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State Senate District 7

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    Ken Carroll

  • Joe Graviss

  • Adrienne E. Southworth

Biographical Information

What are the most important challenges facing our state and how do you propose to address them?

What will you do to support an equitable and vibrant economy in our state?

What reforms will you pursue to address social and racial inequality in our state?

What will you do over the long term to ensure healthcare access for all?

What measures do you support to improve and secure elections and voting in our state?

Campaign Phone (502) 320-4178
Campaign Email
The single most challenging issue facing the Commonwealth will be balancing a budget which addresses the financial needs of the public pension systems for educators, police, fire, EMTs and state employees. There are 3 actions to strengthen and save the systems from failure. First, the systems must develop and implement continuous improvement plans to verify their current state, confirm their future ideal state with the timeframe for achievement, and remain committed to an ongoing plan to achieve the future state. Second, the systems must conduct comprehensive annual financial/operational audits to clearly demonstrate their current state. Third, more revenue must be generated by economic growth and cost savings to save the systems.
Develop a strategic plan with a focus on the location, expansion and retention of growth industries (advanced manufacturing & service support such as utilities, logistics, research/product development; healthcare; agriculture; and energy) and better connect talent pipelines to technical careers in growth industries, with lucrative compensation/benefits packages. The pipelines include those who are economically disadvantaged, mentally/physically challenged, unemployed/underemployed, offenders, high school/college graduates, and military retirees. Prospective employees will be assessed for their academic/employability knowledge then placed in company/state sponsored education/training/employment programs for placement in a career.
I will pursue law enforcement reforms which provide for a more diverse police force with increased representation of female and ethnic officers. It is most important that current officers and police recruits receive extensive training in community orientated policing and the use of nonlethal techniques to apprehend suspects. Officers must be well compensated and equipped to ensure that the very best amongst us becomes officers \to ensure that the public is safe and communities have an opportunity to grow. Once we are able to ensure the safety and well being of our communities it will become much easier to develop and implement economic opportunities with growth industries which provide lucrative technical career opportunities..
Kentucky’s executive and legislative branches must collaborate with the healthcare service/insurance industry and the federal government to develop and implement continuous improvement plans and practices. All aspects of the healthcare industry must be required to post their pricing of prescriptions and medical services. Individuals, companies and associations must be allowed to shop for healthcare services and insurance plans across state lines to increase competition in the industry. Healthcare demonstration projects must be implemented using continuous improvement techniques to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare systems in both the public and private sectors.
The Commonwealth must find innovative ways to entice more individuals to become poll workers who are critically needed in all regions. Our IT professionals must have access to and utilize the very best equipment, software and techniques to combat hacking of our voting systems and data. Since the utilization of absentee ballots are growing in popularity, the Commonwealth has to make sure that the most effective practices are utilized to reduce fraud and increase the faith of the voting system.
Campaign Phone (859) 433-4392
Campaign Email
There are a lot of challenges, but I would start with the budget and funding education, health care and addressing the pandemic. Budgets are about priorities and ours need to reflect our values. I filed a bill last session with a republican colleague and pre-filed it myself this year to do away with so many tax expenditures (loopholes\giveaways). KY loses over 8 billion a year in tax giveaways, many of which cost us more than they bring in that could be used more effectively in addressing budgetary priorities like public schools and access to quality healthcare.
As a former employer of nearly 650 Kentuckians for many years, and as chair and\or member of economic development groups, organizations and local chambers, I know how the economy works and what it takes to meet a payroll. One thing I learned in business is that if you take care of people first, the bottom line practically takes care of itself. We need to create an economy that is good for businesses and good for workers. I know we can do both because I've done it.

It sounds simple, but the key for many small businesses owners is finding more customers. Creating and expanding jobs is often easier than having enough customers to support the business. It's one thing to open a business; keeping it open with healthy employees, is another story.
We need to root out the discrimination in our criminal justice system. We should do things like ban no knock warrants, choke holds and carotid holds, and introduce racial bias training and cultural humility classes for our police forces, all while recognizing that injustices in public education, health care, the judicial system, housing and our economy affect the black community disproportionately. I'll work with the banking community and local government to make affordable housing a reality.
Kentuckians deserve access to affordable quality healthcare. Expanding Medicaid in KY is something we literally can’t afford NOT to do as a start, given that the lion’s share of the cost is picked up by the Feds. With Kentucky’s uninsured rate ticking up to 6.4% in the latest American Community Survey from 2019, we need to implement policies like expanded Medicaid that brought that rate down from over 15% in 2010. We need to remove coverage barriers and create new initiatives to improve access like expanded COBRA and keeping folks in jobs with group coverage. Making health care more affordable and actually available will be key issues going forward I plan to be involved in. Preexisting conditions shouldn't price you out of quality care.
Our state is stronger when more Kentuckians participate in our elections. I support the bipartisan work done by Democratic Governor Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Adams for the primary and general elections this year. These measures will improve voter turnout significantly and Secretary Adams testified in a committee I sit on that he saw no significant or material voter issues with the primary voting process and does not expect any for the general election.
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