Free, quality, public education is the commonwealth’s most important tool for promoting opportunity and maintaining democracy. Education is the root answer to nearly every problem facing the people of Kentucky, yet is not highly valued by those representing us in Frankfort. Teachers, school administrators and staff should be able to make house payments without having to work a second or third job, and promises made to teachers and other public employees must be kept. This means hiring and retaining the best people possible and working together to provide outstanding education for all. Charter schools financed by public money yet allowed to operate under different standards are detrimental to this goal. I will work to build a Kentucky where education is a priority, a well-educated workforce follows and good jobs are a result. Continually repeating “I want to bring good jobs to Kentucky” has not worked. Outstanding college, career and vocational education will.
Supporting citizen health is one of the most important jobs of government and I will use my position to have Kentucky become a leader in providing universal health coverage to our families. As the parent of a daughter with a rare, life threatening lung condition, I have seen firsthand the devastating burden of medical expenses on a family’s finances. There are a few states such as Minnesota, Iowa and Massachusetts where universal health care systems are close to becoming a reality, and I pledge to use evidence based guidelines to support moving Kentucky toward health care that provides good results while also being affordable and widely available.
Ethical and Transparent Government
I will work to research and understand issues and proposed legislation. In the past, bills have too often been passed without research or regard for unintended consequences. Often such mandates have had no legal basis and could not be defended by the constitution, study, or science. I conduct my life with integrity and honesty and this is the way I will operate in Frankfort. My family and I have always lived frugally and within our means. I will be equally careful and responsible with your money. You will always have access to me, and when I make a mistake I will take the heat.
Caring for our natural environment is at the core of protecting human life. Environmental quality is an economic good. Irresponsible environmental destruction results in enduring harm which effects the commonwealth’s development and desirability. I will support safe, long term environmental practices and seek to reduce the expensive results of haphazard, short-term policies.
We need to provide a path to renewable energy sources. Kentucky is 48th in the nation for solar-friendly policies. Our net metering policy is one of our only positive energy policies and it was severely threatened in the last legislation. The issue is almost certain to be revisited in the next term. I will rely on hard studies to measure benefits or harms and work to set metering rates based on data.
I have watched my uncle, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, become increasingly devastated by the ravages of Parkinson’s, a disease for which evidence based studies report significant alleviation of some symptoms with the use of cannabis. It is indefensible to withhold the possibility of this treatment for medical conditions.
2nd Amendment and Gun Safety
We all want less gun violence and fewer gun related deaths. If we can agree to embrace this goal, we can work toward an approach which does not remove gun ownership from law-abiding citizens nor tolerate gun violence as acceptable.
Almost 10% of Kentucky citizens are military veterans. These men and women gave to our country and while the federal government provides support when they return home, there are too many in our state who don’t know how to access the help that is available. Many caregivers have burdens which make it difficult for them to maintain their own physical and mental health.I will be a strong voice to help veterans, their caregivers and families thrive.