As we wrap up week nine of the 2022 Regular Session, much is happening in the world. We often get caught up in challenges we face nationally and even those challenges abroad; rightfully so. The current most critical topic is the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Senate adopted Senate Resolution 153 in a bipartisan way this week and it spoke directly to the importance of freedom and standing in unity with the Ukrainian people.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky supports Ukrainian sovereignty and its right to self-determination, as we have a shared love of freedom and self-governance. America remains the shining city on a hill, and as proud Americans we wish for nothing more than the same independence and love for liberty we share at home spread across the globe.
Since declaring independence from Russia in 1918 and being freed from the grip of the communist Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has developed a rich culture, language and history, entirely unique to itself. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Christianity was introduced to the nation and allowed to flourish. Sen. Robby Mills (R-Henderson) shared a touching story on the Senate floor about his travels to Ukraine during that time.
Like Kentucky, Ukraine is geographically blessed and is rich with natural resources, which are the primary drivers of its economy. These national treasures are to be enjoyed by the Ukrainian people, not to be seized by an authoritarian Russia and used to expand its wealth and power. As a local way Kentuckians can stand against Russia and for Ukrainian sovereignty, our robust spirits industry can cease selling and purchasing Russian vodka and other goods. This is a wonderful opportunity to shop local and support Kentucky and United States produced liquor products.
With Ukraine being the largest Eastern European country, its independence is in our country’s best national security interest, especially as Russia and China strive to become a global hegemony. We must stand for the values our republic best exemplifies and alongside the people of Ukraine against an aggressive, unpredictable and dictatorial Russia. The balance between human prosperity and freedom and human suffering and subjugation is constantly shifting. Despite fears and anxieties of foreign unrest, Americans must continue to defend the principles that best enable us to live out our endowed rights.
Another bipartisan measure that passed the senate this week was Senate Bill 194, legislation set to send a rebate to all income tax-paying Kentuckians. This money is not a stimulus, but comes from a budget surplus resulting from an excess of federal money flowing into the state, as well as conservative spending over the past couple of years. These funds are currently sitting in the commonwealth’s coffers and untethered to future projections. During a time of rapidly rising inflation, this bill puts hard-earned money back into the pockets of families and allows them to save or spend that money as best fits their needs.
Other bills passed this week include Senate Bill 10, legislation that bolsters the nursing profession in our state; Senate Bill 158 which establishes the Office of Fleet Management: House Bill 6 sets the standard for car trade-in values and related property taxes; House Bill 144 and House Bill 4 both either refine or establish new terms around the distribution of unemployment insurance.
I’m proud to be your voice in Frankfort. If you have any questions or comments about these or any other public policy issues, please call my office at 502-564-8100 or the legislative message line 1-800-372-7181. Please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you see a need for legislation or just want to talk about the great things that making living in Kentucky great.
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Senator Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) represents the 16th District, which includes Adair, Allen, Metcalfe, Monroe, and Taylor Counties and eastern Warren County. He is chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and co-chair of the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee. Senator Wise also serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Health and Welfare, Agriculture, and Transportation, and is a liaison member of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education. Additionally, he is a member of the 2022-2024 Budget Preparation and Submission Subcommittee and the Legislative Oversight and Investigations Committee.