Frankfort Local News

In Midst of Deep Cuts, Lawmakers Find Two Bright Spots in Budget

Kentucky’s latest budget proposal appears to be all doom and gloom, but that’s not entirely the case.

Governor Steve Beshear did propose deep cuts to many state agencies in this year’s budget. But he also left some funds available for bright spots. Two appropriations Beshear made were for free colon cancer screenings for the uninsured and to create an adult abuse registry.

State Rep. Jim Glenn is the sponsor of free colon cancer screenings legislation. For several years he’s pushed for $8 million to fund the program. So he’s happy with Beshear’s decision.

“I’m going to continue asking for the eight million, but I am really happy,” Glenn says. “And I really welcome the governor’s appropriation of two million dollars, which is one million state and then one million from a private organization.”

In the past, both proposals have failed because of their price tags. But Beshear says with those excuses now gone, both bills should become law.

With the governor, not a lawmaker, advocating for the proposals, they’re likely to remain in the final budget, says state Rep. Carl Rollins. Rollins is sponsoring legislation for the adult abuse registry. The bill has been carried by various Democratic lawmakers over the years.

“If the governor put it in there’s a better chance that it will stay in,” Rollins says. “But that doesn’t mean it will stay in. So we’ll be fighting to keep it in.”


Frankfort Local News

Lawmakers Push Program For Free Colon Cancer Screenings

A group of Kentucky lawmakers is once again trying to advance a bill that would provide free colon cancer screenings.

Colon cancer is the third most prevalent and second most fatal type of cancer in the commonwealth.

The bill would provide free colon cancer screenings to citizens who are fifty-five or older and uninsured. It would also apply to younger residents who are at high risk of contracting colon cancer.

“What we’re trying to do is help those who may not have sufficient amount of money get colon cancer exams,” says Representative Jim Glenn, an Owensboro Democrat. “It will increase the health of the people of the state of Kentucky.”

The bill passed the House Health and Welfare Committee unanimously this week. But it must pass through the appropriations committee because it carries an eight million dollar price tag. And the bill’s fate there is uncertain.

“We will keep trying until we get it passed,” Glenn says. “The state is $350 million short of cash for the next budget. And we’ll just keep trying till we get it passed.”

State of Affairs

Colon Cancer

STATE OF AFFAIRS 03/08/11:  Recent statistics list Louisville as the fourth highest city in the nation for colon cancer deaths. Estimates are that 60% of current colon cancer deaths could be prevented with regular screening, but not all who are at-risk are regularly screened. We’ll talk to medical professionals and a colon cancer survivor from the Colon Cancer Prevention Project about causes, treatments, and prevention.

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