Update From Hal: June Edition
Summer break is here, Lake Cumberland is looking better than ever before, and thousands of families across the region are ready for summer vacation. In addition, the Freedom to Fish Act was signed into law yesterday, securing some of the best fishing spots near dams along the Cumberland River, like Wolf Creek Dam. Read more >>
PRIDE Volunteers of the Month: Upper Chloe Improvement Club
Last week, I had the opportunity to drive through the mountains and see the beautiful, clean hillsides thanks to thousands of PRIDE volunteers who have been picking up litter this Spring. During a couple of events, I recognized several of this year's outstanding volunteer recruiters including Ella Clay from Floyd County, Lillian Wheeler from Johnson County, Frankie Collett from Magoffin County, Roger Hicks from Knott County, Barry Spivey from Jackson County, Angie Muncy from Leslie County, Gary Cornett from Letcher County, and Rosa Couch from Perry County. Additionally, PRIDE named the Upper Chloe Improvement Club in Pike County the Volunteers of the Month for June. I also presented a "Difference Maker Award" to Ashley Bowman for recruiting 2,000 volunteers in Wolfe County. Keep up the great work!
UNITE Roundtable on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
On Thursday, I joined UNITE for the region's first-ever Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Roundtable at the London Community Center in London, Kentucky. The syndrome is found in infants who have been exposed to drugs while in the womb. Unfortunately, studies show Kentucky has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of drug-exposed babies over the last decade. The roundtable was designed to bring healthcare officials, legislators and other stakeholders to the table to unite in an effort to help drug-addicted pregnant women and their babies. To learn more, keep reading >>
UNITE Scholars Alex Sears and Marcus Kuhl
Also this month, I helped kick-off UNITE's new "I Am UNITE" Scholarship program at Rockcastle County High School. This year, 19 high school seniors are receiving $1,500 each, while two are receiving $5,000 each. I'm incredibly proud of the leadership that our UNITE Club members display, along with their diligent efforts to raise awareness and help their friends and family members live drug-free. See photos >>
Rogers speaks to the Big Sandy A.D.D.
I had the privilege of speaking to the Big Sandy Area Development District on Tuesday, May 28th to provide a legislative update. We discussed the War on Coal, ObamaCare, the IRS scandal and much more.
New IRS Chief Daniel Werfel will face three Congressional hearings this week. In the first hearing on Monday, I demanded answers from Werfel about the federal agency's absurd political investigations and outrageous conference spending.
As you well know, Obama's War on Coal has taken a toll on our Appalachian coalfields. Reports show Kentucky has lost 5,700 coal mining jobs over the last 18 months. All but 200 of those jobs have come from Eastern Kentucky coal mines. In response, I have slashed the EPA's budget and scolded agency leaders, yet this Administration remains relentless. I co-sponsored the Coal Jobs Protection Act to put the EPA on a timeline to approve 404 mining permits. If the EPA fails to respond within 90 days, permits would automatically be approved. Senator Mitch McConnell submitted a companion bill in the Senate as well.
Rogers speaks to Hazard EKCEP
I know many coal families are fighting. I was encouraged by the work of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program's (EKCEP) efforts to help our laid-off coal miners and their spouses find alternative employment or instruction. I had a chance to meet with former coal miner, Chris Stump who received on-the-job training through his local Community Action Agency, and now works as a lineman. Since December, EKCEP has helped 1,000 coal miners and their spouses find a job, extend their education, or receive on-the-job training. EKCEP pays employers 75% of a former coal miner's salary during the training period, which is a great way to recruit employers. We need to diversify the economy in Southern and Eastern Kentucky, but we also need our mines to continue producing coal. It's time to end the War on Coal!
Rogers with former coal miner Chris Stump
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