ensure a manageable 3% reduction of funding. Teachers and state employees will receive a 1% pay increase in each of the next two years with the promise of an additional 1% or 2% if the state’s revenues increase. I was particularly pleased the budget contained language allocating $22 million for the Georgetown campus of Bluegrass Community & Technical College, as well as $21.3 million for the Covington campus of the Gateway Community and Technical College. I am eager to see these new schools built to help train skilled workers for manufacturing and technology sector jobs that are so vital to Kentucky’s economic growth.

In addition, we provided critical infrastructure at Fort Knox, which will see an overwhelming influx of new troops, their families, and other civilians in the next few years. We’re also supporting two events that will focus the world’s attention on Kentucky — the 2008 Ryder Cup in Louisville and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington. We’ve made sure that a new Eastern State Hospital can be built to take care of those in need of mental health care. We’re also funding drug courts and anti-drug programs to break the hold methamphetamine, OxyContin and other drugs have on our state.

We have also worked hard to find savings. We’ll save money by replacing fewer state employees when they retire, by refinancing some of our debt, by requiring the Kentucky Lottery to contribute more of its profits to the state, and implementing other efficiency measures. Our final plan adds more money to our rainy day fund, puts more money toward the state pension system, and reduces our debt level to an unprecedented low.

Now, the Governor has an opportunity to veto some, all, or none of the budget. I am hopeful that he will recognize the hard work, bipartisanship, and good faith effort that was put in this plan. I am proud of what we accomplished for the people of our district.

The General Assembly will return on the 14th and 15th of this month to consider the Governor’s vetoes, if any, and to tie up some loose ends. Senators and representatives are still working on the road fund as well as water and sewer projects so I should have more to report to you in a few weeks.

The budget conference committee has been televised this week but you can also keep up with legislative business online at www.lrc.ky.gov. We also have a toll-free number 1-800-372-7181 which you can call to voice your opinion on a bill.

 

Thayer leadership helps kill legislation that would lead to tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge

Note: This article was written by Patrick Crowley of the Enquirer.

FRANKFORT – Two of my four cats – Mike Jones and Baxter – fight so often I might rename them House and Senate.

As we have seen so many times during past legislative sessions the two chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly look at government and legislation in very different ways.

The House wants a cigarette tax increase; the Senate doesn’t.

In its version the budget the Senate includes money for Gateway Community and Technical College’s planned urban campus in Covington; the House doesn’t.

The Senate passes an abortion-related bill; the House won’t even let it out of committee.

That’s not to say nothing gets done in Frankfort. It appears a complex reform of the state’s public employee pension system will be enacted. While not a sexy or contentious issue, it is vastly important given that billions of dollars are involved and a reform bill will save cities and counties money that can now be spent on roads, infrastructure, recreation and other services.

But gridlock, partisan squabbling and general disagreements does lead to the death of bills and the stalling of plenty of issues.

That changed, however, when it came to tolls.

Northern Kentucky lawmakers, once so famously fractured that they could not agree on funding major projects, fell all over themselves to oppose legislation that would have likely led to polls on the Brent Spence Bridge.

When the House passed the legislation – House Bill 689 – 14 lawmakers voted against it; more than half of the “no” votes came from Northern Kentucky. Not a single legislator from Boone, Kenton or Campbell county voted for the bill.

The bill never even came up for a vote in the Senate; that’s because the region’s four senators, led by Republican Damon Thayer of Georgetown, convinced Senate President David Williams to kill the bill.

That is no small accomplishment given that Williams is tough to convince of anything and that he actually sponsored a similar version of the House bill.
When asked this week if the Northern Kentucky Republican senators helped his decision to kill the bill, Williams said “absolutely.”

The whipping boy in the debate has been the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied in favor of the bridge bill.

The chamber was in a tough spot. Federal lawmakers have been telling the chamber for more than a year that the government doesn’t have the money for the $3 billion Brent Spence replacement.

At the same time, Congress and the Kentucky General Assembly were telling the chamber to not even think about a gas tax increase as a way to raise money for major highway projects.

So that left the region’s largest business group with trying to come up with a solution to replace an aging, antiquated, dangerous and crowded bridge. The chamber might not have liked the notion of tolls, but it was looking for way to find a solution.

That is laudable; that is leadership.

We still don’t have a solution to replace the bridge. So don’t be surprised to see the issue reemerge in Washington and Frankfort. So far the Kentucky federal delegation has earmarked enough money to keep the Brent Spence project moving. But sooner or later, there must be a solution to pay for that bridge.

So for now, it might be easy to bash and criticize our legislative caucus for infighting, inaction and ineptitude. But if you don’t want tolls on the Brent Spence, then you should be thanking them.

Senator Thayer’s Week 12 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort –As we reach the closing days of the 2008 Regular Session, the Senate has worked around the clock passing important legislation while also working with members of the House on this year’s budget. The Senate budget has provided for public safety as well as the interests of Kentuckians including health services, education, and infrastructure without raising taxes.

The Senate is strongly committed to not raising your taxes. In fact, we actually included tax relief for our active-duty military service members. By rebating their state income tax payments, we can put more money in local economies, and perhaps even boost the number of soldiers and their families who choose to call Kentucky home.

The other significant difference in our plan is the state’s debt level. We cut $500 million in road bonding alone — borrowed money that the next generation would have to repay. Under our plan, Kentucky would have a debt ratio of just 6.27 percent, the lowest level in recent memory.
Despite the restrictions we placed on our spending, we still managed to put together a plan that will keep Kentucky strong. In fact, by finding ways to save money in other ways, we actually managed to include $200 million more than the governor’s original budget proposal. I am hopeful we will have an agreement in the next few days.

In the Senate this week, we passed Senate Bill 175 which standardizes the process for organ and tissue donation. The bill also streamlines the regulations among the different states. Senate Bill 175 offers hope to many sick people who are in desperate need of life-giving organs. Families often go through a difficult and confusing process with hospitals when their loved one is terminally ill. SB 175 offers a clear and concise, yet respectful way of proceeding with getting organ and tissue donations to others who desperately need them.

This year, like in the past, the Senate has worked hard to express our appreciation for all that our military men and women do for us. Senate Bill 216 expands the number of facilities available to veterans for long-term care by adding “community residential-care facilities” to the places where veterans can seek help. The fact of the matter is that many servicemen and women sacrifice their own future health and need a place to take care of their long-term needs. Veterans’ homes are in short supply and have long waiting lists. The more opportunities we can provide for our veterans in this regard, the better to show our appreciation for their service to our country.

The Senate also passed House Bill 479, which the Senate amended to permit a member of the military who has requested an absentee ballot to cancel the absentee ballot and to vote in person on election day. This makes it easier for our military who leave on long deployments to vote if they receive a furlough or can come home early for any reason.

The budget conference committee has been televised this week but you can also keep up with legislative business online at www.lrc.ky.gov <http://www.lrc.ky.gov/> . We also have a toll-free number 1-800-372-7181 which you can call to voice your opinion on a bill.

Senator Damon Thayer

Senator Thayer’s Week 11 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort –With less than 10 days remaining in the 2008 General Assembly session, our emphasis has shifted more strongly to developing a two-year budget for Kentucky.  We will offer a leaner budget with less bonding than the House.  First, I would like to assure you that there will be no bill coming out of the Senate with tax increases like the House’s plan.  There is hardly any sentiment, if any, to increase taxes.  Like any family or business during tight economic times, we must prioritize what dollars we have and should not ask the people of Kentucky who are also working hard to give Frankfort even more of their hard-earned money.  We cannot work ourselves out of this situation by overspending or tax ourselves into prosperity.

In addition, we have chosen not to restructure our bond debt payments.  This would be like suspending your home mortgage payment for a year but the cost of this “added” time would be spending more on future interest payments.  This is not what is known as refinancing.  With restructuring, the interest rate is no better and often worse.  If a family cannot make their mortgage payment, then borrowing themselves out of debt is not a sensible idea.  The same principle applies to state government.  Like families, government should also be capable of tightening our belts.  With that said, our budget, while austere, continues to provide adequate funding for education, roads, water and sewer lines, and health services.  We hope to vote the budget out of the Senate on Monday where it will head to a conference committee between the House and Senate in order to find consensus.

We passed House Bill 250 this week, a comprehensive ethics bill aimed primarily at holding the executive branch to the same high standards we set for ourselves.  Under this legislation, lobbyists and state contractors would be prohibited from giving money to executive branch campaigns.  These have traditionally been the two largest contributors to political races, and the effect has been obvious.  Regardless of how much real influence these donors have on state policy, it looks bad, and taxpayers lose their faith in our democratic system of government.

We also addressed a problem that came to light in recent years. The current members of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission are all appointed by the governor. When our chief executive or those close to him are being looked at solely by his own hand-picked appointees, it can seem like a conflict of interest.  Under our plan, the Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Auditor would each nominate a group of potential appointees on a rotating basis when a vacancy arises on the commission.  The governor would select from that group, with every fourth pick being the governor’s own.

While the main thrust of the bill is directed at the executive branch, we also made moves to better police ourselves.  Under our plan, we make it even more clear what conflicts of interest should be avoided and how serious the consequences are.  The Legislative Ethics Commission has previously said that lawmakers shouldn’t vote or work for legislation that would benefit them, their spouses, employers, or business associates.

Still, we understand that sometimes our ethics laws themselves are abused.  In that spirit, one aspect of HB 250 would require the ethics commission to dismiss complaints if the person filing it spoke out publicly before the commission had a chance to conduct its preliminary investigation.  We want keep our public officials honest, but we don’t want to punish them unfairly or keep good people from going into public service.

We also approved a bill that could have a direct impact on people’s lives.  Senate Bill 213 would mandate that all mines have landing zones on file for medical helicopters that are called in during accidents. Especially in the mountains, it can be difficult to find a safe landing zone close to a mine opening, and wasted minutes endanger lives. This bill would make sure mine office and local EMS dispatch agencies have the tools they need to get mine accident victims the treatment they need as soon as possible.  It’s a great supplement to the mine safety legislation we’ve passed the last few years.

In our ongoing fight against sexual predators, we also passed Senate Bill 180.  SB 180, a bill of which I am the primary sponsor, would allow the state to seize personal property used to commit a sex crime, with the proceeds benefiting local law enforcement, jails, and prosecutors.  Personal computers, cameras, cars, and other items used to commit these crimes could be put to more useful purposes after their owners are convicted.

I would also like to inform you that I have been chosen as the Co-Chair of the conference committee for HB 600, the pension bill.  I look forward to working with members of the House and Senate to find a solution that will give incentives to future state employees while avoiding bankruptcy for our state retirement system.

Your input is valuable to our legislative process.  We have a toll-free number 1/800-372-7181 you can call to leave your opinion on a bill and you can also find us online at <http://www.lrc.ky.gov/> www.lrc.ky.gov.

Senator Damon Thayer
District 17

Senator Thayer’s Week 10 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort –With 46 days of a 60-day General Assembly Session behind us, the Senate continues making strides on many areas of public policy as several important bills are still working themselves through the committee process. The House passed its version of the budget over to the Senate this week, and we have already started working on the Senate’s version of the budget. While a budget lasts only two years, this past week we passed legislation that will put Kentucky on sound financial footing for decades to come.

Our state pension system, which also covers many local government employees, offers some of the most generous benefits in the country. Workers can retire after 27 years — 20 years if they’re in a hazardous position like police officers and firefighters —and receive a guaranteed benefit for the rest of their lives, including paid health insurance. With people living longer and health insurance costs rising, these benefits are unsustainable, and our system requires changes. Our pension plan currently has more than $26 billion in unfunded liabilities. If we don’t do something now, the system could be bankrupt in less than a decade, leaving taxpayers with the bill.

Under the plan the Senate passed this week, new employees would have three options for their investment — take the normal pension plan investment strategy, invest more aggressively, or be more conservative. Not only will this give employees more control over their retirement savings, but also we estimate it will give them more money during retirement than the House plan, while saving the state millions of dollars. There are many details in the bill, and change is likely as we work with the House on a final plan, but the evidence is clear that we must address the problem now.
Besides the pension plan, we also addressed many other issues this week, including energy independence. With gas prices on the rise again, it’s obvious we need to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. We’ve already made moves to take advantage of our coal and biofuel resources, but this week we took a small step toward another option, nuclear power. Senate Bill 156 would allow Kentucky to use federal guidelines for disposing of nuclear waste. With more than 20 nuclear plants being proposed nationwide, and the only uranium enrichment facility already here in Kentucky, we have a chance to play a larger role in our nation’s energy security.

We passed legislation to protect students while they are at school. House Bill 91 would make sure all school districts take adequate steps to prevent harassment in our schools. Incidents would be referred to law enforcement when necessary, and our criminal laws would make it clear that harassing and intimidating other students, to their face, on the phone, or over the Internet, has serious consequences. School districts would report monthly to the Kentucky Department of Education as well as two legislative oversight panels so school harassment could be tracked.
We also want to protect innocent animals, and took a step in that direction with Senate Bill 58. This bill would upgrade the punishment for intentionally torturing a dog or cat to a felony. Currently, the first offense is a misdemeanor, but research shows light punishment hasn’t been effective against people who would treat animals so cruelly. Also, evidence shows that violence against animals is often a precursor to violence against people. Increasing this penalty helps identify people who act out these violent tendencies.

We also passed Senate Bill 182, which would allow Kentuckians to list emergency contact information when they renew their driver’s license. The information wouldn’t be printed on the license, but it would be available to officials, including law enforcement, in case of an emergency such as a traffic accident. Although county clerks would ask for the information, any Kentuckian could declare to have it listed.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305.
Senator Damon Thayer

Senator Thayer’s Week 9 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – This week the Senate focused on education by passing one of our highest priorities this session, Senate Bill 1.  SB 1 will provide for a nationally norm-referenced test, supported by additional multiple choice questions to ensure full coverage of Kentucky’s core content at grades 3-8, and the EPAS system (EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT) at the high school level.  The ACT will be augmented with additional multiple choice questions to ensure coverage of content.

  • SB1 will help align secondary school achievement with post-secondary expectations. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, in its education report cited lack of alignment as a barrier to progress: “A striking example of this is the misalignment of the state assessment for high school students, the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System or CATS, with the expectations for postsecondary-level study.” (“Report on Post Secondary Education,” Dec 2007). Much has changed in norm-referenced tests since KERA was adopted; they are now capable of gauging student knowledge and testing higher-order thinking skills. SB 1 will further allow for any supplemental testing, if necessary, to fulfill the requirements of the federal law, No Child Left Behind.
  • Implementing SB 1 will save money and time. Students do not have to spend as much time prepping for the test, taking the test, and the test does not disrupt the school year. Norm-referenced tests are cheaper and eliminate the high-labor costs needed to score the open-response questions. Estimated savings range from up to 21 instructional days and between $5-10 million annually.
  • Senate Bill 1 allows for longitudinal tracking of students from year to year. It provides valid information to parents and teachers on how well their children are doing in comparison to classmates, students in Kentucky, and students nationally.
  • SB 1 encourages writing and arts education in a real-world sense. First, portfolios are removed from a subjective accountability system and must be corrected by teachers. This reform helps students with their writing by requiring educators to help correct writings of students, then have students rewrite the sample, and then have the writing placed in the students’ portfolio, which will follow them from grade five through grade 12. School councils are required to have policies regarding student portfolios.

In addition, SB 1 will allow more time for the arts.  Instead of learning by rote, children will express their individual creative talents in visual arts, music, and other performing arts by letting music teachers teach music and art teachers teach art and so on.

We also passed another important education initiative, Senate Bill 32 which I am co-sponsoring.  This bill is aimed at students who leave school before continuing on the traditional post secondary education track.  By keying in on ways to help these students match their goals with staying in school, we can lower our dropout rate and make them more productive citizens.  SB 32 would help local school districts expand their career and technical offerings through grant funding.  Among available options would be full-fledged career academies that tailor their “academic” curriculum to specific careers.  For example, a health sciences academy could build its math courses around medical uses for math, while an agribusiness-oriented academy would focus on math skills as they apply in a farm setting.  Kentucky’s business community has committed itself to working with our school system so we can make sure students are prepared for the job market that awaits them.

We hope that, through this approach, many students will find school engaging again, and perhaps even move on to community and technical colleges after high school. Our state colleges and universities have set a goal of doubling the number of degrees they award by 2020, and we must lure more students into postsecondary studies in order to achieve that.  By making classes relevant to students’ interests — and thereby preparing them for good jobs and productive lives — we can improve life for all Kentuckians.

It is my hope that the Senate’s bold approach to education reform will be received positively in the House of Representatives and then by Governor Steve Beshear.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305.

Senator Damon Thayer

Senator Thayer’s Week 8 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – This week in Frankfort, the Senate took steps to make state government more accountable to the people by voting to depolitize certain offices. I am the sponsor of Senate Bill 14, a constitutional amendment that will eliminate the office of State Treasurer as an elected office and reassign its responsibilities to other state agencies. Like other elected offices that have become outdated, such as the Railroad Commissioner, the Treasurer’s office has become largely clerical. The Treasurer’s simple check-signing powers are better left to the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

In addition, SB 14 would make the state’s two elected watchdogs, Auditor and Attorney General, nonpartisan offices. Classifying these offices as nonpartisan would still allow members of all parties to run for these offices, but the ballots would not reflect their party allegiance, just as we elect judges without identifying their party affiliation on the ballot.

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 142 this week, also known as the “Vet Net” Bill. SB 142 focuses on creating a new database that will increase access and information to veterans who qualify for state and federal programs. The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) currently has no way to quickly compile information on veterans living in Kentucky in a quick or efficient manner. SB 142 will alleviate that problem. It creates a database that would collect all necessary data and information regarding facilities and services available to veterans. This will help the state in informing these veterans regarding the existence or availability of all educational, training, and retraining facilities; as well as medical and rehabilitation services.

Senate Bill 98, meanwhile, would make sure that all Kentucky women have access to breast and cervical cancer treatment. The bill would allow Medicaid to cover these therapies for uninsured Kentuckians, even those who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for Medicaid. While this practice currently exists, there is nothing in state law that ensures that this vital assistance stay available to the women of Kentucky. It is imperative that we act to secure this standard of health care for our population.

Senate Bill 96 would require all health insurance plans to cover colorectal screenings for those over age 50, as well as anyone at increased risk. These preventive screenings, including colonoscopies, can detect colon cancer in its early stages, saving lives and money. Kentucky men have the highest rate of colon cancer in the nation, and Kentucky women aren’t far behind, so we’re hopeful our citizens will take advantage.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305.

Senator Damon Thayer
District 17

Senator Thayer’s Week 7 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – We are now more than halfway through the session, a milestone marked by the passage of bills that will ensure more transparency in our elections.

I am the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 8, which would clear up our existing campaign finance laws by largely enacting the recommendations of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance Task Force. Candidates for public office would be required to file more timely reports on how they are raising and spending money, allowing voters to know who is supporting the candidates. In addition, candidates who raise more than $25,000 would have to file their reports electronically, making them more easily and quickly available to the general public. Recent ratings of Kentucky’s campaign finance laws have shown we are falling behind other states in terms of transparency. It’s time we return to national prominence for our progress in this area.

We made some changes to House Bill 18 before returning it to the House of Representatives. The original bill would simply have scrapped the runoff primary in gubernatorial races, something we’ve approved twice this year already. We added measures that would move the state’s primary elections to August, the filing deadline to April, and allow Kentuckians to vote in the presidential primary on Super Tuesday. The bill now resembles Senate Bill 5, which we passed earlier. With this move, we could give Kentuckians a greater say in who wins each party’s presidential nomination. Moving other primaries and the filing deadline back three months would make our legislative sessions more efficient, forcing lawmakers to focus on the tasks at hand rather than who their opponents might be in the next campaign.

Finally, we passed three election-related bills, with two of them helping voters get a better idea of who is donating to campaigns. I sponsored Senate Bill 148, which would require people and groups that spend more than $5000 advocating or opposing constitutional amendments, to file reports — weekly during legislative sessions and daily in the last month before an election. We think it’s important for voters to know who is advocating or opposing an issue on the ballot. It’s a useful indicator of how the amendment would affect our state.

We also introduced Senate Bill 1 this week, a bill that would eliminate the CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) test in favor of an alternative based on nationally standardized exams. By providing this alternative we can save millions of dollars, reduce testing time, increase instructional time and provide teachers and parents with valid and reliable information at the student level of children’s achievement and academic deficiencies.

We would replace the test with a nationally norm-reference test, supported by additional multiple choice questions to ensure full coverage of Kentucky’s core content at grades 3-8, and the EPAS system (EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT) at the high school level. The ACT will be augmented with additional multiple choice questions to ensure coverage of content.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305.

 

Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) recently filed his papers for re-election with Secretary of State Trey Grayson(left) in Frankfort. Thayer’s papers were signed by the mayors of the two largest cities in his district: Chris Moriconi of Independence and Karen Tingle-Sames of Georgetown.

Thayer represents Grant, Owen, Scott and southern Kenton Counties in the state Senate. He was first elected in a special election five years ago, then re-elected to a full four-year term in 2004.

 

Senator Thayer’s Week 6 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – This week, the Senate celebrated the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, one of Kentucky’s favorite sons. This week’s events kicked off a two-year celebration of a life that deeply influenced our nation’s history. The General Assembly met in the state’s Old Capitol in downtown Frankfort as part of the festivities. The Old Capitol was the home of our state legislature from 1830 until 1910, and was the statehouse during Lincoln’s era. We meet in that historic structure on special occasions, the most recent being in 1998 for the last regular session of the 1900s.

Returning to this week’s action, we took a significant step to help some of our most vulnerable senior citizens. Senate Bill 125 would create a Golden Alert program to make people aware when an adult with an impairment has gone missing. Similar to the Amber Alert for children, the Golden Alert would require rescue squads and other search crews to notify local media to get the word out. While all ranges of impairment would be covered, the main focus is on the growing number of citizens with Alzheimer’s. In these cases where every minute counts, having more citizens on the lookout is crucial, especially during the cold winter months.

It is always a tragedy when children witness or are the object of violent crimes. The trauma is sometimes compounded by having to testify in open court against the alleged perpetrator. Senate Bill 13 allows for video-taped or closed circuit TV testimony for children who are the victims of or witnesses to a violent offense. These children have suffered enough without have to relive the event in a public forum in front of the person who committed the crime.

We’re nearly at the halfway mark of the 2008 session, but the real work will begin soon as we start debating House bills while our companion chamber considers the bills we’ve already passed in the Senate. In the next week or so, we hope to send the Governor the first bills to emerge from this session.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305.
Senator Thayer’s Week 5 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – This week, the Senate focused on proposals meant to help military families, but the good effects will be felt by citizens across the state.

Kentucky is one of only five states that offers no tax relief to members of the military. Many active-duty service members claim citizenship in another state for just that reason. Under Senate Bill 85, we could give our troops tax relief and provide their families and local businesses an economic boost. SB 85 would create a $17-million military service rebate fund, which would allow troops to apply for a full refund of the state income tax paid on military pay.

Over the next few years, Kentucky will welcome more military personnel into our borders over the next few years. Under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, more than 6,000 new soldiers and support staff will move to Fort Knox. These arrivals mean more than $1 billion for our state’s economy, but they’ll also put strain on local infrastructure.

SB 111 would issue $296 million in bonds to allow the new BRAC economic development board to oversee improvements near Fort Knox. Roads, schools, workforce development, water and sewer needs, and human services would all be eligible for funding under the program. By supporting our military bases, we put ourselves in a good position for future BRAC decisions. The military is the state’s largest mobile employer; attracting and keeping military jobs is vital to our state’s economy.

Our armed forces weren’t the only issue we considered this week. Senate Bill 25 would eliminate shock probation in DUI cases resulting in manslaughter or reckless homicide convictions. We treasure human life in Kentucky, and allowing someone who takes a life to walk out of prison only weeks or months after being convicted goes against that core value.

Finally, we approved a measure that reiterates the sanctity of human life. Senate Bill 40 would help women make fully informed decisions while considering abortions. SB 40 would require that the information women receive at least 24 hours before the abortion procedure be provided face-to-face so they can have their questions answered.

SB 40 would also require doctors to perform an ultrasound of the woman before an abortion could be performed. Women would not be required to view the images, but they should be given the opportunity to know exactly what is happening with their bodies. The third part of SB 40 would bring our state’s definition of partial-birth abortion into alignment with the federal definition, allowing Kentucky authorities to protect the lives of the unborn rather than relying on the federal government. All of these measures help achieve my goal of protecting the lives of the unborn.

Again, I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305, or email me at[email protected]

Senator Thayer’s Week 4 Report from Frankfort

Frankfort – As the Senate wrapped up its fourth week of business in the 2008 General Session, I’d like to keep you informed about some of the progress we have made in Frankfort.

Gov. Beshear delivered a harsh message in his Budget Address this week: We have $580 million less to work with next fiscal year than anticipated, and that means painful decisions will have to be made as we draft a spending plan for the next two years. The House has the budget now, but once the Senate receives it we will go to work to ensure that the infrastructure, health care, and education needs of the state are met.

Many bills were passed by the Senate this week including Senate Bill 72, which will fundamentally change how we deal with drug offenders in our criminal justice system. Under this drug-diversion plan, all Class C and D felony offenders would be screened for addiction before their arraignment, and judges could make pre-trial drug treatment a condition of bail. If they remain with the outpatient program, and stay clean, they can stay out of prison and have their felony dismissed. This will allow more offenders to become taxpaying members of society instead of a burden on our jail system and tax dollars. For those who don’t succeed in an outpatient program, SB 72 creates a 200-bed program in a prison-like setting. Volunteers for this program would receive even more rigorous treatment, along with skills training to help provide them with a fresh start in life.

We also passed Senate Bill 3, which would move the primary election for state offices in future years back to August and the filing deadline to April, after our legislative work is done. Too many lawmakers are afraid to tackle the tough issues until they know whether they’ll have opposition in that year’s election. SB 3 would help keep the General Assembly focused on your needs instead of ours.

SB 3 would also give Kentucky a bigger role in the presidential election by moving our presidential primary up to so-called Super Tuesday whenever possible. As it stands now, both parties’ nomination races are tight, and 24 states will vote on February 5 in what amounts to a virtual nationwide primary. By the time we cast our ballots on May 20, the races will likely be decided, and Kentuckians will have no voice in selecting the candidates. SB 3 would give us that voice beginning in 2012.

Finally, we passed Senate Bill 112 which clearly defines who is eligible for health benefits at our public institutions so that we can focus our resources. By limiting the employees at our higher education institutions to include only family members on their health insurance plans, we can cut costs and keep benefits focused on the family. SB 112 is consistent with the 2004 constitutional amendment passed by voters with 75% of the vote defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

I encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305, or email me at [email protected]

 

2008 Session Week 3 in Review from Senator Damon Thayer

Frankfort ¯ As the Senate wrapped up its third week of business in the 2008 General Session, I’d like to keep you informed about some of the progress we have made in Frankfort.

Senate Bill 2, which passed the full Senate on a 36-0 vote, is a multi-faceted attempt to offer students math and science courses that both challenge them and prepare them for the new job market. Under the bill, the state would pay for year-end exams for students who take Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses — not just in math and science, but in all classes. These courses prepare students for college-level coursework, and high scores on the final exams earn students college credit. Taking several AP courses can result in students graduating college a semester or even a year early, saving their families a great deal of money. Between the exam fees and college costs, we estimate the program could save Kentucky families nearly $6 million annually.

The program envisions grants to help schools develop a more rigorous curriculum. For schools too small to offer AP courses, funds would be set aside so their students can take those courses through Kentucky Virtual High School. One concern some have expressed about students taking such rigorous classes is that their grades could suffer, resulting in less KEES money for college. To offset that possibility, SB 2 would also grant extra KEES money to low-income students who achieve high scores — and the accompanying college credit — on their AP exams.

We also passed two bills that help direct state education grants in a more effective approach. Senate Bill 44 (36-0 vote) allows high school juniors and seniors to use KEES scholarships for dual credit courses with colleges. Senate Bill 75 (36-0 vote) aligns KEES awards with graduation requirements. Unfortunately, some students have fallen into the habit of accepting KEES funds but not applying themselves to graduate in a timely manner. The bill will allow retention of KEES awards if a student’s GPA after the sophomore and junior years is at least 2.5 and the student is on track to graduate in eight semesters for a four-year program or 10 semesters for a five-year program.

Along with a concentration on higher math and sciences, Senate Bill 64 creates an incentive fund to provide grants to nonprofit organizations, institutions, and agencies for the purpose of conducting institutes to certify teachers. People who want to teach math and science will have priority. With these bills, the Senate’s intent is to not only prepare students but also have enough teachers to teach them.

Early next week, we will learn what the Governor has to report in this State of the Budget address. I am particularly interested in how the Governor suggests we allocate scarce resources. I am committed to preserving and providing adequate funding to education, health services, and infrastructure. The budget bill will be introduced in the House and then make its way to the Senate.

We encourage constituents with any concerns or questions to contact us on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305 or email me at [email protected]

2008 Session Week in Review from Senator Damon Thayer

Frankfort- The Senate is moving forward through the regular session as Senate committee meetings are now in full swing and the Senate has begun debating bills concerning health care, education, and state government.

We began our week Monday evening in joint session with the House of Representatives. Gov. Beshear delivered his State of the Commonwealth Address in the House chamber, largely discussing the financial condition of the state and what we can and should accomplish within the serious financial constraints we face this year. While we await the Governor to present a budget to the General Assembly, the Senate is moving forward with many initiatives to save taxpayer dollars and improve the quality of life for Kentuckians.

I am the sponsor of the first bill to pass the Senate this session, Senate Bill 5. SB 5 will permanently repeal the gubernatorial runoff election. Under current law, a second primary election would have to be held if no candidate reached 40% of the vote in his or her party’s primary. In the past year’s election, taxpayers nearly had to foot the bill for an unnecessary election. Counties statewide could have spent $5.4 million — $1500 per voting precinct — to prepare for a runoff, a financial bite few if any of them could afford. This legislation would ensure that both county clerks’ and voters’ time and money would be protected.

Other measures are also moving through the process. Among the bills now heading to the Senate floor is Senate Bill 2, wide-ranging legislation aimed at improving math and science education in Kentucky. Under the bill, schools could receive grant money to develop middle- and high-school programs to boost the number of students taking rigorous math and science classes. A similar provision would seek to expand energy-technology career education across the Commonwealth. If we want to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren, we need to make sure they have the tools to compete and reach their full potential. Our target is to offer all students the opportunity to take challenging courses that both engage their intellects and prepare them for the new world economy.

The Senate will continue working on issues affecting the Commonwealth throughout this session, and I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or concerns. Please call me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the TTY (teletypewriter) message line, which is also toll-free, 1-800-896-0305 or e-mail me at [email protected]

2008 Session Preview from Senator Damon Thayer

Frankfort- On January 8th, the General Assembly gathered for the first day of the 2008 Session. Unlike last year’s session, which was an organization session, this year we will be creating a state budget. While there is much to cover during a budget year, I want to give you a preview of other issues of importance.

Campaign Finance Reform will be a big priority of mine this Session. It is an issue I have always confronted head-on since I arrived in Frankfort five years ago and I have filed two separate pieces of legislation that seek to assure accountability and save taxpayers money.

The first, SB 5, will permanently repeal the gubernatorial runoff election. Under current law, a second primary election would have to be held if no candidate reached 40% of the vote in his or her party’s primary. This past election taxpayers nearly had to foot the bill for an unnecessary election. This legislation would ensure that both county clerks’ and voters’ time and money would be protected.

The second piece of legislation would get Kentucky up to par when it comes to campaign finance laws. SB 8 implements the Election Finance Task Force recommendations including requiring candidates to file fundraising information electronically as well as additional public reports. This will provide better accountability, transparency, and access to election information and ensure an uniform filing process.

Another piece of legislation that I have filed is SB 14, a Constitutional Amendment that allows voters to decide if the Office of the Treasurer should be abolished. The Treasurer is a Constitutional Office whose duties do not justify a cost of over $3 million in the state budget. The money can be better spent on education, infrastructure or other services. The Finance Cabinet already directs the Treasurer’s employees how to fill out the checks and does the bookkeeping for the unclaimed property fund. It’s common sense to make state government more efficient and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

There will be many other issues before the General Assembly this session. The Senate will once again take the lead in education reform by creating legislation that will increase the rigor in our children’s school courses while ensuring schools are staffed with the best and the brightest teachers, including math and science teachers. Kentucky, along with the rest of the nation, has faced a “brain drain,” in recent years in regards to math and science, and the Senate is prepared to address the problem and offer solutions.

Pensions and military pay tax exemptions are two other issues that the Senate has offered solutions to in past sessions. Once again we will work to protect our current state employees’ health benefits and retirement and we will ensure that our military will get the tax exemption they so deserve.

As you can see there is much to come in this 2008 General Assembly session. I look forward to hearing your input as we create solutions to help the 17th district. I encourage you to contact me on the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181 or on the toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) message line, 1-800-896-0305 or e-mail me at [email protected]

THAYER RAISES OVER $157,000 FOR RE-ELECTION EFFORT
Campaign Has Over $130,000 Cash On-Hand

GEORGETOWN, KY….Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) announced today that his campaign fund, Thayer for Senate, has raised $157,256.42 and has $130,314.32 cash on hand for his 2008 re-election effort. Annual finance reports were due yesterday to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

“I want to thank a loyal list of contributors for their faith in me and support of my re-election effort,” Thayer said. “Together with a strong grass roots support team, the campaign’s financial strength puts us in a great position headed into the 2008 election season.”

After raising approximately $250,000 for the 2004 campaign, the Thayer for Senate campaign fund had less than $5,000 remaining after Senator Thayer was re-elected with 56% of the vote in 2004. Thayer raised $58,351.75 in 2005, $35,575 in 2006 and $63,079.67 so far in 2007.

“We will continue to aggressively raise campaign funds to prepare for 2008,” Thayer said.

Thayer was first elected to the state Senate in a January 28, 2003 special election, also with 56% of the vote. He represents the 17th Senate district, which includes Grant, Owen, Scott and southern Kenton Counties. He currently serves as Northern Kentucky Caucus Chairman and as Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. He is co-chairman of the Horse Farming Subcommittee, and is a member of the Equine Drug Research Council and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Advisory Commission. In the Senate, he sits on the following committees: Transportation, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Licensing and Occupations.

Thayer’s annual campaign finance reports from 2005, 2006 and 2007 can be accessed online at www.kref.ky.gov.

 

Senator Thayer Files Bill to Eliminate Treasurer’s Office

Frankfort It’s an office that does very little more than print checks and that’s why State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) wants it abolished. On Friday, October 12, 2007 Senator Thayer pre-filed a Constitutional Amendment allowing voters to decide if the Office of the Treasurer should be eliminated.

“The Treasurer is a Constitutional Office whose duties do not justify a cost of over three million dollars in the state budget,” said Senator Thayer Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. “The money can be better spent on education, infrastructure or other services.”

Senator Thayer is also working on legislation placing the responsibilities of the Treasurer’s Office into the Finance Cabinet. If the constitutional amendment is ratified, Senator Thayer will propose that legislation the following year.

“The Finance Cabinet already tells the Treasurer’s employees how to fill out the checks and does the bookkeeping for the unclaimed property fund. It’s common sense to make state government more efficient and save taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Senator Thayer.
Senator Thayer Receives ‘Friend OF Kentucky Cities’ Award

Covington –Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) was among eight state legislators honored with a “Friend of Kentucky Cities” award during the 2007 Kentucky League of Cities Convention & Expo held here October 10-13.

Senator Thayer, Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, authored and helped pass Senate Bill 60 during the 2007 General Assembly to modify city reporting requirements to the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD). This will save cities valuable time and money and allow for even more information than before to be placed into the hands of legislators. The previous financial reporting form has been simplified greatly, and cities will eventually be able to complete the form online.

“This was not an easy measure to pass, and Senator Thayer’s tireless efforts were instrumental in its success,” said Sylvia L. Lovely, KLC executive director/CEO. “Senator Thayer recognized an obstacle many cities were encountering, and he helped streamline a very arduous and tedious process.”

“I thank the League of Cities for honoring me with this award,” Thayer said. “There are 15 cities in the 17th Senate District, and when I became aware of the cumbersome annual financial reports they are required to file with the state each year, I set out to streamline them to make the forms simpler to complete while still providing the necessary information legislators need to make decisions that affect local government. I also wish to thank my colleagues in the General Assembly for voting for SB 60 and Governor Fletcher for signing it into law.”

Others who received the “Friend of Kentucky Cities” award were Rep. Ron Weston (D-Louisville), Rep. Charlie Hoffman (D-Georgetown), Rep. Robin Webb (D-Grayson), Sen. David Williams (R-Burkesville), Rep. Ron Crimm (R-Louisville), Rep. Steve Riggs (D-Louisville) and Sen. Jack Westwood (R-Crescent Springs).

More than 1,200 city leaders, legislators, exhibitors and other public officials participated in the KLC annual convention at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

This year’s convention theme, “Discover the Experience,” focused on the broad range of services Kentucky cities provide citizens and how KLC can help provide assistance to cities of all sizes.

KLC serves a membership of almost 400 cities across the state and provides services ranging from legislative advocacy, information technology, loss prevention education, legal, research, training, finance and loans, and the largest municipal insurance program in Kentucky.

Thayer pre-files campaign finance disclosure bill

State Sen. Damon Thayer pre-filed a campaign finance disclosure bill today that would require candidates to report contributions and expenditures 60 days before each election.

If passed in the 2008 General Assembly, the measure would require campaigns that raise more than $25,000 to file their finance reports electronically.

Currently, campaigns must file information about their contributions and expenses 32 days and 15 days before each election. Many candidates still file hand-written reports that must be keyed into a computer before they are made available to the public.

“Let’s make sure that we’re held accountable and that the information is put out there in a timely and efficient manner for the public to digest,” Thayer, R-Georgetown, said in a news conference with Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

An identical proposal, SB 159, passed the state Senate and a House committee earlier this year, but was never called for a vote on the House floor.

Had the bill passed, candidates for statewide races in the Nov. 6 election would have filed their finance reports with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance today. Instead, voters won’t know who is contributing in the race for governor until Oct. 10.

The Campaign Disclosure Project lowered Kentucky out of the top 10 states with strong disclosure laws in 2005 and gave Kentucky an “F” for its low rate of electronic filing on fund-raising and spending reports.

“We’ve fallen down in the rankings and I think it’s time to change that,” Grayson said.

The bill also makes knowingly exceeding contribution and expenditure limits a Class D felony.

 

Thayer Announces Funding for Georgetown Infrastructure

Frankfort – State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) announced that the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee (CPBO) approved a Fund B grant of $80,000 to the City of Georgetown, Scott County, for infrastructure to the Bluegrass Community and Technical College Advanced Manufacturing Center in the Lanes Run Business Park

“This funding will be used to construct 1,100 feet of a 8-inch gravity collector sewer to serve the planned Center,” Thayer said. “The grant for this infrastructure demonstrates that the BCTC in Scott County is one step closer to becoming a reality.”

Thayer went on to explain that state law requires that the assistance agreement associated with each Kentucky Infrastructure Authority loan or grant be reported to the CPBO board for review and recommendation. KIA’s Fund B is supported 100% by state funds.

The Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee supervises actions such as state spending for capital construction projects, real property leases, and the projects related to bond issuance.

Statistics Shed Light on 17th District

By: Senator Damon Thayer

I have enjoyed serving as your state Senator for the last four and a half years. Through my time as your Senator I have traveled the length and breadth of the 17th district, learning more about the citizens who live here and their hopes for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Throughout the year, I am provided with interesting facts, figures and statistics about the four counties I serve: Grant, Kenton, Owen and Scott. I would like to share some of the information I rely on to effectively represent you in Frankfort.

According to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) it disbursed $5,505,336 during Fiscal Year 2006 to 3,706 17th Senate District students from its major scholarship and grant programs funded by Kentucky Lottery revenue.

County Number of Grants/Scholarships Amount
Grant 512 $746,548
Kenton 3,985 $5,753,006
Owen 247 $380,971
Scott 994 $1,557,470

GRANT COUNTY

According to the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) those scholarship funds are put to good use by students from Grant County.  The chart below details recent student enrollment in Kentucky’s public undergraduate institutions, as well as the number of alumni living here.

Alumni & Undergraduate Enrollments 

Institution    Alumni Enrollment
Univ. of Kentucky 282 64
Univ. of Louisville  41 19
Eastern Kentucky Univ 345 46
Kentucky State Univ. 4 3
Morehead State Univ. 94 10
Murray State Univ 12 5
Northern Kentucky Univ. 691 255
Western Kentucky Univ. 16 10
Kentucky Comm. &Tech. College System 152 191
Independent Colleges & Universities 330 55
Total from Grant County  1,967 658

Also according to CPE, the type of work that the citizens ofGrantCounty pursue is varied as the chart below shows, along with the statewide figures.

Employment by Sector Grant County  State
Agriculture, mining, & other natural resources N/A 28,251
Manufacturing & construction 808 346,324
Retail, wholesale, transportation, & utilities 1,410 373,216
Finance, professional, & business services 566 258,647
Health & ed. services 486 215,834
Government & public education 1,131 293,968
Leisure, hospitality, & other services 849 209,629

The CPE also reports that the statewide percentage of people who use the internet at home is 60.1 %. Grant Countymeasures up with 60.2% usage.  I am pleased with the results of Connect Kentucky’s effort to expand internet access.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism reports that tourism has grown 23.8% over the past three years and has added over 6,000 new jobs.  More than 176,900 people are employed inKentucky, thanks to tourism, which is now a $10.1 billion industry. In GrantCounty, tourism grew by 17% from 2003 to 2006, for an estimated annual economic impact of $17,670,497.

I hope you find this information useful and informative.  These are the same statistics that I review when considering public policy changes that may affect Grant County. Combined with your input I am able to use this information to make the best decisions in Frankfort, properly representing our district.

KENTON COUNTY

According to the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) those scholarship funds are put to good use by students from Kenton County.  The chart below details recent student enrollment in Kentucky’s public undergraduate institutions, as well as the number of alumni living here.

Alumni & Undergraduate Enrollments 

Institution    Alumni Enrollment
Univ. of Kentucky 3,029 707
Univ. of Louisville 465 266
Eastern Kentucky Univ 1,847 225
Kentucky State Univ. 30 7
Morehead State Univ. 513 89
Murray State Univ 90 32
Northern Kentucky Univ. 7,712 3,071
Western Kentucky Univ. 154 51
Kentucky Comm. &Tech. College System 981 1,306
Independent Colleges & Universities 3,344 592
Total from Kenton County 18,165 6,346

 

Also according to CPE, the type of work that the citizens ofKenton County pursue is varied as the chart below shows, along with the statewide figures.

Employment by Sector Kenton County  State
Agriculture, mining, & other natural resources 26 28,251
Manufacturing & construction 8,777 346,324
Retail, wholesale, transportation, & utilities 11,012 373,216
Finance, professional, & business services 11,617 258,647
Health & ed. services 9,711 215,834
Government & public education 10,979 293,968
Leisure, hospitality, & other services 9,394 209,629

 

The CPE also reports that the statewide percentage of people who use the internet at home is 60.1 %. KentonCounty exceeds with 64.7% usage.  I am pleased with the results of Connect Kentucky’s effort to expand internet access.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism reports that tourism has grown 23.8% over the past three years and has added over 6,000 new jobs.  More than 176,900 people are employed inKentucky, thanks to tourism, which is now a $10.1 billion industry.In Kenton County, tourism grew by 20.2% from 2003 to 2006, for an estimated $440,671,153 in annual economic impact.

I hope you find this information useful and informative.  These are the same statistics that I review when considering public policy changes that may affect Kenton County. Combined with your input I am able to use this information to make the best decisions in Frankfort, properly representing our district.

OWEN COUNTY

According to the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) those scholarship funds are put to good use by students from Owen County.  The chart below details recent student enrollment in Kentucky’s public undergraduate institutions, as well as the number of alumni living here.

Alumni & Undergraduate Enrollments 

Institution    Alumni Enrollment
Univ. of Kentucky 141 16
Univ. of Louisville 19 13
Eastern Kentucky Univ 123 15
Kentucky State Univ. 67 47
Morehead State Univ. 31 7
Murray State Univ 2 2
Northern Kentucky Univ. 122 34
Western Kentucky Univ. 6 11
Kentucky Comm. &Tech. College System 55 102
Independent Colleges & Universities 230 35
Total from Owen County 796 282

 

Also according to CPE, the type of work that the citizens ofOwen County pursue is varied as the chart below shows, along with the statewide figures.

Employment by Sector Owen County  State
Agriculture, mining, & other natural resources N/A 28,251
Manufacturing & construction N/A 346,324
Retail, wholesale, transportation, & utilities 331 373,216
Finance, professional, & business services N/A 258,647
Health & ed. services 220 215,834
Government & public education 474 293,968
Leisure, hospitality, & other services 169 209,629

 

The Kentucky Department of Tourism reports that tourism has grown 23.8% over the past three years and has added over 6,000 new jobs.  More than 176,900 people are employed inKentucky, thanks to tourism, which is now a $10.1 billion industry.In Owen County, tourism grew by 17.5% from 2003 to 2006, for an estimated annual economic impact of $1,289,946.

I hope you find this information useful and informative.  These are the same statistics that I review when considering public policy changes that may affect Owen County. Combined with your input I am able to use this information to make the best decisions in Frankfort, properly representing our district.

 

SCOTT COUNTY

According to the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) those scholarship funds are put to good use by students from Scott County.  The chart below details recent student enrollment in Kentucky’s public undergraduate institutions, as well as the number of alumni living here.

Alumni & Undergraduate Enrollments 

Institution    Alumni Enrollment
Univ. of Kentucky 2,044 283
Univ. of Louisville 140 30
Eastern Kentucky Univ 1,102 136
Kentucky State Univ. 87 30
Morehead State Univ. 332 23
Murray State Univ 71 14
Northern Kentucky Univ. 125 16
Western Kentucky Univ. 83 45
Kentucky Comm. &Tech. College System 490 588
Independent Colleges & Universities 1,745 257
Total from ScottCounty 6,219 1,422

 

Also according to CPE, the type of work that the citizens of ScottCounty pursue is varied as the chart below shows, along with the statewide figures.

Employment by Sector Scott County  State
Agriculture, mining, & other natural resources 316 28,251
Manufacturing & construction 9,681 346,324
Retail, wholesale, transportation, & utilities 3,274 373,216
Finance, professional, & business services 3,877 258,647
Health & ed. services 1,452 215,834
Government & public education 1,888 293,968
Leisure, hospitality, & other services 2,168 209,629

 

The CPE also reports that the statewide percentage of people who use the internet at home is 60.1%. Scott Countymeasures up with 59.1% usage.   I am pleased with the results of Connect Kentucky’s effort to expand internet access.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism reports that tourism has grown 23.8% over the past three years and has added over 6,000 new jobs.  More than 176,900 people are employed inKentucky, thanks to tourism, which is now a $10.1 billion industry.In Scott County, tourism grew an amazing 17.2% from 2003 to 2006, for an annual estimated economic impact of $98,572,818.

I hope you find this information useful and informative.  These are the same statistics that I review when considering public policy changes that may affect ScottCounty. Combined with your input I am able to use this information to make the best decisions in Frankfort, properly representing our district.