Kentuckys Lone Congressional Democrat Is Out In 2022

With a huge budget surplus and influx of federal dollars, many state employees in Kentucky will be seeking a pay raise in the next two-year budget — including state social workers, who expressed frustrations to lawmakers in Frankfort Tuesday.

The big bipartisan infrastructure bill was signed at the White House by

President Joe Biden, as Kentucky officials anxiously await those funds and projects — though the lone Republican from the state's congressional delegation to vote for it was busy catching monikers from an angry former president.

This week's newsletter will also take a peek at a shake up of state elections officials and some candidates who have filed to run for office in the coming years — and one who says he is not interested in replacing Biden in the White House.

Show us the money

Reporter Debby Yetter took a deep dive this week into the low pay, high stress and relentless backlog of cases that are causing state social services workers to leave their jobs in droves — and worsening the ongoing crisis of child abuse and neglect in Kentucky.

Yetter has thoroughly reported this crisis for many years, but the legislature has yet to kick in enough funds to stem the high turnover rate — with 50 social workers taking their demands to Frankfort this week in advance of the governor and legislators tackling the two-year state budget in the session beginning January.

Social service workers hold signs as they protest low wages, high case loads and understaffing at the Kentucky State Capitol Building on Tuesday. Nov. 16, 2021
Social service workers hold signs as they protest low wages, high case loads and understaffing at the Kentucky State Capitol Building on Tuesday. Nov. 16, 2021

Social workers are far from the only ones seeking a bump in pay or funding as Kentucky sits on a surplus, with Beshear proposing big raises for teachers and state police.

Kentucky State University also requested $23 million of emergency funds from the legislature this week, as the financially-troubled HBCU projects to literally run "out of cash" by April.

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The Old Crow Infrastructure Show

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was in attendance at the White House Monday as Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law — anticipating the city could receive a big chunk of the more than $5 billion set to flow into Kentucky.

Despite voting for the bill and calling it a "godsend,"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was not in attendance — though he was encouraged to show up by his newfound and trolling enemy, former President

Donald Trump.

Calling him "the Old Crow" and blaming him for the passage of the bill, Trump encouraged McConnell to attend the signing, then amended the moniker to "old broken-down Crow" as he further sniped about reporting in a new book that McConnell had allegedly told Trump not to attend Biden's inauguration.

Trump has not yet gained any ground in his quest to get Senate Republicans to oust McConnell from leadership, but keep an eye on whether he gets involved in GOP primaries around the country to back anti-McConnell candidates.

Elections and candidates

The Kentucky Board of Elections voted Tuesday to replace outgoing executive director

Jared Dearing with

Karen Sellers, who was previously its assistant director, with her old position being filled by

Richard House, a longtime elections official in Daviess County.

With hundreds of candidates officially filing for state offices over the past few weeks, here's just a peek at a few of the notable ones:

  • Rep. Hal Rogers, who turns 84 years old next month, filed to run for a 22nd term in the U.S. House this week. The Republican is the longest-serving member of Congress in Kentucky's history and the second-oldest in the House.

  • Rep. Thomas Massie filed to run for a sixth term, with the Republican incumbent facing off in a primary against

    George Washington. Can't wait for the debate on forced inoculations of military troops.

  • Eric Deters, the notorious northern Kentucky attorney who has gone to war with the Kentucky Bar Association and Kentucky Supreme Court over practicing law without a license, filed his intent to run for governor as a Republican in 2023.

  • Despite a column in The Hill arguing Democrats should push for

    Gov. Andy Beshear to run for president in 2024 instead of Biden, his spokeswoman said he is running for reelection and "staying in Kentucky." I mean, we had to ask.

Jack Brammer

The Lexington Herald-Leader announced this week that

Jack Brammer — the dean of the Frankfort press corps and member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame — will be retiring at the end of the year after 43 years of covering state government for the newspaper.

Growing up in Lexington, Brammer was my Rosetta Stone for understanding Kentucky government and politics, and it was a thrill and honor to be welcomed into the club by him, who was always encouraging and kind.

Beyond just being a fantastic reporter over four decades, if you read the responses to his retirement from his colleagues and those he covered, you'll find this one common theme that absolutely no one will disagree with — it is difficult to come across a better or kinder human being. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Jack!

In case you missed it

  • Beshear held a ceremony to acknowledge the more than 10,000 Kentuckians lost to COVID-19 and unveiled an image of a memorial statue to be placed on the Capitol grounds.

  • U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth endorsed fellow Democrat

    Charles Booker in his 2022 bid for Rand Paul's seat in the Senate.

  • Darcy Costello looked at how Louisville came to regret its defunding of a violence prevention program, amid a record-breaking rise in homicides.

  • The captain and deputy in the

    Jefferson County Sheriff's Office whom The Courier Journal recently outed as Ku Klux Klan members in the 1980s resigned from their positions.

  • Reporter Bailey Loosemore revisited the brave Louisville teenagers who led the fight to desegregate the city's businesses 50 years ago.

Reach reporter Joe Sonka at and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today at the top of this page.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky social workers are not happy

Source :

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