As part of the festivities, the General Assembly met in the state's Old Capitol in downtown Frankfort. The Old Capitol was the home of our state legislature from 1830 to 1910, and was the statehouse during Lincoln's era. We meet in that historic structure on special occasions, the most recent being in 1998 for the last regular session of the 1900s.
There will be countless events across the state over the next two years as we celebrate the life of Lincoln, his role in our nation's saga, and his influence on our future.
As a war president, Lincoln was unpopular in many areas of the nation, but popularity was not his goal. A strong and lasting union was more important than personal adoration. We can take that to heart when we look at the policies and proposals before us in Frankfort. In the heat of debate, it is easy to look at public opinion and determine how we should vote, but the true judgment of our wisdom comes long after we are gone.
I suppose we can view our Lincoln Bicentennial celebration as making up for lost time. In his two presidential election wins, Lincoln never won the state of his birth. In fact, he didn't even win one percent of the statewide vote in 1860, and Kentucky was one of only three states to vote against Lincoln in 1864. Looking back at what he accomplished, we are thankful for the progress Abraham Lincoln's leadership allowed this nation to make.
Returning to this week's action, we took a significant step to help one of our most vulnerable populations. Senate Bill 125 would create a Golden Alert program to make people aware when an adult with an impairment has gone missing. Similar to the Amber Alert for children, the Golden Alert would require rescue squads and other search crews to notify local media to get the word out. While all ranges of impairment would be covered, the main focus is on the growing number of citizens with Alzheimer's. Too often, these susceptible adults wander off and cannot remember where they are, how they got there, or how to get back home. In these cases where every minute counts, having more citizens on the lookout is crucial, especially during the cold winter months.
We are nearly at the halfway mark of the 2008 session. Soon we will begin debating House bills while our companion chamber considers the bills we have already passed in the Senate.
I also want to remind you to call our Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181; visit the General Assembly's website at www.lrc.ky.gov, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. With the time crunch putting pressure on all of us, it is more important than ever for you to stay in touch.
- Senator Joey Pendleton represents Christian, Logan and Todd counties.