prunty 300BELTON, Ky. (12/4/17) — I left a couple of very significant events out of my last column. On Nov. 19, I participated in the Central City Christmas Parade. It was a reminder of the many folks I represent in Frankfort and was a joy to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, particularly since most of our grandchildren were there wishing it with me.
 
On Monday, Nov. 20, I had the privilege of welcoming home Brady Joe Cobb upon his return from Nashville. He had spent from July 24 until Monday at Vanderbilt following complications from surgery. His mother had called on Friday because he had mysteriously ended up on Tenncare (Tennessee’s version of Medicaid) somewhere along the way. They were literally ready to come home but could not leave until Tenncare “went away.”

I immediately called the Cabinet for Health and Human Services and fortunately, they were able to get a hold of folks at Tenncare, figure out the problem and arrange for Brady Joe to be released on Monday. I was humbled to join the line of cars, fire trucks, sheriff vehicles, etc. in the parade that led him to his home in Graham. Brady Joe’s parents have accrued enormous medical expenses and have not worked since Brady Joe’s surgery, though hope to return to work soon. Any assistance folks would be willing to give them would be greatly appreciated. There is someone in Greenville who has promised to match up to $2,500 if given before the end of the year. If you would like to donate to help the Cobb’s out, you can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/bradyjoecobb
 
Also, “Praying for Brady Joe” bracelets are available at Pogue’s Automotive, either of the two JR Bargain Plus locations in Muhlenberg County, Munday’s Equipment in Graham or from Brady Joe’s mother, Shelbi Cobb. Please do what you can to help this family out. They would greatly appreciate it.
 
On the 28th, I was in Frankfort for a called meeting during the day. I returned home that evening in order to travel to the Goose Lake Fish & Wildlife office to serve dinner to the 12 trappers who are in the district to trap beavers for two weeks. They came from far and wide across the Commonwealth and at least one from Indiana to help constituents in both Muhlenberg and Hopkins counties begin to make a dent in the beaver nuisance problem. Hopefully, this is the first step towards a long-range plan to get them under control. I will be staying in close touch with Commissioner Johnson and other F&W Staff as they continue to develop an ongoing plan and will do whatever I can to assist in the process.
 
On the 29th, I was able to join Commissioner Ryan Quarles to tour Cal-Maine’s cage free farm location in Bremen. It was very educational to see the various stages of egg production from chicks to the end product. It was interesting to find out that an average of 650,000 cage free eggs are washed, graded and packaged each day and are sent all over the eastern United States as well as other locations. The staff are knowledgeable and competent and seem to really enjoy what they are doing. Hats off to Cal-Maine as an employer of many folks in the district at various locations.
 
Thursday the 30th, I spent a work day in Frankfort and then attended the screening of Mariska Hargitay’s “I Am Evidence, My Body was a Crime Scene” that evening. The film is an HBO documentary that will be released in February. It chronicles the experiences of four women who were victims of intimate violence hours, weeks, months and years after the collection of evidence in their cases. Some of the opening scenes were filmed in Owensboro. The documentary’s purpose is to highlight the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits across the United States and how the justice system serves survivors. The screening was part of the KASAP’s (Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs) 19th Annual Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference in Lexington.   https://www.kasap.org/ https://kcadv.org/

On Friday, I attended the noon luncheon of the conference and was humbled and honored to receive a Champions for Justice Award. I received the award for my work on the passage of HB309 that had SB86 attached to it. Both bills are related to domestic violence. It is the hope that the passage of these two bills in tandem will assist victims of intimate violence in real ways. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB309.htm
 
On Sunday, Dec. 3, I participated in the Nortonville Christmas Parade. Again, it is always good to be among the people and be reminded of who I represent while in Frankfort. I also appreciate all of those who went with me to assist handing out candy to folks along the way.

I have been asked to share with you that T-shirts are available to order until midnight Dec. 10 of which $5 will go to support the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center. MCOC is a sheltered workshop that benefits residents of both Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties. Check out the T-shirts at supportmustangs.com

PENSION UPDATE: The House sent a negotiated plan to the Senate on Friday. If the Senate is in agreement, an alternative plan should be out this week to various organizations to be scored. Please look for that and provide me with feedback. I am receiving numerous e-mails that say, “No,” to a special session. At this point in time, I would agree, however, I must remind all of you that only the Governor can call a Special Session. If he calls one and we are not in agreement on a plan, we would more than likely gavel in and gavel out and address the pension in the regular session. Many folks act like a vote has already taken place on a bill that has not yet been finalized. At this point in time, no votes have been cast on any plan.   

I want to thank you once again for allowing me to be your voice in The People’s House. I welcome your comments and concerns on any issue and can be reached, regardless if in session or not, through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at-1-800-372-7181 or you can contact me via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please follow me on Facebook @melindagibbonsprunty. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov
 
Note: Representative Melinda Gibbons Prunty represents the 15th House District serving Muhlenberg and SE Hopkins Counties which includes White Plains, Morton’s Gap, Anton as well as sections of Nortonville, Earlington and SE Madisonville. She is Vice-Chair of the Health & Family Services Committee and serves as a member of the Education, IT & Small Business, Medicaid Advisory & Oversight Committees as well as the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education. In addition, she serves on the House Adoption & Foster Care Workgroup and was recently asked to serve on the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Advisory Committee http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ColonCancer.htm

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