Geoff Young filed a civil lawsuit against the Kentucky Democratic Party, the Fayette County Democratic Party, and five powerful Democrats yesterday…

Media Release – For Immediate Release – August 20, 2016

 

 

Lexington, KY

Geoff Young, a Lexington politician who lost the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky’s 6th District to Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper on May 17, filed a civil lawsuit against the Kentucky Democratic Party, the Fayette County Democratic Party, and five powerful Democrats yesterday. His accusations include conspiracy to commit election fraud and the violation of his due process rights.
Young is also asking District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove to freeze the assets of the state and county parties until his lawsuit is finally resolved.
The first page reads as follows, and the complete, 47-page civil complaint is available via the Dropbox link below.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY

GEOFFREY M. YOUNG, pro se, Plaintiff ] CASE NO. 3:16-CV-62-GFVT

454 Kimberly Place ]
Lexington, KY 40503 ] COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
Phone: (859) 278-4966 ]
Email: energetic@windstream.net ] AND REQUEST FOR AN
]
v. ] EMERGENCY INJUNCTION;
]
SANNIE OVERLY, CLINT MORRIS, ] JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
]
ANDY BESHEAR, ALISON LUNDERGAN ] 1. Electoral fraud – sham elections
]
GRIMES, JACK CONWAY, THE STATE ] 2. Denial of due process – sham or no
]
CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ] procedures for resolving disputes
]
OF THE KENTUCKY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ] 3. Official misconduct in the first degree
]
AND THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF ] 4. Deprivation of honest services
]
THE FAYETTE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC ] 5. Violation of Executive ethics codes
]
PARTY, Defendants ] 6. Nullifying valid statutes
]
] 7. Intimidation by means of sanctions
]
] 8. Threats of physical force

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. Jurisdiction is conferred on this Court by Title 18, U.S.C. § 241, Conspiracy Against Rights; 18 U.S.C. § 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law; 18 U.S.C. § 245, Federally protected activities; and 18 U.S.C. § 1346, Deprivation of Right of Honest Services. Venue is proper in the Eastern District of Kentucky because all the Defendants reside or hold
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES – Page 1 of 47
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1oowarjxlu85wdi/Complaint%20KDP%20Federal%20Denial%20due%20process%20Aug1916.doc?dl=0
For more details or an interview in any format, please contact:
Geoff Young
454 Kimberly Place
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: (859) 278-4966
Email address:
energetic@windstream.net
Former campaign web site: young4ky.com

GEOFFREY YOUNG ON FACEBOOK

It’s time for another Presidential Election in the U.S.A. (Lord, what are we supposed to do now?)

The following is a short synopsis of the current situation as I see it concerning the Presidential Elections.

After watching Donald J. Trump at the Republican National Convention (RNC) and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July, I am still at a loss on who would be the best Candidate to put our Votes behind in the upcoming Presidential Elections. 

As of yet, the U.S. Marijuana Party as a group has likewise not decided who we should promote for the White House as well.

Bernie Sanders did his best at the DNC to push the Democrats over to Hillary Clinton, in his speech.  I am not sure how that is going to work out for them.

Hillary Clinton has had virtually continuous access to the White House since her Husband, Bill Clinton was elected President in 1993.  This is 2016 and I do not see anything that can be construed as positive changes for the American People in a long, long time.  You could argue that when “Bill” was in the White House things were different.  However, after gaining a few years wisdom on the matter, there are things that I could disagree with during his reign, that at the time I thought he was one of the best President’s we ever had.  And, sadly enough, he probably was.

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, American politician who was the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Clinton was previously Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, and the Arkansas Attorney General from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, ideologically Clinton was a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centristThird Way” political philosophy.

The Omnibus Crime Bill, which Clinton signed into law in September 1994,[87] made many changes to U.S. crime and law enforcement legislation including the expansion of the death penalty to include crimes not resulting in death, such as running a large-scale drug enterprise. During Clinton’s re-election campaign he said, “My 1994 crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement officers, and nearly 60 additional categories of violent felons.”[88] It also included a subsection of assault weapons ban for a ten-year period.

Here are a few more items from the “Bill Clinton Era that are notable;

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) of 1993. When signed into law in November of that year, the Brady Act included a GCA amendment that created the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The Glass–Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking was in four sections of the 1933 Banking Act.

 

What I do not like about each of the Candidates:

 

7 of Hillary Clinton’s biggest accomplishments            

 Hilary Clinton – (Democrat) 

After having been in the public spotlight since Bill Clinton’s Election in 1992 and even prior to that in Arkansas, she has had plenty of time and plenty of access to all the most valuable areas in the Executive Branch of the Government and beyond to make change happen. 

Hillary’s own personal access to the White House includes the following:

She served as the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, the junior United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, First Lady of the United States during the presidency of Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, and First Lady of Arkansas during his governorship from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992.  Following the September 11 attacks, she voted to approve the war in Afghanistan. She also voted for the Iraq Resolution, which she later regretted.  She voted against the Bush tax cuts and in favor of the Patriot Act and TARP. Clinton responded to the Arab Spring, during which she advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya.  

She served as the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, the junior United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, First Lady of the United States during the presidency of Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, and First Lady of Arkansas during his governorship from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992.  LINK to more information.

She arguably has the most experience and the most activism experience as well, in her background.  But there has just been so much drama in her past decisions and she has been in the circle for 25 years already.  You can definitely argue that it is time for change.  Period.

Image result for donald trump

Donald Trump – (Republican)

Corpocracy /ˌkɔrpɒkrəsi/ coined in 1995 by Nickolas Falvo, is a term used as an economic and political form of Oligarchy that is controlled by corporations, corporate interests, or the wealthy owners of corporations. It is different from both corporatism, which is the organisation of society into groups with common interests, and Corporatocracy, which is an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests while not being necessarily an Oligarchy.

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, author, and politician. He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. He is also the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Here are some quotes from Donald Trump’s opinion –

Millions are helped by Planned Parenthood, but defund it.

Cut defense budget, & entire EPA & Dept. of Education.

1989 full-page newspaper ads: “Bring Back the Death Penalty”.

Green energy is just an expensive feel-good for tree-huggers.

 

Additionally, here are a couple of reported facts;

Disposal of national public lands;

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. Along with provisions on pornography and LGBT “conversion therapy” is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” reads the adopted language. “We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands identified.”

We as a People cannot let this happen on our watch!  It must be stopped!  National Public Lands are supposed to belong to the People of this Country.  If they are sold off to Private investors the land will be at their mercy. 

“…leaving national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership.”

Cut spending by targeting the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency;

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” how he would cut spending, Trump named the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency as potential targets.

Although I believe both “Departments” could use some restructuring I do not believe it is in anyone’s best interest, (except maybe the “Corporations”), to dispose of these Agencies.  They make an honest (?) attempt to regulate two of the most important “Departments” in the U.S.  Without them who would monitor the health of our environment or be responsible for our Children’s learning structure and environment?  While I would also say that private education is the best education and it would be nice if we could eradicate the Department of Education, it just does not seem viable to me to do so at this late date.  Our Children deserve to be educated to the best of the Student’s ability to learn.  Education should be free and equal to all Citizens as long as their participation in their education continues and passing grades are achieved.  This should include at least a basic four year College or University Curriculum. 

I do not claim to be all-knowing, but it sure seems like Trump’s Campaign is just another Corporate Coup to me!

Image result for gary johnson

Gary Johnson  (Libertarian)

no farm subsidies;

In my opinion, the Farmer’s are the very people that we should be subsidizing!  These are the very people who grow and produce our food!  The only reason for not subsidizing Farmer’s would be to let Corporate farming take over the market.  This may reduce the cost of food and maybe raise the quantity, but what quality of food would we be subjected to? 

Built private prisons to replace out-of-state prisoners;

There is only one reason to promote the use of private prisons and that is Corporate prisons.  Private prisons have been used for quite a few years and they have all been a failure.  Cost is not the only issue when it comes to housing our prisoners!  There are a lot of issues with private run prisons and there are a lot of links at KentuckyMarijuanaParty.Com to help you begin to sift through all those issues.  In short, I do not like them.

State primacy over water quantity & quality issues;

Water is our most important natural resource.  It is the lifeblood of the Human Race as a whole.  Water should be regulated first on a Federal level so as to ensure that all of the water which is utilized in our homes and for personal use, i.e., drinking and bathing is safe to use not only at the moment of consumption but so as not to cause health issues later.  I believe that Flint, Michigan is a very good example of what can happen when this resource is left untested – literally.

I am not a fan of the U.N. but it has “recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.”  The U.S. should take this declaration seriously and strive fast and hard for the access to clean water to all Citizens in all areas of the U.S.  This should be a top priority!  Since clean, safe water is essential to all of us the Federal Government should set standards and do whatever is necessary to make sure all the States have equal access to whatever services they may require to make sure that this is accomplished.

NAFTA benefits New Mexico; jobs lost are those we don’t want;

Unlimited campaign contributions by corporations;

It is my opinion that only individuals should be able to contribute to any given campaign!  There should be no Corporate interests involved in any election!  We are talking about Government of the people, by the people and for the people, NOT the Corporations!  My belief is that a Corporation is not a ‘Being’ and should not be treated as such – It IS a business!  Businesses always have ulterior motives in any given Election – It is called Sales and Marketing strategy!

In a January 2001 interview with Playboy Magazine, Governor Johnson stated that he opposed campaign contribution limits. “The problem isn’t large contributions. The problem is that we don’t know who contributed. If you limit contributions from an individual to, say, $1000, then I think just the opposite occurs. Then you have politicians beholden to way too many people.” In 2010, Johnson said he favored unlimited contributions by corporations as well.

Gary Johnson on Social Security issues:  Raise the retirement age to 70 or 72;   A portion of Social Security ought to be privatized;  Reform all entitlements, including Social Security;  Open to personal accounts for Social Security;

 

Jill Stein –  (Green Party)

She wants to put much regulation into the ownership of guns which I see as a threat against an important part of our Constitutional Rights. 

“A Democracy is when two wolves
and a sheep take a vote on what’s
for dinner. A Republic is when the
sheep is well armed and can beg to
differ with the vote.

” Benjamin Franklin”

According to Jill Stein:

  • Gun ownership should be appropriately regulated.
  • Gun ownership should be appropriately regulated. 

She must have really strong feelings about this issue since it was inputted twice!

  • More local regulations; more background checks. 

Personally, I do not think we need any regulations in gun ownership.  At this point everyone needs to own one and know how to use it.  Regulations are not going to save your Ass when an intruder decides to do you harm.  The intruder will not read the rules and regulations, I promise you that much!

  • Reduce culture of violence via mental health & legal drugs. 

This is very troubling to me as an individual because forced health care, especially mental health care, is a very slippery slope which can and most likely will turn into a disaster for many patients.  Who gets to decide who needs mandated mental health care?  We already have too much of this type of scenario playing out in the Courts currently.  There is a BILL, H.R. 2646 which was passed out of Committee on June 15, 2016 deemed “Murphy’s Bill” which could very likely be the slippery slope that could lead into a very dire situation for any patient involved in the mental healthcare system. 

In my opinion, the best way to get mental help patients the care that they need is to make sure that Physicians and services are available with easy access.  If a patient feels good about the Physician that they are seeing and has ready access to those services it is a good bet that they will be open to receiving those services.  We cannot mandate healthcare.  If a patient has no right to choose whether or not he receives care then he has no right to determine who or where he receives the care from and what pharmaceutical drugs he may be mandated or forced to take!  This Bill could possibly be a big winner for the pharmaceutical industry as well as the drug testing industry!

History tends to repeat itself, so with that in mind take a look at this historical information and do not ever think that it could not happen here, because it damn sure could!

  • Address community violence with more mental health services.

Again, we cannot mandate mental healthcare!

  • Gun at home more likely to cause injury than to defend home.

This may or may not hold true but it is still a Constitutional right to own firearms and we have a right to protect ourselves, our families and our homes – as well as to help protect anyone within our reach.  It is an individual choice whether or not to keep a firearm in your home. 

With all this being said, it remains who would be the most trustworthy of the Candidates, let alone who would be the best leader of our Country.  Who can we trust the most to do what they say they will do?  Who would be most likely to lead us into a massive war?  Who would be most likely to take away even more of our individual rights through the guise of homeland security and gun control?  There are so many issues at the front of this upcoming Election.  I will continue to listen to the reports, and hopefully, come to a final decision soon,  but this will have to have been the hardest Election that I’ve ever had to make a decision on.

Smkrider

a state law called the Little TVA Act and EPB’s contract with the TVA mean that TVA ultimately regulates and approves all rates and rate structures for EPB.

Congressmen have not received AG letter concerning GEPB rates

  • BY MELINDA J. OVERSTREET moverstreet@glasgowdailytimes.com
  • Aug 11, 2016

EPB rate protestors at Rand Paul meeting

GLASGOW — Spokespersons for U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Thursday that their respective offices had not, to the best of their knowledge, received a letter from Kentucky’s attorney general regarding the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s electricity rate structure.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was in Glasgow on Tuesday for an open meeting with constituents and heard about the letter from audience members. He said his office would serve as an advocate in the sense of connecting local residents to others in the federal government who could help.

A letter addressed to the trio in the commonwealth’s congressional delegation from Attorney General Andy Beshear was provided to some local residents last Friday and made its way to the Daily Times as well, but it had Monday’s date on it. It was unclear as to when it was actually mailed to the intended recipients.

EPB’s rate structure went into effect Jan. 1. It includes a customer charge for EPB’s cost of delivering the power it purchases wholesale from the Tennessee Valley Authority. For the power itself, EPB passes along its wholesale cost from TVA in like manner — with different rates for peak and off-peak hours, with relatively little difference between those two, and a coincident peak demand charge. The summer rate for the coincident peak — the one hour during each month when demand is the highest — is $11 per kilowatt, and it’s slightly less than that in the winter.

Although EPB uses weather forecasts to try to anticipate when that hour may be and issues alerts using multiple modes of communication, it’s impossible to know until the month is done which hour is the one that will bear that cost. Typically, a window of a few hours is provided if a possible CPD could occur on a particular day, but with recent weather patterns, that has happened on multiple days in a row. EPB has also suggested that consumers should just not use any unnecessary electricity during those hours and adjust their thermostats up approximately 4 degrees, but customers have complained that no matter what precautions they take, it still seems their bills jump considerably due to that one charge.

Beshear’s letter said the rate structure penalizes people who are unable to be flexible with their electricity consumption, such as elderly and disabled persons, and/or ones who can’t afford newer, more energy-efficient appliances.

“Most regulators and consumer advocates view residential demand charges as a blunt instrument, described as a ‘gotcha’ rate with unpleasant surprise impacts,” the letter says, noting that in most cases where such a rate structure has been incorporated, it has been only for large commercial/industrial customers.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Rate Intervention has some regulatory authority over municipally owned utilities, but Beshear recognizes in the letter that a state law called the Little TVA Act and EPB’s contract with the TVA mean that TVA ultimately regulates and approves all rates and rate structures for EPB. The Office of Rate Intervention, upon the OAG’s receipt of numerous significant complaints from local customers, initiated a dialogue with TVA, a federal agency, to try to find a suitable resolution, but the letter asks McConnell, Paul and Guthrie to get involved as well.

“As the regulator, TVA is uniquely positioned to recommend and approve modifications to the rate schedule and help alleviate the unfair burden imposed upon the Glasgow residents,” Beshear’s letter says.

In the interim of the congressional delegation’s receiving the letter, Jim Hopson, manager of public relations for TVA, has responded to some of the specific concerns raised in the document.

He said last week that TVA would welcome a dialogue with federal, state and local officials.

“In our role as regulator, TVA works with local power companies to ensure power is provided to consumers in a nondiscriminatory manner at rates as low as feasible,” Hopson said. “We also have a responsibility to listen to the concerns of consumers as well as the officials and agencies who represent them. Electric bills affect everyone, from families to large businesses, and we care about all those who call the Valley home.”

He has noted, however, that it is not TVA’s role to tell local utilities how to design their rates, only to ensure that they use “industry standards” in calculating the bills and that they are fair and equitable.

The Daily Times asked whether any of the other 153 local power companies in a total of seven states to which TVA sells power use similar methods that are based on that one-hour peak demand.

“The rate structure GEPB implemented charges each customer his or her contribution to Glasgow’s peak demand, which is billed to GEPB by TVA,” Hopson responded. “Although this is unique among residential customers within the Valley, there are approximately 10 local power companies that have implemented this same structure for their large commercial and industrial customers.”

Although different classes of customers may be distinguished, such as residential and commercial, and even categories such as sizes of commercial businesses, once you have defined those classes, you can’t treat people within those classes differently, Hopson said.

Beshear’s letter says that, based on correspondence between TVA and EPB, TVA “had reservations about the rate structure prior to approving it.”

The Daily Times asked TVA: “If TVA had reservations before approving the rates, what specifically changed your minds that allowed EPB to proceed?”

Hopson replied that TVA had multiple discussions with EPB over several years prior to approval of EPB’s requested rate structure changes.

“A primary focus of those discussions was to ensure that GEPB accurately determined the costs associated with the new rate design and assessed how those costs would be passed on to consumers. TVA respects local decision-making regarding the timing and implementation of such changes,” Hopson said. “When TVA approved the proposal, the decision was based on conversations GEPB had with their community, their extensive multimedia and educational outreach program, inclusion of TVA’s requested changes and the fact the proposal fairly and equitably shared costs among all consumers.”

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED

TVA WEBSITE

YOUTUBE VIDEO’s on TVA

Black market fentanyl use increasing in Kentucky

  • Deborah Highland
  • Aug 15, 2016

    ent3

    Fentanyl, an opioid painkiller 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, was found in the toxicology screens of 420 people who died in Kentucky last year of drug overdoses.

    That’s a 247 percent increase from 2014, when 121 people who died of drug overdoses had fentanyl in their toxicology screens, according to numbers provided by Van Ingram, executive director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

    “We’re seeing a huge uptick in fentanyl in Kentucky,” Ingram said.

    Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used in hospitals during surgery and is also provided in pain patches to people with severe, chronic pain, such as a cancer patient. But unlike opioid pain pills that have been diverted to the black market for years, pharmaceutical fentanyl isn’t what street dealers or drug abusers are using, Ingram said.

    “We’re not seeing pharmaceutical fentanyl being diverted but instead it is being produced out of the country and being smuggled in,” Ingram said.

    The drug is being made in clandestine labs primarily in Mexico and China, he said.

    “We’ve not seen a lot of labs in the United States, although there have been a few. The real danger of fentanyl is it is so powerful that skin exposure or powder exposure through the mouth and nose can put law enforcement at great risk,” Ingram said.

    Recently, the DEA sent out a warning to law enforcement agencies urging officers not to conduct field testing on suspected fentanyl and to instead package it and send it off to a crime lab for testing, he said.

    Most often when police encounter fentanyl, it’s found in heroin or being sold as heroin. But with the availability of pill presses, some dealers are using fentanyl to make pills that look like real pharmaceutical products such as oxycodone.

    “If an individual buys pills off the street, there is really no assurance that what it says on the pill is really what they are getting because of the black market use of pill presses and other drugs,” Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving said. “By buying pills on the street, it could actually turn out to be a fatal error in judgment.”

    The DEA has seized pills all over the country that look like one drug but in reality contain illegally produced fentanyl, Ingram said.

    “It’s really scary stuff with people making their own opioids and shipping them across the country,” he said.

    “What we’re seeing is a lot of fentanyl analogs as well. It’s not the same chemical compound you would find in pharmaceutical fentanyl. You don’t know what you’re getting, or how powerful it is,” Ingram said.

    Narcotics investigators in Warren County haven’t seen much of the drug, Loving said.

    “But we’re very much aware of it, and it’s dangerous,” he said.

    “It’s much more potent than heroin and there are different versions of it being manufactured. … A little bit of this powder, if you come into contact with it on your fingers or skin or happen to breathe a little bit of it, can be fatal. And we are looking into obtaining Narcan for all of our detectives in part due to this danger that they may now be exposed to,” Loving said.

    Narcan is a drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose.

    South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force Director Jacky Hunt already has Narcan for his investigators, who unknowingly encountered the drug last year during an undercover drug buy. Officers thought the purchase was of heroin.

    When Hunt received the lab testing results of the substance his agency bought, the drug turned out to be fentanyl instead.

    “My guys handled fentanyl and didn’t even know it,” Hunt said.

    The drug is most often seen with heroin in Kentucky or sold as heroin, Ingram said.

    Ingram’s office has written some grant requests to try to obtain Narcan for law enforcement in an attempt to save as many lives as possible, he said.

    — Follow Assistant City Editor Deborah Highland on Twitter at twitter.com/BGDNCrimebeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Cannabis

  • Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.

    https://i1.wp.com/cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Tennessee-Congressional-Candidate-Had-180-Marijuana-Plants-On-Property.jpg

    Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.

    Newsmax reports that nine states will be voting on marijuana legalization in 2016, but is there some specific reason Maryland is urging southern states to join in?

    The Hill explained in an opinion piece on August 4 that Maryland will be fighting back at the opioid epidemic in their state by legalizing marijuana. They also state that some drug treatment specialists in Maryland are considering medical cannabis as treatment for opioid addiction due to a recent study from the University of Georgia.

    Citizens in the state of Kentucky have also expressed an interest in this form of opioid treatment, but medical marijuana is still illegal in the state despite recent considerations, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

    Part of the reason that Maryland could be urging other states to join in with legalizing cannabis pertains to the lack of opioid treatment options in other states in the south.

    For example, NPR reported on June 15 that those in the opioid treatment industry in Georgia were outraged when the state decided to place limits on opening new clinics.

    The rehabilitation clinics they do have are needed because Georgia has almost 70 opioid treatment programs. By contrast, nearby Tennessee has 12, Alabama has 24, and Mississippi has one.

    Although any clinic for opioid addiction is better than no clinic at all, many Kentuckians have learned from states like Massachusetts, that they need to have medical marijuana options, specifically for opioid addiction, according to CBS News.

    States that use marijuana to treat addiction could also become leaders because the numbers of opioid deaths are rapidly increasing nationwide.

    Whether it is heroin, painkillers, or fentanyl, Americans are now dying at higher rates from opioid drugs, and the rate exceeds other types of accidents. For example, Vox wrote on June 2 that more Americans were killed by painkillers (42,000) in 2014 than car crashes (34,000), or gun violence (34,000).

    Naturally, any help Kentucky can get to fight opioid addiction with or without legalizing marijuana would be welcome, and a 2015 report from the Boston Globe about the epidemic in Eastern Kentucky quoted a drug treatment prevention worker stating the following.

    “We’ve lost a whole generation of people who would have been paying taxes, and buying homes, and contributing to society.”

    Eastern Kentucky has been highly documented in regards to having one of the worst opioid epidemics in America, and an investigative report about the Appalachian crisis in the Guardian in 2014 stated that “stigma and inadequate access to treatment are the biggest barriers to overcoming the ongoing crisis in Appalachia and across the country.”

    However, outside of being an effective treatment for battling the state’s opioid epidemic, many Kentuckians are excited to see the other improvements that legalizing marijuana, or hemp, could have for economies like the one in Eastern Kentucky.

    According to some reports, the process begins with decriminalizing marijuana. The act of decriminalization of marijuana will also likely protect the prominent illegal operations already deeply entrenched in Eastern Kentucky, as described by Columbus Dispatch.

    Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana published a 2013 study by Charles B. Fields, Ph.D., Professor of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, that stated “economic benefits… can be realized by the State of Kentucky by both receiving tax benefits and reducing expenditures enforcing current marijuana laws.”

    In other words, there is a price to pay to keep marijuana illegal in Kentucky, and legalizing cannabis or decriminalizing the growing, selling, or distribution could reduce Kentucky’s overall drug enforcement costs.

    Currently, the unregulated marijuana industry in Eastern Kentucky produces an estimated $4 billion per year, according to a commonly cited 2008 History Channel documentary on Appalachia called Hillbilly: The Real Story.

    CONTINUE READING…

    (KY) Legislative Update from Reginald L. Thomas State Senator

    Dear Friend,

    Image result for Reginald L. Thomas  State Senator

    Summer in Kentucky has been in keeping with tradition – hot and hotter. Despite the sweltering temperatures, I hope you are enjoying all the wonders of summertime in the commonwealth.

    As I have been making the most of the season, I have tried to meet with many of you as I travel around the district and the state. Talking with you one-on-one gives me a broader insight into your concerns for you, your family and your neighbors and your dreams for our state as a whole. Along with talking with many of you, I have also been getting insight into issues we may address during the 2017 Legislative Session at our interim joint committee meetings. A summary of some of those meetings in July and topics we have covered follows below:

    Education

    The Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education discussed the academic pursuits of students attending Kentucky’s colleges and universities. The Council of Postsecondary Education noted that when looking at the state’s two-year and four-year institutions from 2005 − 2014, the top five fields of study producing degrees and credentials were: (1) Trades, (2) Health, (3) STEM (i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), (4) Arts and Humanities, and (5) Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    The subcommittee also received a report on the amount of student debt acquired by students attending postsecondary institutions in the commonwealth. In 2014, Kentucky college students had the 32nd lowest amount of student debt among all states, with an average baccalaureate debt of $25, 939. The debt average is expected to be noticeably reduced by two new programs in Kentucky. The Dual Credit Scholarship Program will allow high school students to take two courses per year or up to nine credit hours over a lifetime at a cost of only one-third of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) in-state hourly tuition rate (i.e. approximately $52 per college hour). In 2015, only 26% of high school graduates in Kentucky finished school with dual college credit (Iowa leads the country with 56% of their high school graduates having dual credit upon graduation). The Kentucky Work Ready Scholarship Program, which will go into effect in July 2017, will assist Kentucky students primarily through federal and state grants to attend their first two years of college debt-free.   

    The Interim Joint Committee on Education heard from Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner, who emphasized that of employers surveyed their number one need is for employees to possess “soft skills.” Soft skills include such attributes as attendance, drug-free, dress, teamwork, and communication. Employers say that too many prospective employees lack these necessary attributes. Secretary Heiner also noted that the workforce participation rate in Kentucky is too low. The workforce participation rate is defined as the number of able-bodied citizens between the ages of 21-65 who are able to work. In 2015, Kentucky ranked 46th in the nation among all states in workforce participation rate. In actual numbers, this means there are currently 130,000 able-bodied Kentuckians who for one reason or another choose not to work.    

    Health and Welfare

    The Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare discussed Benefind, a one-stop shop program designed to assist applicants seeking benefits such as food stamps, medical cards, and disability payments. When Benefind initially rolled out on February 29 of this year, there were some problems with the system. For instance, there was an erroneous dismissal of recipients from benefit eligibility. Some of the reasons for this and other problems were that the trainers themselves were not familiar with the Benefind system and the pilot projects used as part of the training were insufficient.

    However, the focus of the Health and Welfare Committee meeting was on KyNect, Kentucky’s nationally renowned health care exchange. Governor Bevin has indicated that he intends to dismantle KyNect by the end of this year. KyNect has two components: (1) a traditional health insurance option for those residents who are unable or unwilling to obtain health insurance through their employment, and (2) health insurance provided for those in poverty who otherwise cannot afford such insurance. This second component has commonly been called Medicaid Expansion.

    Governor Bevin has proposed retaining Expanded Medicaid, but substantially revising this health care program through a Section 1115 waiver application requiring approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In particular, Governor Bevin is asking that all non-disabled adults pay a premium to obtain insurance based upon their income in relation to the federal poverty level (note: the federal poverty level for a single individual in Kentucky is $11,750.). Individuals who fail to make their premium payments will lose their health care coverage for six months and can only re-enroll after six months by paying two months of missed premiums plus an additional month’s premium to re-start. In addition, Governor Bevin’s waiver requests eliminates dental and vision coverage for the Expanded Medicaid population. This population will only be able to receive these generally covered benefits through participation in a separate program. Furthermore, the waiver request adds a community engagement condition for recipients; that is, individuals will be required to work up to 20 hours per week in some undescribed service activity. This community service condition comes on top of the individual’s job requirements plus any family responsibilities and duties. Presently, 485,000 Kentuckians are receiving health care coverage under the Medicaid Expansion component of KyNect. Witnesses testifying before the Health and Welfare Committee, such as the Foundation for A Healthy Kentucky, expressed concern that Governor Bevin’s waiver application, if approved, could result in a loss of health care access to many Kentucky residents. Pregnant women are the sole class excluded from the category of non-disabled adults. 

    Economic Development, Labor and Tourism

    The Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development, Labor, and Tourism met in Bowling Green at the National Corvette Museum, which opened in September 1994. Seated on a 55-acre campus, the museum attracts over 220,000 visitors annually, making it the fourth most popular auto museum in the world. A motorsports park with two road courses was added to the museum in September 2014.

    As some of you may recall, the museum experienced a sinkhole on its location in February 2014 that resulted in major damage to eight corvettes. Fortunately, there were no human injuries. The museum today has fully recovered from the damage to its facilities. The National Corvette Museum estimates that it yields a $50 million economic impact statewide.

    The General Motors Assembly Plant in Bowling Green manufactures the Corvette. The plant has approximately 1 million square feet and is located on 212 acres. With just over 1,000 employees, the plant operates one shift Monday through Friday to manufacture four different models of the Corvette. Approximately 65,000 visitors pass through the plant annually. In all, the Corvette Plant generates $3.5 billion dollars in economic impact to the Commonwealth each year.

    ‘AC Assistance

    I hope you — like myself – are enjoying the dog days of summer despite the heat. We are fortunate to live in a state and in a country where we can weatherize our homes and workplaces to cool down in summer and heat up in the winter. However, I would like to remind you, if you know someone whose health is at risk because of the heat and his or her inability to cool his or her home, contact the Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette County at 859-233-4600. The agency will loan air conditioners to families and individuals whose health are threatened by the high heat and humidity as verified by their doctors.

    As always, thank you for your continued support. Your input is vital to my work in Frankfort. If I can be of assistance to you or you wish to bring an issue to my attention, please do not hesitate to email me.

    Wishing you and your family all the best,

    Reginald L. Thomas

    State Senator

    Tobacco continues to green up Kentucky’s economy

     

     

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    August 3, 2016

    Tobacco continues to green up Kentucky’s economy

    It used to be nearly impossible to drive through Kentucky in August and not see tobacco growing in a field.

    In the summer of 1998, the leaf crop accounted for 25 percent of the state’s farm cash receipts and was grown by 46,000 farmers statewide. It was also grown by many of those farmers’ parents and their parents before them. For many, tobacco was Kentucky. 

    Today the number of Kentucky tobacco growers has fallen to 4,500, but tobacco is still very much alive across the state. The crop accounts for a fair amount of all agricultural cash receipts– about six percent–at a time when overall agricultural cash receipts are at record levels. And that success is largely due to tobacco, too, says Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Executive Director Warren Beeler.

    Beeler told the state legislative Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee today that Kentucky’s dedication of half of the funds received from a 1990s national master settlement with tobacco companies to agricultural diversification is the envy of many states. The appropriation was set out in 2000 House Bill 611 which helped propel the state to a record $6.5 billion in agricultural cash receipts in 2014.

    “We are the envy of all states with our tobacco money,” said Beeler. “We’ve gone from $3.7 billion (in total agricultural cash receipts) when we got the (settlement) money to $6.5 billion now, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence….”

    Lawmakers thanked Beeler, former GOAP Executive Director Roger Thomas and others for speaking at last month’s Southern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting in Lexington about HB 611’s successes. Committee Co-Chair Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville, said many delegates to the meeting were impressed with Kentucky’s use of its tobacco settlement dollars to diversify its agricultural economy.

    Beeler said he heard from individuals in state after state across the South who said “they wish they’d done what we’d done.” Kentucky’s efforts have almost doubled its receipts at the farm gate, he said.

    “It’s no coincidence… Don’t tell me it is, because plain-and-simple fact is we know this money has worked,” he told the committee.

    The biggest project in the history of the GOAP and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board which it administers is a $30 million grain crops and forages center planned for construction on the property of the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton. Half of the project amount, of $15 million, will be provided as a matching grant from the Agriculture Development Board, said Beeler. UK must match the award for the center.

    Beeler said the project, which is also supported by the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and others, will pay dividends for the next 50 years. Proposed work with ryegrass alone could have a big payoff, he said.

    Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, gave special thanks to the Corn Growers Association which Hornback said purchased property for the center that will be leased to UK for repayment. “I appreciate what you all did,” he said to members of the association and all involved in the project.

    “Everybody is very appreciative” for this project, Beeler assured lawmakers.

    The center will feature new meeting facilities, laboratories, offices and improved internet access “so professors at the center can teach classes for students in Lexington,” according to a press release on the center from the University of Kentucky. “…All commodity areas based at Princeton including beef cattle, forages and pastures and horticulture will benefit from the improvements and expansion.”

    –END–

    (KY) Calendar set for General Assembly’s 2017 session

     

     

    FRANKFORT— (Left to Right) Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, discusses future legislation on medical marijuana as Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, listens during the July 8th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations.

    FRANKFORT – The 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is scheduled to begin on Jan. 3 and will last 30 legislative days.

    As usual during an odd-numbered year, in which sessions are half as long as in even-numbered years, the session will have two parts. The first four days of the session – Jan. 3 to Jan. 6 – will focus on organizational work, such as electing legislative leaders, adopting rules of procedure and organizing committees. The introduction and consideration of legislation can also begin during this time.

    The second part of the session begins on Feb. 7, with final adjournment scheduled for March 30.

    Legislators will not meet in session on Feb. 20 in observance of Presidents’ Day. The House and Senate will also not convene on March 10 or 13.

    The veto recess – the period of time when lawmakers commonly return to their home districts while the governor considers the possibility of issuing vetoes – begins on March 16. Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on March 29 and 30 for the final two days of the session.

    The 2017 session calendar can be viewed online at: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/calendars/17RS_calendar.pdf

    –END–

    KY: Lawmakers fish for solutions on state’s growing bear, carp numbers

    For Immediate Release

    August 5, 2016

    Lawmakers fish for solutions on state’s growing bear, carp numbers

    FRANKFORT—Black bears and Asian carp came to Kentucky years ago uninvited. Now that they are apparently here to stay, state Fish and Wildlife officials are working hard to control their numbers.

    Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Greg Johnson told the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment yesterday that Asian carp is widespread in West Kentucky and along the Ohio River while most black bears are still found in Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky. Efforts are underway to control both species, said Johnson, who first tackled questions about the carp issue.

    “Asian carp is something that Kentucky and this committee needs to take very, very seriously,” said Johnson. The invasive species is now up to the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, in the Ohio’s tributaries, and above and below the dams at Land Between the Lakes, alarming biologists and encouraging private enterprise to enter the fray. Today west Kentucky-based fish processing facilities are turning millions of pounds of the nuisance fish into dog food, hot dogs, fish nuggets and other edibles, helping to reduce the state’s carp population, Johnson told the committee.

    “That’s (process) is probably the best way to go as far as trying to control Asian carp,” he told the committee.

    Bears are a different story—and their presence can be more unsettling than carp to the average Kentuckian. Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, said recent sightings of black bears in Hardin County have caused concern among farmers and other residents alike.

    “I’ve even heard of some of these bears being tracked back and forth across the Ohio River,” he said.

    Johnson said young black bears, usually males, will wander in late spring and early summer then return later in the year to their old territory. It’s his agency’s job to track the bears and make sure they leave areas where they aren’t supposed to be, Johnson explained. He said increased hunting will probably be used to control future bear populations.

    “You’ll probably see us come forward in the next year or two with another regulation change to expand the number of bears we take in Kentucky,” he said.

    Kentucky held its first state regulated bear hunt in 2009 in three counties for two days, according to Deputy Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Dr. Karen Waldrop. The hunt was expanded to 16 counties for 17 days last year. New regulations, as Johnson said, would expand it further.

    “We’re looking at where’s the best habitat for bears and we want to try to keep them similar to what we did with the elk—we don’t want them expanding out to the central and western part of the state,” said Waldrop.

    Rep. Hubert Collins, D-Wittensville, said he has heard about increased numbers of bears getting into garbage cans and walking near homes in Johnson County where he lives. He asked Johnson and Waldrop why.

    “Is there not enough for the bears to eat in that area, or what do you think’s happening?” Collins asked.

    The reason, Waldrop explained, is that bears are opportunistic eaters. “Bears… they will go for an easy meal, unfortunately,” she said. “So if they find an area … where they can get into garbage cans very easily they might do that.” A lack of wild berries—a popular bear food—in unpopulated or scantly populated areas may also drive bears into town in search of other food, she said.

    Waldrop said there are steps Kentuckians should take to avoid encounters with bears: don’t leave dog or cat food outside in the open, secure garbage in bear-proof containers, and take other measures recommended by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Waldrop said. The agency has even launched a “bear aware” campaign to teach people what to do, and what not to do, where bears are concerned, she said.

    “There are a lot of different things folks can do. When you live with bears for a while, people start making those changes,” she said.

    –END–

    Will Kentucky Finally Have Legal Marijuana? Meetings Planned

     

    Kentucky marijuana legalization could happen soon

     

    Marijuana investors can get their checkbooks ready because Kentucky has planned meetings with the intentions of legalizing marijuana.

    While the rumor that Kentucky will be legalizing marijuana has been circulating for a while, the bill is being considered again, and an attempt to get a hearings scheduled appears to be serious.

    In early 2016, Kentuckians were excited that Senator Perry Clark was filing a bill for medical marijuana to be legalized called the Cannabis Freedom Act, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. Despite the efforts, the bill had no hearing and did not get passed or denied.

    Kentucky marijuana legalization might be just around the corner. [Photo by Jose Luis Magana/AP Images]Around December 2015, Perry Clark was quoted by the Courier-Journal stating the following analysis on why Kentucky needs to be ready to legalize marijuana.

    “The time of laughing and snickering about marijuana and marijuana cigarettes is over. We’ve got serious businessmen who have approached me on this now and say they are taking it to the governor.”

    Those organizations that helped get medical marijuana proposed to be legalized in Kentucky in 2014 and 2015 are now getting up their strength to have the bill revisited in 2017.

    On July 5, WFPL reported that meetings were being held behind closed doors about passing a marijuana bill in Kentucky, and Senator John Schickel said the reason for the meeting is that they felt a need to “vet” the issue.

     

    Although many Kentuckians approve of medical marijuana, Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, said lawmakers “don’t want to openly champion the cause” and stated the following.

    “They do not want to be the one that pushes for it. They don’t want to support it publicly, they would rather it pass without them having to do anything about it.”

    WKMS reported on July 11 that Kentucky will get a chance to start passing a medical marijuana bill again after the first of the year. It was also reported that Kentucky marijuana legalization is making some progress because the Kentucky Nurses Association endorsed the medical marijuana bill.

    Other grassroots meetings are also being planned in the later half of 2016 to help Kentucky get medical marijuana legalized. For example, on July 28, Maysville Online announced a meeting planned for the community on July 30 to learn more about medical cannabis from patients that need the medication.

    Besides medical marijuana to treat patients for end-of-life ailments such as cancer, another reason Kentuckians want medical marijuana legalized relates to the prevalent narcotics epidemic in the state. For example, a quote that was added to the report from Maysville Online is from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    An October 2014 study found states that allowed medical marijuana also had fewer deaths due to narcotic overdoses by almost 24 percent when compared to other states.

    This study counters a statement quoted by WLKY on July 8 by Mickey Hatmaker of the Kentucky Narcotics Officer Association. In a meeting about legalizing marijuana in Kentucky, Hatmaker said that cannabis is a gateway drug, and he also said “marijuana use by 12- to 17-year-olds is the highest” in states with legal medical marijuana.

    The big question that remains concerns whether Kentucky will actually choose to pass the bill in 2017 when it is presented, or if they will have the chance to do so in the first place. For example, Lexington Herald-Leader recently reported that the federal government might legalize marijuana nationwide in the near future.

    They also pointed out that, despite the fact that the federal government “missed their own deadline” of June 30 to make a decision about rescheduling marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, making this change is still on President Obama’s plate.

    While the federal government might take care of the problem of legalizing marijuana for Kentucky, the state has other specific needs that might push the bill forward without approval from the feds.

    For example, Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, has serious concerns about the state’s budget, and Colorado has proven that marijuana legalization can have extreme success. In 2015, Colorado reported a whopping $1 billion in sales and the state collected $135 million in taxes, according to Cannabist.

    Kentucky could potentially expect similar revenue results if they fully legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use because the population of the Bluegrass State is 4.4 million and Colorado’s is 5.3 million.

    CONTINUE READING…