FRANKFORT — October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By addressing and reporting these issues, providing support, and being an advocate for victims, we can all do our part to ensure Kentucky is a safer and healthier place.
Domestic violence is a complex phenomenon that knows no gender, social or economic boundaries. Abuse has adverse impacts that can be temporary, lifelong, generational, and sometimes fatal. If you are in an emotional, mental or physical relationship that is abusive, or you need more information, educate yourself. We are fortunate to have facilities and helplines available, here is one, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). There are more online resources for counseling and information, and during these times of isolation, they are much needed and appreciated. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Kentucky and are worthy of recognition.
Breast cancer is also gender neutral and great strides have been made in testing, diagnosis and treatment. We are blessed with facilities and state of art technology and world class health care providers in our region. For more information and to find the nearest mammogram location, visit: www.KentuckyOneHealth.org/Mammogram. ) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
The only committee to meet this week was the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations. Several topics were covered, including a measure that would lower the age of servers who can serve alcohol in a restaurant from 20 years old to 18. Some members raised concerns of stakeholder input, especially in regard to organizations in urban-core areas. The chairman said he is currently in the works with the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to get answers to the questions and concerns raised by these organizations ahead of the 2021 Regular Session.
Governor Beshear announced this week he is reviving the kynect state-based health exchange program to provide easier access to coverage, resources, and other benefits. Officials stated the relaunch of kynect, which was a national model following its implementation in 2013, will offer expanded benefits, enhanced usability, and a mobile-friendly format to navigate the online portal. The exchange will open for enrollment in 2021 and commence in January 2022. The move will save Kentuckians approximately $15 million a year and provide more affordable health care across the commonwealth. For more information on kynect, visit www.kynect.ky.gov.
Although kynect will improve health options for many, we still face an ongoing public health crisis affecting thousands of Kentuckians. Over the weekend, Kentucky surpassed the former single-day record of COVID-19 cases, with nearly 1,300 positive cases reported — the most since the onset of the outbreak. We are now at a total number of over 74,000 cases reported in Kentucky.
At a time when the President of the United States has contracted the virus, it is imperative to understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and that everyone is susceptible. We must do our part, wear a mask, maintain social distance, and work together to defeat this invisible enemy. I extend my thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery to the President, First Lady, and everyone impacted by this terrible virus.
Mask Up Kentucky!
I suspect the upcoming week to be a busy one with numerous Interim Joint Committee meetings set to take place virtually and in Frankfort. You can access these meetings live, or watch archived committee footage via the Legislative Research Commission’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/channel/UCmnoJBrwFmd7JK0HA9KcPaw or by searching “Legislative Research Commission” on YouTube. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, I remain accessible by email at [email protected].