It’s been good to have the opportunity to visit with so many people of Breckinridge, Hancock and Hardin counties after a busy and productive session of the Kentucky General Assembly. I’ve enjoyed spending time closer to home, even as I continue to travel to Frankfort periodically to communicate with many officials there regarding the final details of the legislation we passed in the 2015 session.
Recently, I was proud to watch the first two bills I sponsored be signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear in the state Capitol in Frankfort. One piece of legislation, House Bill 377, makes it easier for doctors and pharmacists to work together in the interest of the patients they share. This legislation makes managing our health care easier and cheaper which benefits us all in the long run. The governor also signed House Bill 380, legislation which prohibits the abuse of a classified employee when that individual is functioning in his or her capacity as a board of education employee.
While in Frankfort, I also welcomed Rachel Ritchie and her family from Vine Grove as a special guest to the Capitol. Rachel has raised more than $46,000 for her signature “Rachel’s Fun for Everyone Project,” an effort to raise funds to construct a playground that is suited for disabled and physically challenged children. Rachel serves as an inspiration to me and so many others who have had the pleasure of meeting her and working with her in her fundraising effort. I am thankful to Gov. Beshear for providing time on his busy schedule so I could follow up on my promise to introduce Rachel to him. The time the governor spent with Rachel was rewarding for all involved, and I hope many others will support her with her goal. Keep it up, Rachel! You and your friends should be congratulated for your interest in bringing joy to the lives of others around you.
Since the end of the session, I have also had the pleasure of attending a number of events emphasizing opportunities for our state to grow our economy and create more jobs. This is one of my top priorities for our region and for our Commonwealth.
In early May, the 31st Annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference and Exposition in Louisville brought together safety and health professionals, employers, and employees from around the state to take advantage of numerous learning and networking opportunities in a continued effort to keep Kentucky — and its workers — safe. It was good to see several people from our area at the event and learn more about their hard work back home.
This week, I also attended the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Conference in Pikeville where more than 1,300 individuals gathered to discuss successful economic initiatives in Eastern Kentucky and discuss ways we can work together across regions to strengthen Kentucky as a whole. As the only member of the Kentucky General Assembly in the information technology field, I was thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with a variety of state and local leaders.
Also this week, at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM)’s Energy Conference in Lexington, I joined CEOs, facility managers, engineers, suppliers, educators and other legislators in focused discussions about energy efficiency, reliability and affordability. Manufacturing is a critical component of Kentucky’s economy, and creating ways to reduce energy costs, while also strengthening markets for the state’s own natural resources of natural gas and coal was an important topic of conversation.
Soon, the legislature’s interim committee members will begin to meet again in Frankfort as we prepare for our longer, 60-day session beginning in January 2016 when the creation of the state’s next two year budget will be our top concern. Until then, I look forward to meeting with more of you along my travels to towns and neighborhoods within the 10th legislative district and encourage you to keep me up to date with important news and information to help guide my efforts as your state representative. I am proud of this opportunity to represent you in Frankfort and hope you will contact me with your questions or concerns at [email protected] or leave a message at 1-800-372-7181.
Dean Schamore is an entrepreneur and the founder/owner of Digital Connections Plus located in Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County. He served in the United States Navy and resides in Hardinsburg with his wife and two daughters. House District 10 includes Breckinridge, Hancock and portions of Hardin County.