I would like to begin by recognizing a young man from Perry County, Nick Hoskins, who has committed his spare time to collecting pennies for Hospice Care over the years. Many of us have encountered the kindness of Hospice programs, whether in your family homes caring for an elderly parent or at one of their facilities nursing a loved one in their end of life. But last week the focus shifted off the patients and staff and onto a young man’s hard work; after years of collecting and donating, Nick’s contributions to date near $2,000 for the Hospice Care Center! I was honored last Monday to join Hospice Care Center board members, Hazard/Perry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Betsy Clemons and state Rep. Fitz Steele, as we paid tribute to Nick for his concern and hard work toward helping people in need of care and comfort during their final days at the Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center in Hazard.
While in the district, I also met with regional nursing home providers at the Hyden Health and Rehabilitation Center in Leslie County and was pleased to hear updates about the services and facilities they offer, but also humbled to hear about the needs these programs face in this tough economy. I rounded out the week in the district with a meeting at the Perry County Library, organized by Tonya Turner, to give updates on pending legislation and to discuss issues with constituents. I was especially honored that folks braved the snow to come meet with me!
At the Capitol, I met with Gerry Roll, president of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, to get an update on the local programs and projects the foundation is able to support due to the generous donations of those in the community. The foundation continues to promote the “Endow Kentucky” program which was established through legislation I sponsored in 2011 to encourage philanthropic activity across the Commonwealth.
I expect this week will be a busy one as the General Assembly reconvened on Tuesday. We will be tackling pension reform on the Senate floor, hearing from the governor during his State of the Commonwealth address, and I will be addressing the Kentucky coal counties at their annual dinner. I’ll keep you informed as we go along. Your input is invaluable, so please call me in Frankfort toll-free at (800) 372-7181 if you have any questions, concerns or comments.
Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) represents the 30th District including Bell, Harlan, Leslie, and Perry counties. He is the Majority Whip; the Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee; and a member of the Banking and Insurance Committee, the Committee on Committees, the Legislative Research Commission, the Rules Committee, and the Transportation Committee.