Lawmakers look at opioid abuse’s impact on workforce

For Immediate Release

Sept. 13, 2019

Lawmakers look at opioid abuse’s impact on workforce

FRANKFORT –Overcoming Kentucky’s opioid epidemic is a key to addressing the state’s low rate of workforce participation, lawmakers were told during yesterday’s meeting of the General Assembly’s Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee.

“I think years ago we would have looked at this (opioid) problem mostly as a public health crises in need of a public health solution,” said Kate Shanks, Vice President of Policy Development for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “Today we really understand that one of the biggest issues facing the business community is workforce participation, finding the workers needed for the jobs of today and in the future. We know one of the reasons for that is addiction and incarceration which is oftentimes associated with addiction.”

Shanks said Kentucky’s business community has organized efforts to provide resources for employers dealing with workforce participation challenges while also asking which ones are willing to be “second-chance employers” that work with treatment centers to provide opportunities for those coming out of recovery.

“One of the first things you do when you come out of treatment and you are in recovery is you look for a job,” Shanks said. “We’re working with our business community to identify those employers that are willing and able to hire those individuals.”

A report released in June by the Opioid Response Program, a partnership between private and public entities, states that Kentucky’s workforce participation rate is ranked 47th in the nation.

“We hear constantly from our members that their biggest struggle is finding workers,” Shanks said. “This is not a new problem. We’ve been hearing it for years. We have one of the lowest-ranked participation rates in the nation.

“We have seen tremendous economic growth. We have set records on exports, on investments, on new jobs in the commonwealth. (But) we will not realize our true economic potential if we are not tackling the workforce participation problem in Kentucky.”

Workers who abuse opioids miss an average of 29 days of work annually, said Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States. By 2020, mental and substance abuse disorders are expected to surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide, she added.

Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, asked Shanks for feedback on two of his priorities for dealing with the state’s low rate of workforce participation: increasing the wages of Kentucky workers and investing more in education, particularly higher education.

“We’ve got 250,000 jobs that go unmet in this state because people don’t have the skills to meet those jobs,” Thomas said. “If we got them education and training, they could meet those jobs and have a decent living and not be subject to the grips of the opioid epidemic.”

Shanks agreed that “we do need to emphasized education investment in the commonwealth.” On the topic of wage increases, she said “we think wage growth (through economic growth) is important in the commonwealth. We do have concerns with mandated increases in the minimum wage above the federal (level.)”

Rep. Chris Freeland, R-Benton, asked whether businesses are offered incentives to participate in programs that promote “second chance” employment for workers in recovery.

“I don’t think there are specific incentives in the sense of traditional tax incentives that we sometimes think of,” Shanks said. “I think the incentive is the willingness and the desire of business leaders to help with this problem and also to have a workforce. And I’ve heard so many of them anecdotally say these are some of the best workers they have because (second chance workers) are so appreciative of being here.”

–END–

On This Labor Day, Let Us Finish The Work

Image may contain: 2 people, including Thomas Tony Vance, people smiling, eyeglasses and text

A country as wealthy as America should not have a problem with poverty.

We should have a basic income for all citizens as a right of citizenship. Eliminate the cap on Social Security taxable income and expand it to all adults. Start accounts for all newborns that they get when they finish school to get started in life. Four year college for all students who can, and tech school for those who can’t. We can do and afford it all if we only have the will!

There are a few countries that do this and similar stuff for their citizens. These countries weathered the recession better than we did!!! Check out Denmark, they do all kinds of stuff for their citizens and before you complain about high taxes think about this. Our companies are complaining that we have the highest corporate tax rate of all modern countries. So how do these countries do these things with low taxes? Simple, they do not let corporations weasel out of paying their fair share like we do.

The blowback I got from those who are well off, (remember 93% of our wealthy folks inherited their wealth), is that if people have a basic income they will not work, but if that is true why do military retirees, who can retire at 38 with a generous pension, still work? Why do social security recipients still work?

A basic income for all would allow us to eliminate the social safety net the rich seem to always complain about. Workers would not have to work to keep from starving and as a result businesses would have to bid for our labor instead of us begging them for a job! You wouldn’t hear about a minimum wage as I imagine the bidding for workers might eliminate that.

Sounds good on this Labor Day! Here’s a plan for taking back from Businesses’ and Corporation’s the dignity and value our work should produce. Here’s a plan for boosting the spending power of the poor and middle class and leaving behind the failed and greedy policy of Supply Side, or ‘Trickle Down’ Economics which has damaged our economy and brought about the latest version of the Great Recession.

Yep we can do it all if we only have the will. We can make this country live up to its promise as articulated by Franklin Roosevelt in his Four Freedoms. We have accomplished 3 of these freedoms, freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from fear. Now we have the power to accomplish the last of these freedoms, freedom from want. The mechanics are already in place. The tools are available to us. Let us make a better country and thereby a better world by finishing the work Mr. Roosevelt set us on some 73 years ago. Let us end poverty and financial inequality in America once and for all.

Msgt. Thomas Tony Vance

SOURCE

These marijuana cases will no longer be prosecuted by the Jefferson County (KY) attorney

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

Joe Sonka, Louisville Courier Journal Published 9:15 a.m. ET Aug. 28, 2019

Possession of a small amount of marijuana will no longer be prosecuted in Jefferson County when that is the only or primary charge, the county attorney’s office will announce Wednesday.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is expected to detail the new strategy at a 10 a.m. news conference, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The policy will call for his office to no longer prosecute possession of marijuana cases involving one ounce or less, so long as that is the only charge or the most serious charge against the defendant.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office also will decline to prosecute cases involving possession of drug paraphernalia when that is clearly only used for marijuana consumption.

Is CBD oil legal?: Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oil in Kentucky

However, the new policy will not affect marijuana cases involving trafficking, cultivation, driving under the influence, public consumption or intoxication.

O’Connell is expected defend the policy as a means to find the most efficient use of his office’s limited resources and work toward equal enforcement of laws along racial lines, citing statistics showing that black individuals are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession compared to white individuals.

A Courier Journal investigation of 21,607 marijuana possession cases in 2017 found that African Americans accounted for two-thirds of those charged, with black drivers cited for possession at six times the rate of white people.

This disparity on marijuana charges along racial lines occurs despite national studies showing that both groups smoke marijuana at roughly the same rate.

Check out: Central Kentucky – and possibly Southern Indiana – is getting a CBD oil production

In June, Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance by a 15-9 vote making arrests for possession of half an ounce or less of marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority for officers.

Kentucky statutes classify marijuana possession as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail and a $250 fine, though a law passed in 2012 allows individuals to have such charges voided from their record after 60 days.

This story will be updated.

CONTINUE READING…

Libertarian candidate enters Kentucky governor’s race

Libertarian Party of Kentucky

Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal Published 2:12 p.m. ET May 14, 2019 | Updated 2:48 p.m. ET May 14, 2019

After a federal judge temporarily blocked a new section of a state law related to filing deadlines, a Libertarian Party candidate has officially joined the 2019 race to become Kentucky’s next governor.

John Hicks officially became a candidate Monday, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

Hicks is a Louisville native and information technology consultant who made a bid to represent the 43rd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives in November. He lost the race to Democrat Charles Booker.

Hicks, 72, is also a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam, and he previously taught in Jefferson County Public Schools and published a community newspaper in Fern Creek.

The Libertarian candidate’s running mate is Ann Cormican, a native of Paris, Kentucky, who works at the Toyota Kentucky manufacturing facility in Georgetown. 

Cormican also made an unsuccessful bid last November to represent the 72nd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

The pair almost failed to make it on the statewide ballot in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.

State legislators approved a measure, House Bill 114, in March that retroactively moved up the filing deadline for third-party and independent candidates from April 1 to January 11.

More: Kentucky lawmakers vote to limit the secretary of state’s power

Hicks said he had filed his candidacy before April 1 but after the January deadline.

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky took the matter to federal court, arguing the measure denied its candidates access to the statewide ballot in 2019.

On May 9, a U.S. District Court judge in Covington agreed and temporarily blocked the section of the state law related to filing deadlines.

Fixing a “broken electoral system” and not “controlling the private life” of Kentuckians are among the Libertarian ticket’s priorities, Hicks told the Courier Journal.

An instant runoff system for elections is one electoral reform that Hicks said could benefit Kentucky.

“I think we’re going to be the moderate party,” Hicks said. “We’re certainly in a position where we can work with members of both major parties in the Legislature.”

Ann Cormican

Ann Cormican (Photo: Provided by John Hicks)

Hicks and Cormican already won the Libertarian Party’s state primary back in March, meaning they will appear on ballots in November. (The Libertarian Party is not included in the May 21 primary involving Republican and Democratic candidates.)

Hicks said he is agrees with many of Gov. Matt Bevin’s policies but is “skeptical” of the incumbent’s policies of “subsidizing private industry” and trying to intervene in “moral matters.”

And Bevin’s criticism of those he disagrees with also concerns Hicks.

“A lot of Gov. Bevin’s policies have been right on,” Hicks said. “But his rhetoric has been terrible.”

Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.

CONTINUE READING…

Free KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod

(Please read and follow the link to sign petition for a man who has been unjustly jailed for charges which originated with a labeling infraction that led up to him being incarcerated.  It is unbelievable that our Country has gone so far as to incriminate this man!  Just read the story by Sally Oh.  Smkrider)

Help us get a presidential pardon for KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod!

Sally Oh started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and 2 others

The FDA successfully harassed, indicted and convicted 57year old KY Amish farmer Samuel Girod for charges stemming from an innocent labeling infraction!

Sam is now serving 6 years in federal prison. Sam has lived his entire life in the Amish tradition: no electricity. That means no lights, no running water, no electronic sounds, no cell phones, no internet, no planes, no driving cars. He’s a farmer and lived on a farm all his life.

He’s now in prison about 7 hours away from his family — his wife Elizabeth, their 12 children and 25 grandchildren. He is now surrounded by steel with armed guards, bells and whistles, loudspeakers, warnings, cement and little access to the sun.

UPDATE 4/16/19: Sam has been moved several times and is now in Big Sandy which is 120 miles from home. There are no fences and fewer than 100 people there. It is not home but it is not hideous either. His family visits every two weeks and he even gets to see his grands!!!

Sam has never harmed anyone. There are no victims of the 3 herbals salves he made and sold for over 20 years. He made the mistake of mislabeling one of the salves.

The story of his persecution is practically unbelievable.

Except that I live a few minutes from Sam and met him in 2015. By now, I have met scores of people who’ve known him for many years, if not their entire lives. All of us witnessed the entire goings on firsthand. You could not make this up!

Read the entire story at  KY Free Press

— follow the links in the left sidebar for “Condensed” story.
You’ll also find links to the 3 days of the trial and Sam’s sentencing as well as all of the court documents.

At this point, Sam’s only hope for release is a presidential pardon. Please sign this petition, then share it with your friends and family.

Besides signing the petition, please feel free to send letters, emails, and make calls to seven (7) Kentucky legislators and President Trump. Details, addresses, sample missives at KY Free Press — follow the links in the left sidebar

(It doesn’t take long — I contacted everyone via tweet, FB post and email in less than 20 minutes!)

At the very least, our elected representatives must know that PLENTY of people — at least 30K of you with more signing everyday — care about an Amish KY farmer being railroaded into prison by an out-of-control federal agency!

#freeamishsam #thefreedomcoalition

For updates, subscribe to kyfreepress.com and/or follow Sally Oh (xosallyoh) on Facebook.

CONTINUE TO CHANGE.ORG TO SIGN ONLINE PETITION!

2013-2019 Kentucky Marijuana Bills

THE TIMELINE OF KENTUCKY MARIJUANA BILLS 2013-2019

kyusmjparty1

2019

HCR121(BR-1186)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 – introduced in House

Moser , Kimberly Poore

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION establishing the Medicinal Marijuana Task Force.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/19RS/hcr121.html

SB 80(BR-836)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – introduced in Senate

Sen. Dan Seum [R]
Sen. Perry Clark [D]

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.  (Adult recreational use)

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB80/2019

HB 136(BR-58)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 – introduced in House

MULTIPLE SPONSORS

AN ACT relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor.

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/HB136/2019

SB 82(BR-834)/LM/CI

Friday, January 11, 2019 – introduced in Senate

Jimmy Higdon

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 218A to make the penalty for possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana a prepayable non-criminal fine;

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB82/2019

SB 170(BR-804)/LM/CI

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – introduced in Senate

Sen. Steve West [R]
Sen. Dan Seum [R]
Sen. Perry Clark [D]
Sen. C.B. Embry [R]

Sen. Denise Harper Angel [D]

AN ACT relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor.

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB170/2019

HCR5(BR-180)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – introduced in House

Rep. Danny Bentley [R]
Rep. Kimberly Moser [R]
Rep. Lynn Bechler [R]
Rep. Robert Goforth [R]

Rep. Mark Hart [R]
Rep. Kim King [R]
Rep. Melinda Prunty [R]
Rep. Steve Sheldon [R]

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION calling for the expediting of research regarding the safety and efficacy of the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/HCR5/2019

2018

SB 80

01/17/18 introduced in Senate

D. Seum, P. Clark

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis. (Adult Use)

This past week in Frankfort, State Senator Dan Seum of Fairdale, Ky. — who represents Bullitt County and a portion of Jefferson County in Senate District 38 — introduced Senate Bill 80, which seeks to allow full and regulated cannabis use in Kentucky.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/18rs/sb80.html

HB 166

01/10/18  introduced in House

J. Sims Jr, G. Brown Jr, T. Burch, M. Cantrell, J. Donohue, K. Flood, A. Gentry, J. Gooch Jr., D. Graham, J. Greer, C. Harris, A. Hatton, T. Herald, J. Jenkins, M. Marzian, J. Miller, C. Morgan, R. Nelson, J. Nemes, R. Palumbo, R. Rand, D. Schamore, A. Scott, S. Wells, S. Westrom

AN ACT relating to medical cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/18rs/hb166.html

A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky was shelved Wednesday after it ran into strong opposition from law enforcement officials during a round of testimony before a legislative panel.

A day after hearing from medical marijuana supporters, the panel took comments from law enforcement officials and a Warren County prosecutor. They warned that legalization could exacerbate Kentucky’s drug addiction woes. LINK

SB 272

03/01/18 introduced in Senate

M. McGarvey,                                                                                                                       R. Thomas

AN ACT relating to medical marijuana

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/Record/18RS/sb272.html

SB 118

01/30/18 introduced in Senate

S. West, D. Seum, P. Clark, C. Embry Jr., D. Harper Angel, M. McGarvey, G. Neal, R. Thomas

AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/Record/18RS/SB118.html


2017

SB 76/CI/LM (BR 408)

Dec 09, 2016 – Prefiled by the sponsor(s).
Jan 03, 2017 – introduced in Senate

P. Clark

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

Establish KRS Chapter 245 to regulate the cultivation, testing, processing, taxing, and sale of cannabis to persons aged 21 years and older; create, amend, and repeal various sections to conform.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/Record/17RS/SB76.htm

SB 57/CI/LM (BR 409)

Dec 06, 2016 – Prefiled by the sponsor(s).
Jan 03, 2017 – introduced in Senate

P. Clark, D. Harper Angel, S. West

AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/Record/17RS/SB57.htm

HB 411 (BR 1166)

02/16/17  introduced in House

J. Sims Jr, A. Gentry, D. Johnson, A. Simpson

AN ACT relating to the medical use of marijuana.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 311 to allow physicians to recommend use of cannabis; hold physicians harmless for making the recommendation.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/17rs/hb411.html

 SB 243 (BR 1469)

02/16/17  introduced in Senate

M. McGarvey

AN ACT relating to medical marijuana for palliative or end of life care.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/17rs/sb243.html

2016

*March 2, 2016

On Wednesday, March 2, Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville introduced two new Bills, one for Hemp and another for medical marijuana.

Senate Bill 262 is AN ACT relating to industrial hemp.

Senate Bill 263 is AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

*March 1, 2016

HB 584 AN ACT relating to the medical use of marijuana in Kentucky

Introduced March 1, 2016

HB 584(BR-1994)

*January 6, 2016

SB 13, Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act

Introduced on January 6, 2016

LINK TO PDF OF SB13

2015

*February 5, 2015

HB 305/CI (BR 395) – B. Yonts

Introduced on February 5, 2015

AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments.
Amend and create various KRS sections to convert certain misdemeanors to pre-payable violations and set fines.

Feb 5-Introduced in House

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/15rs/hb305.html

SB 79/CI (BR 805) – P. Clark

Introduced on January 9, 2015

AN ACT relating to marijuana.

Amend KRS 218A.1422 to make the possession of two ounces of marijuana or less a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $75; amend KRS 218A.1423 to make cultivation of five marijuana plants or less a Class B misdemeanor; name the Act the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act.

Jan 9-Introduced in Senate
Feb 3-to Judiciary (S)

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/15rs/sb79.html

HB 3

Introduced on January 6, 2015

House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s medical marijuana bill wasn’t going to pass this year anyway, he said Thursday, so his House Bill 3 is likely dead after no vote was taken in a committee hearing.

“Gatewood Galbraith Medical Cannabis Act”;

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/15rs/hb3.html

2014

SB124

2014-02-05      Senate introduced in Senate

2014-04-10      Senate signed by Governor (Acts, ch. 112)

Legislators did make an effort to help some seriously ill patients who could benefit from cannabidiol (“CBD,” a non-psychoactive component of marijuana). On Thursday, April 10, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law a proposal that is intended to allow patients to use CBD if directed to do so by a physician.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/14rs/sb124.html

SB 43

Medical Marijuana Bill Kentucky 2015, SB 43/LM/CI (BR 287)

Introduced on January 7, 2014

AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

Cannabis Compassion Act.

Jan 7-introduced in Senate
Jan 13-to Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S)

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/14rs/sb43.html

2013

SB 11

*January 8, 2013

Senator Perry Clark submitted SB11 to the judiciary committee last week

Introduced on January 8, 2013

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/13rs/sb11.html

Create various new sections of KRS Chapter 218A to establish a comprehensive system for medical marijuana in Kentucky

Greetings   Well the bill has been submitted and now it’s our turn. Senator Perry Clark submitted SB11 to the judiciary committee last week. http://www.mpp.org/states/kentucky/  It is one of the most aggressive legalization bills to date and we are asking all supporters to get on board to help us push this bill through.   You can see a summary of the bill here: http://kentuckyveteransformedicalmarijua.blogspot.com/2012/09/gatewood-galbraith-memorial-medical.html
In the coming days I will be sending out information on what needs to be done. We will also be sending out another petition so be sure to sign it as we will be using it to further the legislation along.   This is a short session folks but I know that working together we can get this done. I would like to hear from any veterans we might have, especially if you belong to the VFW. There is big news concerning the VA.
Folks I am excited about our chances. I’m hearing more and more positive feedback from legislators every day. We are getting closer to making this bill a reality. If you have any questions you may contact me here at kyveteransformedicalmarijuan@gmail.com     United, We Stand!   Ron Moore Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana   www.kentuckyveteransformedicalmarijuana.net     Find your legislator at this link: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm
or Call the Toll-Free Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message.

Legislation introduced to legalize marijuana in Kentucky

LINK:  http://www.wave3.com/story/18961002/legislation-introduced-to-legalize-marijuana-in-kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – Kentucky Sen. Perry B. Clark introduced legislation that would make marijuana a legal drug for doctors to prescribe.

Thursday afternoon, the Louisville Democrat held a news conference at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort to introduce the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act. Clark was joined at the news conference by Galbraith’s daughter, Molly Galbraith, and other supporters of medical marijuana.

They said medical research has proven it has many benefits for everything from Parkinson’s disease to tumor regression, prostate cancer, nausea and pain.

Gatewood Galbraith, a perennial candidate for governor of Kentucky and an outspoken proponent of the legalization of marijuana, privacy rights and other civil liberties died at his home near Lexington in January at the age of 64.

Twenty states have approved some type of medical marijuana usage and several other states have similar legislation pending.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

#WeAreKY But #ThisIsKY…Story of Elihu Shepherd

The incident leading to Gary’s killing began on a Sunday morning in August of 1993, when a helicopter on loan from the Kentucky National Guard was landed by officers of the Governor’s Marijuana Strike Force in a field adjacent to Gary Shepherd’s rural home. An officer familiar with Gary approached and told him that he was going to come in and cut down the dozen plants which were maturing around the perimeter of his property. Gary denied him entrance, saying it would happen “over [his] dead body.” Using Gary’s invocation of this metaphor as a pretext for his murder, the officer departed and called in additional officers, who covertly blockaded all routes to Gary’s house and began to monitor his movements.  LINK

In August of 1993, in Rockcastle County Kentucky, a four year old child watched his Father, Gary Shephard shot and killed by the Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police, over a few Cannabis plants which his father used for medicine for pain and PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War…

This is his story…

(Please view in its entirety)

elihu

This factual story needs to be heard by everyone that lives in Kentucky.

Yes, #WeAreKentucky BUT #ThisISKentucky

https://www.facebook.com/Jacobelihu/posts/10218238922543418

https://www.drcnet.org/guide2-95/gary.html