Posts Tagged ‘Jim DeCesare’

To smoke or not to smoke?

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Our topic tonight on Kentucky Tonight will be the legislation sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom that would ban smoking in all indoor workplaces with at least one employee, including restaurants, bars, and private clubs. If this legislation passes the state House, Senate, and is signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky would join a few other states with a state-wide smoking ban.

Scheduled guests are State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington; State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green; Amy Barkley, an advocacy director with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; and Jim Waters, vice president of policy and communications with the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions.

Viewers with questions and comments may send e-mail, including their name and town or county, to or use the message form at The phone number for viewer calls during the program is 1-800-494-7605.

We will also discuss another anti-smoking bill filed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo. He wants to ban smoking in cars with children in the automobiles. Stumbo’s proposal would not allow a person to smoke “cigars, cigarettes, or tobacco in any form” in a vehicle carrying a child. It proposes a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.

Controversial? I’ll say. Join us and participate in the discussion tonight on KET at 8/7pm CT or catch a repeat.

2011 General Assembly and Naslund

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I’ve just returned from moderating a discussion before the Kentucky Hospital Association. Senate President David Williams and Representative Bob Damron were the panelists and gave the audience a good look at what both expect when the General Assembly convenes in January 2011.

A number of issues were discussed including pension reform, education, tax structure, and the state’s increasingly growing Medicaid deficit. Both said the state’s high unemployment rate and jobs for those who are still looking for work will keep lawmakers busy. But it was Medicaid and the management of the system across the Commonwealth that both agreed will receive a lot of conversation in Frankfort for the “short” session of the legislature.

Renee Shaw will be at the helm Monday night when her Kentucky Tonight guests will discuss the 2011 session.

Scheduled guests are:

- State Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville
- State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Rockfield
- State Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville
- State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, R-Fort Wright

This week on One to One, a conversation with bestselling author Sena Jeter Naslund and her new novel Adam & Eve. We taped the program just a few weeks ago in the Louisville Free Public Library’s auditorium which was recently renovated due to the 2009 flooding of the downtown complex. After the discussion I had with Ms. Naslund, we turned the cameras around and gave the audience and opportunity to ask her questions. You can see those questions and Naslund’s answers here:

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It’s the Economy!

Friday, January 29th, 2010

We’re going to have an interesting discussion Monday on Kentucky Tonight on tax reform. There’s a lot going on in Frankfort regarding the issue. At this time, some of it is going on quietly in what’s been dubbed the Tax Reform Work Group.

This is a committee of House members including former Appropriations and Revenue Chair Harry Moberly of Richmond. Moberly and Representative Jim Wayne are meeting with other members and until last Monday, the group included Lexington Republican Bill Farmer. Farmer left the group this week in a dispute over tax increases and, so far, has not returned to the conversation. Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo has asked the Representatives to come up with some ideas which might be presented as a way to solve the state’s budget deficit or, at least, modernize the tax system in the state.

A number of people who are also interested in reforming the state’s tax code have said the issue is too big to tackle during this session of the General Assembly. They are suggesting that to do it comprehensively it will take a special session, either this summer or next January.

Our guests on Monday will include:

  • State Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville
  • State Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington
  • State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green

To stimulate your thinking about tax reform and the economy, I’m posting a piece I found from Al Tompkins’ blog. Tompkins, who worked in Bowling Green for a time, writes for the Poynter Institute, a journalism training center in Florida.

7 Emerging Economic Stories That Journalists Should Alert People to

Posted by Al Tompkins

Dan Froomkin at Nieman Watchdog said journalists should alert people to seven emerging stories that should worry us, including:

1: The middle class may never be the same again.
For most members of the middle class, their sense of financial well-being was largely based on the size of their 401(k)s and their equity as homeowners. After the collapse of stock prices and with the steep drop in home prices, many may never feel the same way again, or spend their money as confidently.

While 401(k)s have somewhat bounced back, about one in four homeowners now actually have negative equity — are ‘underwater’. A recent study by Barry P. Bosworth and Rosanna Smart for Brookings finds that American households lost $13 trillion in wealth between mid-2007 and March 2009, or about 15 percent in all. That decline badly hit baby boomers just as they’re headed into retirement. And middle-income families whose head is age 50 or younger actually have smaller net incomes today than in 1983.

Meanwhile, many American families spent much of the last decade (or two) living beyond their means, piling up debt on their credit cards, or ‘bubble borrowing.’ Two University of Chicago researchers have found that the housing bubble hugely increased household consumption as homeowners borrowed on average $0.25 to $0.30 for every $1 increase on their home equity.

Rounding out the list are:

2: The recovery could take a really long time.
3: The recovery could only be temporary.
4: Then what? This time, we don’t have the tools to get out of a recession.
5: The ‘very serious’ people in Washington are still obsessed about the deficit.
6: Whatever is making the stock market go up could go away.
7: The hugely irresponsible financial sector remains unchastened.

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