Reginald Meeks

Actual good legislation moving through the KY House

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February 15, 2011
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First, the bill to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill in Kentucky passed overwhelmingly in the House, 97-1:

FRANKFORT — The House passed a bill Monday that would make it easier for the federal government to track and block permits for those who have been declared mentally ill.

House Bill 308 requires Kentucky to notify the FBI when a court commits people to a mental institution or otherwise finds them mentally incompetent. The FBI would add the names of those people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, used by federally licensed gun dealers to screen their customers.

Federal law prohibits the sale of guns to anyone “adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution.” However, Kentucky is one of many states that does not notify the FBI when its courts make such decisions.

Now it moves on to the Senate, where all good legislation in Kentucky dies. Could they possibly vote this down? I wouldn’t rule anything out.

In other news, a bill to regulate the out of control for-profit education industry cleared the House Education Committee:

The committee approved House Bill 125, aimed at restructuring the State Board for Proprietary Education, which regulates some for-profit schools. The bill also would move many of the state board’s responsibilities to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

The state board licenses about 120 for-profit schools offering two-year associate’s degrees, technical certificates or other diplomas in different career fields. Under the current law, six of the state board’s 11 seats are held by representatives of for-profit schools, appointed by the governor.

This presents a clear conflict of interest, said Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, the bill’s sponsor. Legislative hearings have uncovered student complaints about for-profit schools that the state board failed to address, including complaints about schools represented on the board, Meeks said.

“I think people now realize the activities of the board and the schools have gone unsupervised for too long,” Meeks said.

Now it’s time for the Subprime School Industry’s Lobbyists to swarm onto Frankfort.

Reginald Meeks delivers the awesome

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April 19, 2010
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This guy is following up on his 2009 Rootie runner-up for best KY Democrat with more win. Check out this snarktastic email that he just sent out skewering the right in Kentucky over at Gay Skeletor’s House of Fancy Snark:

National Republican politics and the tremendous response to come one, come all Tea Party invitations have impacted this session more than you know. With the GOP scrambling to prevent further internal hemorrhaging, they see the value added by increasing numbers with folk who have a taste for tea.

An interesting Elephant Wrestlemania match is pending. The main event features the tag-team of JB, RP, DW, and they now seek to introduce their newest team member, “BIG T Party”! They don’t have a team name, but will be going up against the team known throughout the state as “The Established Link”. This team is composed of Big Daddy Mc, Tre’ Baller, and the Elephant, man. Let’s all be sure to watch just how far out in middle of the mat DW goes with BIG T. I hear the Established Link team has also made contract overtures to BIG T Party, so there is a question of Party loyalty, for sure, and no one wants to be bushwhacked by a supposed team member!

After all, there are so many different Tea groups in Kentucky. I am trying to learn if they have a consistent message; a common purpose and plan; a direction they are all moving in together and one they all are in agreement with? I want to know and understand this group, but they seem to be all over the road – and reckless driving is dangerous. Get that corn popped – extra butter please — and put up your feet. This should be fun to watch!

It is the belief of some knowlgeable individuals that Senate President David Williams was never interested in having a budget. No need for one if he, too, has developed a taste for tea and the Tea Baggers are insisting that government is dysfunctional and not being able to pass a budget is proof.

By helping to mobilize and shore up this new political ideology that is to the right of even the state Republican party, Mr. Williams has clearly made his stand against the Republican establishment; perhaps because of the angst he feels for not being the Chosen One for the US Senate seat.

And is there anyone who believes Mr. President might have overplayed his hand this session? Rumor has it that an anthropologist found what might turn out to be backbone material in the Senate Chambers this session. It is unknown just how old this material might be, but it is currently being studied at a confidential UK lab facility. When queried about why Dems in the Senate seemed to follow the leader on the budget, I was advised it is commonly thought that it’s better to go home with a budget. Really? Seems this session they violated their own rule…

Somebody get this man a blog. The Kathy Stein of Louisville?

Have You Hugged Your Reginald Meeks Lately?

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March 11, 2009
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If not, you should. Or at least send him a very nice thank-you note! And hey, while you’re at it, thank “hatchet-man” Tom Burch, too. The mandatory ultrasound bill will not leave the House Health & Welfare Committee this session. Of course, I am sure we can all eagerly await its return next year, as anti-choicers are nothing if not persistent showboaters. While all of the panel’s Democratic members are deserving of our sincere gratitude, this is why I single out Representatives Meeks and Burch:

Meanwhile, proponents blamed committee chairman Tom Burch, D-Louisville, for the bill’s demise.

“He did it by actively lobbying to bring the bill to his committee where he knew he could kill it,” said David Edmunds of The Family Foundation of Kentucky.

Edmunds noted that House Democratic leadership last year sent the bill to the Judiciary Committee, where then-chair Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, “killed it.”

“It appears this leadership has a new hatchet man in Tom Burch,” he said.

Burch said he simply gave the bill a hearing and it did not garner enough votes to get out of committee.

Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, said he was torn by the vote, noting that another lawmaker had threatened to hold one of his bills hostage in another committee if he didn’t support the proposal.

Meeks said he was not going to be held hostage and voted against the bill. He did not identify the other legislator.

Of course, for all the belly-aching about Burch lobbying for the bill to go the committee he heads, I am really fucking curious as to the justification of why the bill went to the Senate’s committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection, whose jurisdiction includes:

Matters relating to veterans, including veterans’ rights, benefits and education; veterans’ nursing homes; military affairs and civil defense; national guard; retention of military bases; safety of citizens and security of public buildings and property; military memorials and cemeteries.

As for Rep. Meeks, I am glad I have this soapbox with which to publicly thank him for sacrificing his own bill and doing what is right. Though the busy-body in me is dying to know which legislator was blackmailing his vote, I will resist all urges to call for the public outing of him/her and take satisfaction in knowing that Reginald Meeks is a class act, not just for doing what is right for Kentucky women and families, but for extending a professional courtesy that I doubt I would not be so charitable with if I were in his shoes.

ex post facto: Gary Tapp swears it was all just one big misunderstanding and that says Rep. Meeks is a liar. Sorry, Gary. When you go on record as a despicable bigot, you don’t get to say other people are liars.

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