News From Frankfort: Senator Alvarado Pays Tribute to GRC’s National Champion Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Team

Published 8:25 am Sunday, March 6, 2022

The 2022 legislative session has arguably been a marathon up to this point but will become a sprint as budget negotiations draw near.
As we wrap up week nine, much is happening in the world. Despite the issues we must address domestically, and here in the commonwealth, we cannot help but get caught up in challenges we face nationally and even abroad. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia is the latest topic filling airwaves and tugging at the heartstrings of freedom-loving people worldwide.

Bipartisan Senate Resolution 153 was adopted in week nine and spoke to the importance of freedom and standing in unity with the Ukrainian people.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky supports Ukrainian sovereignty and their right to self-determination, as we have a shared love of freedom and self-governance. America is the shining city on a hill, and as proud Americans, we wish for nothing more than for the same independence and love for liberty we share at home to be spread across the globe.

Since declaring independence from Russia in 1918 and being freed from the grip of the communist Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has developed a rich culture, language, and history, unique to itself. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Christianity was introduced to the nation and allowed to flourish. Senator Robby Mills shared a touching story on the Senate floor about his travels to Ukraine during that time.

Like Kentucky, Ukraine is geographically blessed and is rich with natural resources, which are the primary drivers of its economy. These national treasures are to be enjoyed by the Ukrainian people, not seized by an authoritarian Russia and used to expand its wealth and power. As a local way Kentuckians can stand against Russia and support Ukrainian sovereignty, our robust spirits industry can cease selling and purchasing Russian vodka and other goods. This is an excellent opportunity to shop locally and benefit Kentucky and United States-produced liquor products.

With Ukraine being the largest Eastern European country, its independence is in our country’s best national security interest, especially as communist Russia and China strive to become a global hegemony. We must stand for the values our republic best exemplifies and alongside the people of Ukraine against an aggressive, unpredictable and dictatorial Russia. The balance between human prosperity and freedom and human suffering and subjugation is constantly shifting. Despite fears and anxieties of foreign unrest, Americans must continue to defend the principles that best enable us to live out the rights we are each endowed with.

I detailed Senate Bill 194 in last week’s legislative update. It cleared the Senate in week nine unanimously. The bill would provide each working Kentucky taxpayer a refund of up to $500 for individuals $1,000 for households.

Other bills passed in week nine included:
Senate Bill 10, also detailed in previous legislative updates, addresses the Kentucky nursing shortage.

Senate Bill 160 benefits Kentucky’s spirits industry following a bizarre change in interpretation of law by the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. It allows a distiller to conduct private selection events and sell private selection packages at retail so long as it sells the packages through a wholesaler and licensed retailer. The bill will also allow distillers to sell private selection packages selected by the distillery’s own representatives directly from the premises to visitors. Before the ABC’s change in statutory interpretation, distilleries were already doing these things. The bill includes an emergency clause to reassure Kentucky distillers of their operations as soon as possible. That means the law would go into effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State’s Office.

• Senate Bill 158 was a simple reorganization measure that establishes the Office of Fleet Management in the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

• House Bills 4, 6 and 144 made passage in the Senate too. Those bills could reach the Governor’s desk for his consideration to be signed into law or allowed to become law without his signature or vetoed. If vetoed, I trust the legislature will soundly override the veto just as we did in the past.

I attended the Rally for Life in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, March 1. Two days later on Thursday, March 3, we received another win in the Supreme Court of the United States. In an 8-1 ruling, the court affirmed Kentucky’s Attorney General can defend pro-life legislation.
The Kentucky General Assembly has passed numerous bills since a new majority was secured in 2016. Among them have been bills to ban live dismemberment abortions, which is the bill Attorney General Daniel Cameron was seeking to defend, and now will, before the nation’s highest court. I applaud the Attorney General’s office for the stellar work on this front and I pray for continued rulings that will result in further protections for the most innocent.

Special guests joined me in the Senate on Wednesday. The George Rogers Clark (GRC) High School United States Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) was recognized by the full Senate, as I called up Senate Resolution 7 (SJR 7), honoring them.
JROTC programs teach discipline, teamwork, citizenship and overall fitness, but one program in the commonwealth excelled this past year.

Congratulations are in order for the GRC JROTC Raider teams for their performance in the National Raider Challenge Championship.
GRC took its all-male and all-female raider teams to Molena, GA, to compete against over 80 other teams in four physical challenges. The all-male team went to the national competition, hoping to take home a couple of trophies for specific events. Instead, they came home as champions. They are champions for the first time in school history. The GRC’s all-female team placed fourth overall.

These teams put in a lot of hard work with many late nights. Their hard work was worth it. Not only did these teams represent the commonwealth incredibly well, but in an individual challenge for the ultimate raider championship, GRC’s own Logan Dawson brought home the title as well.
Clark County is incredibly proud of these students and I feel Kentucky should share in that pride. I was honored to be able to honor them with SJR 7.
Please feel free to call me about these issues or any other public policy issue toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Ralph.Alvarado@LRC.ky.gov. Be safe. God bless.

Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th Senate District, which following redistricting, includes Bath, Clark, Menifee and Montgomery counties and the eastern portion of Fayette County. He serves as chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health and Welfare. He is also a member of the Senate Standing Committees on State and Local Government and Banking and Insurance. He is a liaison member of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources. Additionally, Sen. Alvarado serves as a member of the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee and the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.