All posts by Courtney Daniel

Rep. Kelly Flood takes on important issues during 2016 legislative session

During the 2016 Legislative Session, I focused on strong schools, safe streets and fair laws.

Strong Public Schools

As the chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education, I worked with my colleagues to protect elementary, middle and high schools from 9 percent cuts proposed in the Governor’s budget. Cuts of this magnitude to our schools undermine the reforms Kentucky schools need to excel.

We also lessened cuts to our colleges and universities, yet the impact means tuition increases for families at a time when college has never been more costly. We need to make it easier to get a degree, not more expensive.

To that end, we enacted a bill to allow two-year degree seekers to graduate debt-free. It’s the “Work Ready Scholarships” program, beginning fall of 2017. High school graduates who pursue an associate’s degree at a Kentucky college or university can apply for the state to cover the difference between grants and scholarships a student earns and the total cost of tuition.

I voted for a budget that upheld the commitment to state employees and retirees’ pensions by investing $1.2 billion and by ordering an independent audit.

Safer Streets

I sponsored a bill to keep repeat DUI offenders off the road. The law now looks back 10 years, instead of 5, for past drunk driving violations. I filed this bill in honor of Lexington attorney Mark Hinkel, who was killed last year by a drunk driver during the Horsey Hundred cycling event. I also advocated for a bill that would have required vehicles to maintain a three foot radius when passing bicyclists on the raodways.

I secured $5.5 million to renovate Alumni Drive and install new lighting, making our community safer while traveling in town.

Fairness Laws

I supported a singular marriage license for all Kentuckians, now the law of Kentucky, and worked to protect reproductive health-care access for poor and under-employed women and families.

The impact of 9 percent cuts across the rest of government – health care for families especially – means many are still struggling unnecessarily. I will be an advocate for efficient and cost-effective governance, as I call us to care for the most vulnerable citizens in our midst. Some of our neighbors’ lives depends on it.

To read about bills passed in the 2016 legislative session visit the LRC webpage.

Rep. Flood receives Stilwell Award from Kentucky Department of Education for advancing technology and education

The Kentucky Department of Education recognized Rep. Kelly Flood with the 2015-16 Stilwell Award for her personal dedication to and support of education technology.

Rep. Flood was successful in her efforts to get an additional $5.8 million appropriated during the 2014-16 biennium in support of five major education technology projects. The initiatives came to fruition in 2015 and 2016, and continue to benefit teachers and the children in each of the state’s 173 school districts.

The projects include:

  • Faster Internet speeds. In August 2015, Kentucky became the first state in the nation with fiber connections in all schools and district offices that provided at least 100 kb per student of Internet speed.
  • Firewall protection from cyberattacks. In November 2015 all 173 districts had this in place.
  • An Internet content management system that maximizes the 100 kb per student/digital citizenship. Almost all school districts have transitioned successfully to the new system; the remaining six districts are expected to make the transition this summer or when their existing contracts end.
  • Additional financial assistance to school districts for technology. The state was able to stretch state funds by taking advantage of the federal E-rate program and was able to help more school districts replace their aging computers.
  • Kentucky’s first IT Academy for K-12’s students. The Kentucky K-12 Microsoft IT Academy launched successfully in August 2015 and has since been renamed the Kentucky K-12 Imagination Academy. Since its inception, students have taken 40,000 IT-related courses and completed more than 25,000 of them. Kentucky K-12 students have successfully completed more than 6,000 professional IT certification exams – the best of any state in the nation during its inaugural year of implementation.

Rep. Flood named this year’s Paul Mason Legislative Advocate for Children award recipient

Rep. Kelly Flood was awarded the Legislative Advocate for Children award in honor of Paul Mason, a legislator who fought hard for the children of our commonwealth, by the Kentucky PTA this year.

Flood has been a strong advocate for children and youth in Frankfort for many years. She currently oversees the budget of $5 billion every year for preschool through high school education. She has worked to build strong schools by protecting them from 9 percent cuts and ensuring arts and humanities thrive.