Category Archives: Frankfort Focus


FRANKFORT – Next Monday, our nation will follow a tradition dating back more than 150 years as we pay tribute to those who gave their lives protecting our nation.
There are more than 1.2 million names on that list, about half of which were added during the four years of the Civil War.
That conflict was the foundation for what we now call Memorial Day.  There are several places that claim to be the holiday’s original home, and some think it might have begun when southern families of fallen Confederate soldiers memorialized the graves of Union soldiers because they knew those soldiers’ families were grieving just as they were.
Thanks to a decree President Johnson made a little more than 50 years ago, however, Waterloo, N.Y., is considered the official birthplace.  Five years later, Congress tied its place on the calendar by ensuring Memorial Day would always be on the last Monday of May.
For many, of course, the upcoming three-day holiday is the kick-off to summer.  While that may be true in one sense, we must never forget that it carries much more importance than that.
Thousands of parades and ceremonies will help remind us that the freedom we take for granted comes with a price.  It was paid in places as broad as the European and Pacific theaters during WWII and as specific as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  It was also paid by those who have kept us safe within our country’s own borders and elsewhere around the world.
Here in Kentucky, we have gained a hard-earned reputation for always being willing to do more than our fair share.  In fact, during the War of 1812, there were more Kentuckians to die in battle than every other state’s casualties combined.
In World War I, it was a Kentuckian who was one of the first, if not the first, American to die in battle, and it was another Kentuckian who was that war’s second-to-last American survivor.  We also were the native state of the first U.S. Armored Forces casualty after Pearl Harbor during World War II.
Today, Kentucky continues to show its willingness to serve through such posts and programs as Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, our National Guard and the Reserves.  One in 10 Kentucky adults, meanwhile, is a veteran, a number estimated at well over 300,000.
If you are a veteran or are still serving, I want to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.  If you are a loved one or friend of a soldier who died in the line of duty, please know their sacrifice will never be forgotten and that their contributions truly made a world of difference.
If you can, I encourage you to attend a Memorial Day event this coming three-day weekend, but if you cannot, please take a moment to recall those who gave all they had to make sure our country has all it needs.  It is the very least we can do.
As President Calvin Coolidge once said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”

FRANKFORT – Last week, state tourism leaders unveiled the latest annual study on the positive impact this industry has in Kentucky.  In a word, the news was good. Overall, tourism generated more than $15 billion in direct and indirect sales in 2017, with the direct sales portion increasing by almost four percent over 2016’s total.  Tourism supported more than 195,000 jobs and provided… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – In the early 1940s, a teacher in Arkansas decided that her profession deserved more recognition, so she gave herself an assignment: She wrote a letter to every governor and numerous other political and educational leaders, asking for their help. One of Mattie Whyte Woodridge’s letters eventually came to the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, the… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – When historians look back on the 2018 legislative session, most of their attention will understandably be focused on three things: the state’s budget, the corresponding tax plan and public-pension reform.  They didn’t generate every headline, but there’s no doubt they accounted for most. Dozens of other bills, however, completed the same journey as those… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – As legislators were debating Friday night whether to give final approval to a major revenue bill, someone brought up the old joke about how most of us would prefer to fund government: Don’t tax you, don’t tax me; tax that fellow behind the tree. Based on that, those supporting this new law must have… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – The common thread binding all good legislation is that, by the time the actual vote arrives, the outcome is all but a foregone conclusion. It takes a lot of effort to get to that point, of course.  Stakeholders need to be included early on, because they are the ones who will be most affected… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – Of all the facts and figures surrounding the public-pension debate, two speak volumes about what happened last Thursday at the Capitol: nine and 291. The first is about how many hours it took for House and Senate leaders to publicly unveil their plan to reform the state’s public retirement systems and then steamroll it… Continue Reading

  FRANKFORT – The General Assembly’s top priority this legislative session – adopting a two-year budget to run state government – entered its final stages late last week, when House and Senate leaders sat down Friday morning to begin looking for common ground that both chambers could support. While there are a lot of similarities between… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – Since each has generated countless news stories and social media posts, it’s certainly understandable if the public thinks this year’s legislative session is just about the state budget and possible reforms of our public retirement systems. While the fate of those bills is what will ultimately be remembered most from the General Assembly’s time… Continue Reading

  FRANKFORT – When it comes to getting from points A to B, few states do as good a job as Kentucky. It certainly doesn’t hurt that our central location puts us closer to more Americans than any other state, and only three states have more miles of navigable waterways.  We’ve added to that by having… Continue Reading

Paid for by Rick Rand for State Representative, Regina Rand, Treasurer