Friday, June 8, 2007

Notes From Don


Representative Harry Moberly

I want to pass along my condolences to Mr.Moberly, whose mother died last Friday.

He allowed me a lengthy interview and said that he and Senator Ed Worley are solidly supporting Steve Beshear for Governor.

Moberly said that he will run for re-election. He also plans to continue serving as Chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee and will support Jody Richards to be re-elected as house speaker in 2009.

Harry does not read political blogs but I had him specifically deny that he had made a deal to be Budget Chair for Fletcher as one blogger speculated or that he had made a deal to be Budget Chair for Beshear as another speculated.

He also denied a blog post that he was trying to be President of Eastern Kentucky University and a new rumor that has him being named to the Public Service Commission.

It does not appear that Harry is going anywhere but a lot of people seem to think he is.

Comment on Kentucky

The following is a brief summary of some of the topics addressed on Comment on Kentucky on June 1, 2007 in which Don McNay was a guest.

Postsecondary Education

There are two important happenings in Post Secondary Education.

First is the search for new President for the Council on Post Secondary Education to replace the retiring Tom Layzell.

Peggy Bertelsman of Ft. Thomas, who was my high school English teacher 30 years ago, heads up the search committee and told me that the committee hoped to announce a finalist this week but he withdrew over the weekend.

Bertelsman said they are still receiving applications and the committee won't reveal any names until they present one or more candidates to the full council.

On another subject,

Dr. Jim Applegate and Sue Patrick at the Council on Post Secondary Education told me that beginning in 2009, incoming college students will need a score of 19 in math and 21 in reading on the ACT exam to be placed in a credit bearing college course. The current score needed is 18.

State Representative Joni Jenkins, who is employed by Jefferson Community College, is concerned about the increase and said that studies show that the ACT is not always a good predictor of college performance.

State Representative Harry Moberly, who is a director at Eastern Kentucky University strongly favors the increase in ACT scores and said that the move is part of an overall push to bring Kentucky up to national standards on admitting college students.

Congressman Hal Rogers and OxyContin

I've written two recent columns about Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, agreeing to a $635 million settlement with the federal government.

Purdue's lawyer, former New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, negotiated a plea that kept top executives at Purdue from going to jail.

Kentucky Congressmen Hal Rogers asked the FDA to insist OxyContin only be prescribed for severe pain.

Rogers said that would reduce the number of drugs being diverted to the black market.

Purdue Pharma is fighting Rogers’ request.

OxyContin addiction has been a huge problem in Roger's district, and he has been vigilant in his effort to get it more heavily regulated.

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