THE WEEK’s NEWS: Ice Cream, a Roller Coaster and Some Real News Friday, Jul 24 2015 

The current news cycle is being dominated by yet another tragic shooting, this time in Louisiana, and America’s continuing failure to do anything to change how easy it is for deranged individuals to get their hands on guns. However, there’s plenty of good news in good ole Louisville K Y . . .

 

Comfy Cow OpeningCOMFY COW’S RANGE: Could an ice cream business be Louisville’s next national success story in business? The six-year-old startup launched by partners Tim and Roy Koons McGee opened a commissary this week with plans to market sweet treats nationally.

CHRIS THIENEMAN’S COURT BATTLE: Watch the video on this site from Chris Thieneman. He was scheduled to go to trail to defend himself against assault charges brought by an ex-girlfriend on July 21. But the prosecution granted a delay as it attempts to get the Judge recused because, get this, Judge Erica Williams might have seen the video because she has access (like every other local judge) to see it here or on Facebook. Chris has refused to settle, the easy thing to do, because he says he’s innocent.

Stacy Funk and me. Bill Brymer photo

Stacy Funk and me. Bill Brymer photo

THE BEST PARTY: Stacy Funk has helped coordinate the Best of Louisville party with Louisville Magazine for years. It’s July 30 at PLAY. She promised a category for Best Podcast next year on the Rusty show. Here’s how to get tickets.

HEBERT GOES FULL CIRCLE: Before he became WHAS-TV’s top political reporter and then Jim Ramsey’s top spokesman, Mark Hebert got a job fresh out of WKU on a Frankfort radio station. Now he’s hosting a radio talk show about the school at 93.9 FM.

A STORM CHASER WE CAN LOVE: Forget those crazy weather folks. The city’s best Storm Chase will be at Kentucky Kingdom when the park unveils its new roller coaster next year. Storm-Chaser-140DegreeStall

NULU KNOW PARTIES: All the cool kids will be the NuLu Summer Block Party this weekend.

WANT TO HEAR GOD LAUGH? In this week’s Rusty Satellite Show, that’s David Tandy’s response when I asked about his political future plans. It was his way of saying that his future might include a run for Mayor, or Congress, but he’s not sure how it’s going to turn out.

METRO COUNCIL BACKS OFF AIRBNB RULES: Saying any new law would be a nightmare to enforce, the Metro Council is backing off its proposal to charge airbnb hosts a $250 fee. So, you can still rent my house.

ANOTHER REASON I’M NOT FOR BEVIN: The GOP’s candidate for governor is against gambling in any form, including new casino gaming legislation, in any form. Does he know that a coalition of Louisville business leaders has pushed for this for years? Not a progressive stance or a way to get votes around here.

CAN YOU DRIVE A FORKLIFT? The Snelling Staffing Job of the Week is a 1st Shift Manufacturing Plant Manager responsible for Quality Control, Analyzing Production and Employee Performance and Scheduling. Details at Snelling Staffing.

Kentucky Chamber Report Calls for Better Workforce Programs for Louisville and Across the Commonwealth Thursday, Jul 23 2015 

Frankfort, Ky., – Kentucky’s workforce training and development programs need better coordination, greater accountability and more employer involvement, according to a new report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Achieving those and other goals detailed in the report’s recommendations will require a top-to-bottom review of the entire system – a review that the Chamber believes should be ordered by the next governor.

Kentucky’s Workforce Challenges: The Employer Perspective notes there is a lot of confusion about workforce programs at the local level, there is frustration in the business community about its role in local and regional workforce decisions, there is uncertainty about the return on investment of these workforce programs, and there is a maze of state and federal workforce programs that is difficult, if not impossible, for business people to navigate.

Kentucky Workforce Challenge

The report follows a year’s review of the state workforce system by a Chamber-organized group representing employers from different sectors and geographic regions.

The review began in response to the continuing frustrations voiced by employers about the challenges they encounter with Kentucky’s programs and their ability to find skilled workers for the jobs they have available. A recent poll of Chamber members reflected those frustrations: Less than 10 percent of the respondents believe the overall workforce has good skills.

“Effective workforce training and service programs are critical to ensuring a successful future for countless businesses across Kentucky, the people they employ, and the state as a whole,” the report noted. “But more must be done if the state is to expand and sustain a highly skilled, globally competitive workforce.”

The report noted that Kentucky has made strides in improving the education of its citizens, but challenges persist in the area of workforce development. Those include:

Insufficient involvement by employers to make changes in training programs that address demand-side needs

  • A lack of clarity about the community-level service delivery of state programs, particularly in regard to which agency or individual is in charge
  • The need for greater communications and outreach to employers and job seekers about available programs, how to access information, the need for specific training and skill development, and related issues
  • Ongoing issues related to the governance, management and coordination of workforce programs
  • The need for improved employability skills, or soft skills, such as attendance, communication and teamwork, among job seekers
  • Increasing difficulties in finding drug-free job applicants
  • Inconsistent use of credentials, by employers, job seekers and educational institutions
  • Insufficient coordination among educational institutions, economic development agencies and workforce programs

Although employers provide the bulk of workforce training, the report pointed out that private employers depend heavily on the public sector – beginning with elementary and secondary schools and continuing through postsecondary institutions and workforce development programs – to provide critical preparation and training for job candidates.

The report included the following recommendations to improve Kentucky’s efforts to create and sustain a high quality workforce.

To address issues related to organization, funding, accountability and governance and to effectively engage employers:

  • As Kentucky’s next governor takes office, his first act in support of job creation and retention should be to order an organizational and management review of the state’s workforce training and development system. The review should be conducted by an independent entity not aligned with any Kentucky program and should define the specific governance, management, and operational structure that would best meet the needs of Kentucky employers and workers. The governor should be personally involved with this review before finalizing the cabinet structure of his administration.
  • Kentucky should develop and maintain an asset map – updated regularly and released publicly – that identifies all funding sources and provides a framework for accountability for state and local spending and results.
  • Agreements that guide the operation of local workforce areas (known as interlocal agreements) should include provisions requiring that the dominant business organization or association in the area be responsible for naming employer members of the workforce boards.
  • The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce should issue an annual assessment of whether local workforce boards are engaging employers in meaningful and productive ways.
  • State workforce officials and business leaders should jointly develop a structure to ensure meaningful employer participation in the development of Kentucky’s state and local plans under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and employers should actively participate in state and local workforce boards and committees to implement WIOA.
  • The Governor should direct set-aside funds under WIOA to support the development of employer-led collaboratives to guide workforce initiatives.
  • The state’s business community should develop a focused voice on workforce issues to advance the interests of both small and large employers.

To promote what is available:

  • State workforce officials and business leaders should jointly develop and implement an outreach campaign, that includes local chambers of commerce, economic development corporations and workforce boards, to raise awareness of workforce programs.

To address issues related to employability:

  • Kentucky should develop and incorporate soft skills/work readiness certification into its College and Career Readiness requirements for schools, including regular assessments to ensure the demonstrated proficiency of these skills.
  • Kentucky should continue and expand its support for quality early childhood programs as a workforce development strategy.
  • As Kentucky continues to expand drug treatment and prevention programs, it should incorporate drug screening into the application process for workforce training programs.

To strengthen the use of appropriate credentials:

  • Business organizations and chambers of commerce should develop working groups of employers to identify, by sector, credentials that best reflect the skills needed for successful performance in the workplace.

The report also emphasized the importance of employer involvement.

“Beyond whatever improvements are needed in the design and delivery of government programs, Kentucky’s business community also has an important role to play in ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce. Employers’ meaningful and deliberate participation in the full circle of planning, designing and monitoring workforce programs – confirming performance and establishing standards for continual improvement – can make a critical difference in the quality and effectiveness of the services they deliver.”

Louisville Mayor Fischer co-moderates discussion on President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Thursday, Jul 23 2015 

LOUISVILLE  – Mayor Greg Fischer will co-moderate a peer-to-peer conversation today at the White House regarding President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

President Obama created the task force in December after the events in Ferguson, Cleveland and other communities around the county to strengthen the relationships between local police and communities. Its final report was released in May.

Today’s conversation brings more than 100 leaders from over two dozen communities together to discuss how the report’s recommendations are being implemented.

Mayor Fischer

Fischer will lead discussions around many topics including how law enforcement interacts with residents, how youth outreach promotes positive engagement with law enforcement, mental health challenges, new technologies and data and metrics. Louisville has been among the first cities nationwide to put its police arrest data online as part of the city’s Open Data Policy.

 

“This is a great opportunity for all of us to listen and learn about improvements in law enforcement taking place around the country,” Fischer said. “It’s also a chance for us to share some of Louisville’s work including the implementation of body cameras, Youth Chats with LMPD officers and our Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods’ work with the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. It is an honor to co-moderate this discussion.”

The conversation will address challenges and opportunities facing many communities and provide insight on how the goals and action items of the task force’s final report are being implemented.

The overarching recommendation of the task force’s report is for the President to create and fund a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system. The task force makes recommendations to help comprehensively reform the criminal justice system nationwide.

Fischer will co-moderate the discussion with Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and New Orleans, Louisiana Deputy Mayor Judy Reese.

 

Seve Ghose Named Metro Parks Director Wednesday, Jul 22 2015 

Citing his innovative approach, vision and leadership in managing and maintaining park facilities and programming, Mayor Greg Fischer today named Seve Ghose as the new director of Metro Parks and Recreation.

Ghose speaks at a news conference

Ghose speaks at a news conference

Ghose is currently deputy superintendent of the Willamalane Park and Recreation District in Springfield, Oregon, overseeing a system of 43 parks/natural areas, numerous trails and sporting facilities. He is also a former parks director of the City of Davenport, Iowa and has worked in a leadership role in the park system in Portland, Oregon — an Olmsted Park system.

“Louisville is known nationwide for its rich parks history,” Fischer said. “Seve’s innovative approach, strategic thinking and ability to engage the public in healthy activities will build on the legacy of Olmsted, continue the development of the Louisville Loop and protect our green space for future generations.

In his current role, Ghose created 1Pass, a $50 pass for anyone under 18. Students get unlimited summer access to park facilities and programs – a bowling alley and roller skating rink, the local museum and free rides on public transit. In its first year, 1,030 passes sold as part of a broader strategy to promote health and wellness. He also recruited a semi-pro soccer team to play in a park facility and extended community center hours around the clock to meet user needs.

“Louisville is a dream community for a parks enthusiast,” Ghose said. “It is an honor to be selected by Mayor Fischer and to work with a talented Metro Parks and Recreation team, their board, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the Parklands of Floyds Fork.”

Ghose will begin his new role September 1.

Fischer’s Choice for MSD Chief — James “Tony” Parrott Tuesday, Jul 21 2015 

 

LOUISVILLE  – Citing his leadership and vision as the director of the water and sewer agencies of Greater Cincinnati, which includes the implementation of a complex $3 billion federal program to reduce sewage overflows, Mayor Greg Fischer today named James A. “Tony” Parrott as the new executive director of Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District.

Parrott has spent 30 years in the public utility business, starting as a frontline worker at the Department of Environmental Services in Butler County, Ohio and working his way through the ranks, eventually landing the top job first in Butler County and then in Cincinnati, where he oversees wastewater services to 850,000 residents and drinking water services to 1 million customers.

James "Tony" Parrott

James “Tony” Parrott

“Tony knows water and wastewater – from the moment it falls from the sky to the moment it’s treated and released back into the environment,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “He understands the needs of the front-line workers and top management and has earned the respect of both. He is the right leader for our city.”

As Executive Director of Water and Sewer for Greater Cincinnati, his agencies have 1,300 employees with an annual operating budget of $320 million, while also implementing a 20-year, $3 billion wet weather capital improvement program to prevent sewage overflows. Louisville has a similar $800 million federal consent decree.

“It is an honor to be selected by Mayor Fischer to serve the stakeholders of MSD,” Parrott said, “and it is a thrill to come back home to the great state of Kentucky. I am looking forward to working with the staff, the board and the Mayor to make this great organization even better.”

Parrott is a sought-after speaker on a wide-range of topics, such as sustainability through the use of green infrastructure, utilizing public infrastructure projects to spur community revitalization and future affordability of public services. He regularly conducts workshops and serves on panel discussions throughout the county which highlight the important issues and offer potential solutions to challenges in the water and sewer industry today.

Parrott was named Public Administrator of the Year in 2013 by the American Society of Public Administrators and his agency won the 2014 U.S. Water Prize from the U.S. Urban Water Sustainability Council. Most recently, his agency garnered the Platinum Award for Excellence in Management from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Parrott earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College and is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Water Works Association, and the U.S. Urban Water Sustainability Council. He is also a Water Environment Federation Fellow, which is limited to a select number of individuals that have made significant contributions to the industry and the environment.

Mayor Fischer appoints the MSD executive director and the MSD board, meeting next week, will set the salary. Parrot’s first day is September 14.

THE WEEK: Forecastle Fans, Funtown Funk Friday, Jul 17 2015 

It must be time for Forecastle, maybe the coolest weekend of the year to be people-watching downtown. And there’s the music, and the food, and the beer, and the bourbon and the 60,000 people who come here. Credit to founder J.K. McKnight and Holly Weyler McKnight. We’ll be Forecastling here on LouisvilleKY.com, so watch the site for pics from our guy Bill Brymer. Here’s a link to J.K.’s and Holly’s appearances on the Rusty Satellite Show.

Hey Mom and Dad, Bring the Kids: At Forecastle, Rusty alum Emily McCay is offering a “parent comfort tent.”

Here are some other highlights around town:

Will Russell

Will Russell

What in the World is Going on at Funtown Mountain?  According to media reports, Will Russell got himself arrested last weekend for smoking pot at Lebowski Fest, which kicked off a bizarre string of events. The latest is that the Cave City park is open again, but there’s a tale about yellow paint and Will’s presence that’s hard to believe. I’m among the many pulling for him to succeed. Will was on the Rusty show in February.

Katie George re-discovers cookies

Katie George re-discovers cookies

Now for some Pizza and Oreos. After months of physical training and strict dieting, this week Miss Kentucky Katie George celebrated her retirement from beauty pageant competition with junk food. She finished in the Top 11 in the Miss USA contest Sunday.

And who’s gonna pay for that?: This week GOP gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin said he wants to drug-test everyone who’s getting assistance from the government. He has no plan for it and knows it could never happen, but that’s what plays well with his base.

Media Moves: There are still a few local rags Stephen George hasn’t written for – but the former LEO Weekly editor and Insider Louisville reporter announced this week he’s been hired at Louisville Public Media. Good for him, and for LPM. Here’s his Rusty interview.

Another Reason to get that Colonoscopy: WDRB’s Ric Bozich explained in a column how he spent 31 days in a hospital after doctors discovered issues with his tissues after a colonoscopy. And he did miss a lot, like. . .

It Can’t be the Same Todd Frazier: Four years ago, I used to deride Todd Frazier as a mediocre player who struck out a lot for the Louisville Bats. He’s having an MVP season for the Reds, and won the Home Run Derby in Cincinnati during All-Star game festivities.

Dan Dry. photo by Bill Brymer

Dan Dry. photo by Bill Brymer

Dan Dry is Busy These Days: Check out this week’s Rusty Satellite Show and hear about the legendary local photographer’s start in media – filling in for a pregnant woman at the C-J. Now he’s the president of the Louisville Advertising Federation, Chief Visual Office at Power Creative and taking a lot of food shots for Food and Dining Magazine.

Put This on Your Tech Calendar: Learn about robots and other future tech at the first Tech Fest Lou, a concept that has been a big success in other markets. Dave Mattingly explains on Rusty. It’s Aug. 20-21.

Remembering Rev. Coleman: He was a lightning rod in this town, loved by many, hated by others, a magnet for media coverage. Check out Larry Muhammad’s play about Louis Coleman.

When is She Going to Invite Me Over For Dinner?:  Our own Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley is harvesting some great healthy veggies from her garden. I want some.

 

THIS WEEK: LouisvilleKY.com is Back with Music, Food and Blues Friday, Jul 10 2015 

Thanks for coming back to LouisvilleKY.com. We had a brief hiatus that was part vacation/part technology issues. But that’s all worked out now thanks to tech whiz Jason Smith, and LouisvilleKY.com is humming along with content thanks to Jackie Bentley. Now, some highlights in my week:

Memories of the Snake: Ken “Snake” Stabler, my fave QB from the glorious Raider days in the NFL, passed away at 69. I blame the part of my personality that is rebellious and resistant to authority on the Raiders, who in the 1970s were the baddest, meanest bunch of goofballs on the planet. Snake didn’t even have the best nickname on a team the led the league — from the Assassin to the Mad Stork. And the best slogan of all time: Just Win, Baby.

BenSolleeForum

Ben Sollee at the Louisville Forum

Change the Music: At a Louisville Forum event at Vincenzo’s, musician and former Rusty guest Ben Sollee explained that the big change in the music industry is streaming, a transformation to renting, instead of buying, your music. And the recent launch of Apple Music is big, more so than Pandora, IHeart or Amazon Prime, the ones I was using. I’m doing the free Apple trial, and the amount of music available is staggering. I just listened to a long lost recording  there — Jethro Tull’s Too Old to Rock ‘n Roll, Too Young to Die.

Sunday Brunch: Join this week’s Rusty guest Gary Fox at the Olmsted for Taste of Independents. For 40 bucks, you get to taste samples from the best independent restaurants in the city. It’s for a good cause, and you really don’t want to go to Olive Garden again.

RR+CarolineHeine

My Rusty interview with Caroline Heine

Westward Go!  You should be excited about the city’s western development — the proposed additions to Waterfront Park, Gill Holland’s efforts to revitalize Porland, and the West Louisville FoodPort, a 24-acre project that’s all about local food. Here about it with Caroline Heine on Rusty Satellite.

Look What’s Going on Next Door: Here in Jeffersontown, the nascent nightlife scene is starting to happen. Plans for a new brewpub are in the works on Watterson Trail, and this weekend there’s the J-Walk Music and Bar Hop.  Bearno’s, Loui Loui’s, El Nopal, Ann Marie’s Bacon Bar and Johnny V’s will offer drink specials and live music from 3-11 p.m.

Blues Decision: It’s hard to skip the Blues, Brews and Barbecue Festival at the Water Tower this weekend, especially with local faves Little T&A and V-Groove on the bill.

Rick Redman of Louisville Slugger

Rick Redman of Louisville Slugger

All-Star Week: Baseball’s all-stars are coming to Cincinnati next week, and of course their special bat are being made here. Here’s Rusty alum Rick Redman explaining the process. Click the link below for cool video on it.

I’m Still Trying to Be Nice: But seeing people rally behind this County Clerk in Morehead makes it really difficult. He’s being hailed a hero for refusing to do his job as ordered by the Supreme Court and the Governor. All because he hates the gays. Coming soon to a Moment of Zen near you:

 

THE WEEK: At Least It Ends Well Friday, Jun 26 2015 

Welcome to THE WEEK – LouisvilleKY.com’s almost weekly wrap of the River City. This time the big news came on Friday, as the Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage, and your Facebook feed exploded with nice people rejoicing.

A Kentucky case was at the center of the argument. And, of course, let’s all not forget that Gov. Steve Beshear once argued in favor of the gay marriage ban because his lawyers claimed gay marriage would hurt the state’s birth rate. That was after Jack Conway realized it was a bad argument and refused to defend the Kentucky law.

Let’s hear the reaction from Mayor Greg Fischer:

“This is a monumental win for equal treatment under the law, and I’m pleased that Louisville couples were part of this historic decision. Louisville has a proud history of leadership on fairness and civil rights. Fifty-two years ago, Louisville became the first city in the South to pass an ordinance banning discrimination in public accommodations based on skin color. Four years later, our city was the first in the South to enact an open housing law. And, in the late 1990s, Louisville led our state by passing a Fairness ordinance that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations and employment. Our nation took a giant leap forward today.”

WaterfrontWedOn the Waterfront: I hadn’t attended a Waterfront Wednesday show this year, and this week’s event was absolutely packed. Remember when you could bring a blanket or ride your bike and get really close to the stage? I do. It may have been cooler then, but it’s alright now.

Proper Distance from the Flag: Even rednecks and Republicans were actively distancing themselves from anything to do with the Confederate Flag this week, and Mitch McConnell called for the removal of the Jeff Davis statue in Frankfort. Web sites offering merchandise, like Cafe Press, cleared their caches of the image, calling its use “hateful speech.”

NBA Pipeline: Kentucky dominated the NBA Draft Thursday night, providing the top pick and five others to NBA teams. Cards Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell were picked up, too. But UK’s Aaron Harrison was left out.

Swell Beer Event: Come on out to Casks for a Cause Saturday on Main Street. Media members have created special brews – which could be dangerous.

rs103AmandaDuffy

Amanda Duffy

And Then Soccer: I went to my first professional soccer game last week, and I’m going back Saturday. Listen in as Louisville City FC GM Amanda Duffy explains the local phenomenon, and where it’s going, on the Rusty Show.

40 Youngsters: Check out Business First’s 40 Under 40 List, announced this week.

A Principled Stand: As Chris Thieneman points out in his latest video update, he could have made his assault charges go away by writing a check. But Chris know he’s right, and that the charges against him were brought by a vindictive woman looking for easy money.

1796956_10155762653310440_330874455857850520_oA Book, with a Derby Twist: Check out Sam Miller’s book Interstate Providence, the story of a man’s long journey after losing his fiancee and his job. And you’ll find 120 names of Derby winners in the text. He talks about it on Rusty.

Our Garden Grows: Our own Jackie Bentley found some surprises when she back to her garden after a week’s vacation.

 

Louisville Mayor leads nation’s mayors in support of My Brother’s Keeper Challenge Tuesday, Jun 23 2015 

LOUISVILLE, Ky., – Mayor Greg Fischer was the lead sponsor of a resolution approved this week by the nation’s mayors pledging continued support for a national initiative to help young men and boys of color stay on track with education and community engagement.

The resolution, approved by mayors attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in San Francisco, aims to bolster nationwide support for the “My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge,” launched by President Obama in 2014.

RS28MayorFischer

“We know the critical importance of ensuring that every child, regardless of color, neighborhood or family situation has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Fischer said. “Through this resolution we hope to encourage communities nationwide to fully embrace the MBK Challenge as we have in Louisville, so our nation and all its children can achieve maximum potential.”

In September 2014, Louisville was one of the first cities to accept the MBK Challenge and Fischer noted that the milestones of the challenge overlap with work already occurring in Louisville led by the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and the Cradle to Career lifelong learning initiative.

The challenge is a call to action for communities to enact sustainable change regarding education and career readiness, ensuring all young people can reach their full potential.

Louisville’s initiatives and partnerships to meet the MBK Challenge include:

  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten
  • Cultural Passes for children and families
  • Out of School Time Coordinating Council
  • Street Academy
  • Kentucky Youth Career Center.
  • Coding at the Beech
  • Financial Aid workshop for boys of color
  • Mayor’s SummerWorks program
  • Right Turn
  • Metro Mentors/Be the One Mentor Challenge
  • PAL Coalition – Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Yarmuth Is In for Re-Election to Congress in 2016 Monday, Jun 22 2015 

rs50JohnYarmuth

LOUISVILLE, KY – Today, at his campaign headquarters, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced that he will seek a 6th term as Louisville’s U.S. Representative in 2016.

rs50JohnYarmuth“As the lone progressive voice in Kentucky’s federal delegation, I take very seriously my responsibility to fight for our community’s values in Washington. The Republican Leadership has become more extreme, and they have increasingly pursued an agenda that threatens the livelihoods and opportunities of families in and throughout the nation,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “I believe the work of changing the priorities of the next Congress is critically important, and that’s why I’m running for reelection in 2016.”

Kentucky candidates for federal office are not able to file for 2016 campaigns until November, but Yarmuth didn’t want speculation about his race to distract from the issues in campaigns for statewide offices.

The second ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, Congressman Yarmuth has advocated for a budget that prioritizes investments in communities, families, and businesses. While most now agree that income inequality is a major problem, the Congressman said the Republican budget would cut funding for job training, education and infrastructure, while trying to take health insurance away from millions of Americans.  He has become a vocal and persistent opponent of the gimmicks in the current budget proposal that hide the massive costs of greater tax breaks to the well-off and well connected.

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the 111th Congress, Yarmuth was active in the development of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,  which has helped more than 500,000 Kentuckians gain health insurance and cut ’s uninsured rate by 81%. He remains a strong national advocate for the law and plans to continue working on improvements to ensure all Americans in need of medical attention get the care they need when they need it.

In the last Congress, Yarmuth served as part of the bipartisan group of 8, helping to craft a compromise comprehensive immigration reform bill that received wide support but was not brought up for a vote. He pledged to continue working for a law that promotes humane enforcement, provides a path to citizenship, and keeps families together.

Long before he was elected to Congress, Yarmuth was a strong advocate for equality for women and minorities, and he reaffirmed that commitment today . “America should be a place where, partners have the freedom to marry, prayer is personal, and no one ever loses their job, home, or life based on how they look, whom they love, or where they were born,” he said.

His platform was decidedly progressive but hardly partisan. Among numerous issues that receive broad, bipartisan support nearly everywhere but within the halls of Congress, Yarmuth singled out gun safety. Initiatives such as background checks and limits on magazine capacity have garnered favor from voters in both parties in poll after poll. But, amidst a plague of shooting deaths and calls for action by Yarmuth and numerous colleagues, Congressional Leadership has failed to act.

He addressed another topic that is taboo on Capitol Hill despite near universal support: campaign finance reform. The lead sponsor of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, Yarmuth stated, “Until we get the big money out of politics, our elections will never be honest, and our government will never be responsive to the priorities of the American people.

“As long as our laws say money equals speech, speech will not be free,” Yarmuth added. “That’s just common sense.”

Hear Yarmuth on the Rusty Satellite Show Here

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