A day in Frankfort

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Reporter experiences legislation process first hand

By Calen McKinney

As a teenager, I never asked for the opportunity. I sure hope others do and are quick to take advantage of it.

I recently spent a day with our legislators in Frankfort. I learned a lot and can certainly appreciate the hard work that's put into making new laws to help protect Kentucky residents.

I tagged along as our representative and senator did work in their offices, from answering the phone to sending emails to talking with their co-workers. When they went to committee meetings, I was right behind them. When they went to meet with their fellow legislators, so did I.

It was a good experience for me, both as a reporter and as a Kentucky resident and taxpayer. As a reporter, I was able to share the experience with you, the CKNJ readers. I hope you also learned from my experiences.

As a taxpayer, I got to see how the General Assembly process works and just how those we elected to office are doing.

Having constituents watching your every move surely seems, to me, like a way to motivate people to work.

My two hosts, State Rep. John "Bam" Carney, R-Campbellsville, and State Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticello, showed me a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the inner workings of state government.

And while I was attending the House of Representatives and Senate meetings, I noticed several teenagers sitting on the front row. They were spending the day as pages to senators and representatives. What better way to learn if you want a career in politics than from those serving in office?

I encourage teens to ask to be a page and adults to take a day and visit our state capitol. It's pretty cool to see that old School House Rock song of how a bill becomes a law come alive.

Politics have long been fascinating to me. Local elections are the most exciting, I think, and I'm glad to see so many people file for election this year.

The May primary election might seem a ways off, but it will be here soon. I'm happy to see so many people want to serve as magistrates and city council members.

It's good to see local people want to give back to their community. Now, everyone else has to be sure they are educated on the issues when selecting their picks for magistrate, mayor, judges, PVA, city council members and the others.

The CKNJ will help the community do that by publishing a series of stories about the candidates. That will begin on April 24. And candidates, please participate in the series. It's a great way to tell the public how you stand on the issues.

Though some might not like politics, those elected will have a say in how you and I will continue to live our lives in Campbellsville. So why wouldn't we want to choose the best candidates?

Yes, the mass emails and mailings and even the candidate signs can get irritating after a while. But we should try to look past that and see what the candidate stands for and what they want to do to help our community move forward. After all, isn't that what we all want?