Ashland Daily Independent. March 4, 2023.

Editorial: Drag shows no threat to children

Kentucky lawmakers have been busy with nonsense lately. Not only have Republicans introduced a bill to deny LGBTQ+ youth transitional care, they are advancing a bill against drag shows in the state by prohibiting them on public property or other locations where they could be viewed by children.

Violations of the bill would be punishable as misdemeanors for the first two offenses but would rise to a felony for subsequent offenses. Businesses hosting such performances could have their alcohol and business licenses suspended or revoked.

Those of us who grew up routinely seeing comedians Milton Berle and Flip Wilson in drag on television in our living rooms with our parents find this absurd.

Bill sponsor Sen. Lindsey Tichenor claims the bill is meant to protect children from being sexualized.

Drag shows do not sexualize children. If they are worried about children being sexualized, there are plenty of other activities to attack where children truly are sexualized and exposed to other adult content that is harmful.

Drag show audiences generally do not include children, anyway, as many occur at night clubs in the evening, a place where children already aren’t allowed. Any brunch drag show, which is open to children, will contain a vastly different entertainment content. In addition, it’s unlikely children will make a choice to attend a drag brunch; if they are there, their parents took them, and we believe it’s a parent’s choice to allow them or not allow them to attend, not the choice of lawmakers.

Bowling Green Daily News. March 5, 2023.

Editorial: Bill proposals making local elections partisan ill-conceived

A pair of related bills under consideration by the state General Assembly this year are ill-conceived and should not be passed.

Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 50 would make it mandatory that local elections be partisan, meaning those running have to declare a party affiliation and run in a primary and then in the general election under their party affiliation.

Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, and Rep. Matt Lockett, R-Nicholasville, are sponsoring Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 50.

The law would apply to all city, county and school board elections, except candidates running in independent school districts or at-large races “without a specific representation of a division or a ward.”

During a recent appearance on Kentucky Tonight, Thayer and Lockett said the bill aims to increase candidate transparency and accountability.

“I believe voters should have the most amount of info possible when they go into the polls to cast their votes, and the number one step we could take to tell people about who they’re voting for is for people to declare their political party,” Thayer said.

But decisions made on a city, town, county or school-board level are generally not the same kind made by state-level or national legislators. Indeed, voting based on party label can, and has, created instances where wholly unqualified candidates, Republican and Democrat, have been elected simply because of the letter that appears after their name,

The bills would also take away control from local legislative bodies, forcing on them a state-mandated system. The measures could also be costly, requiring local governments to hold much larger primary elections.

That’s why a growing number of local governments are formally passing resolutions urging that the bills not be passed – Paducah and Owensboro being the latest.

Voters, or course, should know as much about their candidates as possible. But voting simply based on party affiliation is the opposite of making a truly informed choice.

The bottom line is we don’t need to interject more partisan politics in our processes and we oppose these flawed bills.

Frankort State Journal. March 7, 2023.

Editorial: With Mother Nature, it’s better to be safe than sorry

It is quite fitting that the storm that brought near-hurricane force winds and heavy rain on Friday occurred during the Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) and the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Severe Weather Preparedness Week — a time when officials stress that being proactive — such as canceling classes ahead of time like both local school districts did last week — could potentially save lives.

According to NWS data, there were between 110-130 thunderstorm risk days — some of which included large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding and tornadoes — in 2022, which equates to approximately one out of every three days of the year that Kentuckians are exposed to severe weather.

Between the December 2021 tornado outbreak in western Kentucky and last year’s flooding in eastern Kentucky, the last few years have shown that knowing how and what to do during a severe weather emergency is essential for response, recovery and survival.

Friday’s storm, which included two reported tornadoes, left hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians without power and five people from different counties across the state have been confirmed dead.

Locally, Franklin County fared better than most. The area received 1.39 inches of rain and recorded wind gusts as high as 70 mph, but no fatalities or injuries were reported, according to Frankfort/Franklin County Office of Emergency Management Director Ray Kinney. Frankfort Plant Board said 7,000-8,000 customers were without power Friday and 2,500 were still waiting to have electric restored on Sunday.

“Ultimately I am just really proud of everybody,” Judge-Executive Michael Mueller told The State Journal. “Between all the first responders and the record number of calls that came into dispatch Friday night. The county and city and everybody worked together. So yeah, it could have been a lot worse.”

While some were quick to criticize local school administrators for using a snow day and state government officials for dismissing state workers early, we believe they were both right calls in order to get folks home safe. We also believe that FCS’ closure on Monday due to thousands of residents still being without electricity was the right thing to do.

If we have learned anything about Kentucky’s crazy weather over the past several years, it is that it is better to be prepared and safe than sorry.


Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.