BY JODI CAMP
Senator David Givens, of district 9, and Representative Wilson Stone, of district 22, spoke about their time in legislation during the 2019 session at the Legislative Luncheon on Aug. 27 at the Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College.
"In Frankfort I don't know that any community can have better friends," said Steve Thurmond, executive director of the Simpson County Chamber of Commerce, introducing the speakers.
Givens spoke first about the special session on pensions, specifically in the Kentucky retirement system.
"I wish I could stand here and tell you, you are never going to hear the word pension again, but that is not true," Givens said. "Understand that we are the worst funded pension system in the United States of America."
Other items they discussed in the special session were caller ID, concealed carry conversations and the rights of the unborn.
A specific policy he has worked on for the 9th district is the education policy.
"After meeting with a number of superintendents from around the Commonwealth and listening to the concerns of those superintendents and education leaders in K-12 education had, it became apparent to me that we needed to make some changes in the accountability space, in the way that we hold schools accountable," Givens said.
Another item he has had the pleasure of working on goes back to his roots in agriculture allowing farmers to sell their land to a new famer.
"This creates an incentive for that current farm
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owner for him or her, to sell that farm to a new young farmer intact as a piece of land that will continue as a piece of agriculture," Givens said. "The benefit for that farm owner is they get a credit against their capital gains tax at the state level."
The last item he mentioned before closing out his speech was being requested to sponsor a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis.
"After studying and learning and listening a little, there are so many challenges in that space when we normalize pornography," Givens said.
Once Givens was finished with his speech, Stone told the crowd what he has had the privilege of being part of during the legislative sessions for 2019.
He also spoke about the pension crisis and some about the budget for the year. He talked about industrial hemp moving to Simpson County.
Stone talked about the increase in security at schools around the commonwealth how schools have only one-entrance and resource officers.
He talked about money set aside for upkeep for the parks around Kentucky and integrating parents back into the work place.
"This is the only session, since I have been there, that we have had three sessions in one year," Stone said.
He ended his speech by saying it is always an honor to represent Simpson County in Frankfort.
At the end of the luncheon, Givens and Stone answered questions for the public.