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Representative Jill York

Serving Kentucky's 96th District

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Working for Carter and Lawrence Counties

One thing I have learned throughout my time serving as your state representative is how important it is to keep the lines of communication open -- and I believe this site will make it even easier for your ideas to reach me.
Thank you for the e-mails, letters and phone calls about the issues that are close to your heart.

To all who have contacted me -- Thank you. Thank you for the e-mails, letters and phone calls about the issues that are close to your heart. When I sit down with other legislators to debate the fine points of a piece of legislation, your feedback enables me to attack and defend from an informed position. That knowledge is invaluable to me. My hope is that this site can be a source of information and a contact point for our discussions. Contained within these pages will be links to news, legislation and details about our beautiful 96th District. The "Connect" page will make it easy for you to share your thoughts with me or opt-in to follow the daily proceedings in Frankfort.

It is my sincere honor to serve you in the General Assembly. I appreciate the responsibility and trust you have given me and I look forward to representing your views and interests as we tackle our challenges together.
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Welding Safety bill set to be filed by Rep. York
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"The quality of Kentucky skilled trades craftsmanship is known all across the nation," says Rep. York. "To insure that high standard is met in all instances, we must insure that all welders working on Kentucky structures are legitimately tested and certified."

Not all welding certifications are created equally and York hopes to legislate a standard that will end the fraudulent practice of "certification mills" that churn out credentials without tests and verification as to who is being certified.

So, exactly how bad is the fraudulent credential problem? Rep. York describe instances where papers were submitted to an "accreditation facility" and a dog was provided credentials to weld in Kentucky. "Our aim is to bring a trusted standard of quality to certifications issued for work in Kentucky that is on par with the level of expertise and training that would accompany the credentials granted to those who complete apprentice programs. It sets a standard that contractors and the public alike can depend on and trust. If you are certified to weld in Kentucky -- you meet our high standards."
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York works with Jailers and Auditor's Office to improve law
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While most people would agree that allowing a County Jailer to make use of a portion of a detention center's canteen proceeds to be invested in equipment to enhance the safety of the inmates is a good idea, the existing statues on the matter are up for interpretation. As such, sometimes the uses of the funds would be approved by the Auditor's office and other times they wouldn't meet the test.

"What we've been able to do over the summer months is get a conversation going between Auditor Mike Harmon's office and the jailers to work on clearing up the murky language. That led to agreements and ideas that would better define good uses of canteen money and thereby offer jailers some further guidance when making decisions about the uses of those funds." York credits Carter County Jailer R.W. Boggs for alerting her to the troublesome statute that the bill will target for fine-tuning during the 2018 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
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Jill York named chair of A&R Budget Review Sub Committee
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Representative Jill York has be named to preside over a newly formed Appropriations and Revenue Budget Review Sub Committee that will oversee five cabinets. The committee will hear testimony and input from officials and groups attached to the cabinets over the interim and then will report its recommendations on for consideration during the preparation of the next biennial state budget.

The reach of the committee spans the Economic Development Cabinet, Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, Public Protection Cabinet, Labor Cabinet and Environmental Protection.

When the general assembly convenes in January 2018 the primary purpose is to draft the legislation that will create Kentucky's budget for the next two years. The 2016 Biennial Budget for the Commonwealth was approximately $22 billion and was drafted upon revenue projections that have not met expectations. The upcoming Legislative Session will most likely require the budget to be crafted at the same time the legislature tackles pension and tax reform.
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Congratulations to Carter County Teen Court
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Kentucky has over 1,200 students participating in "Teen Court," a peer led option available to first-time juvenile offenders. Cases are sent to Teen Court after a careful process that determines the juvenile is eligible for diversion. The only adult participating in the process once the case is sent to Teen Court is the presiding District or Family Court Judge.

Rep. York was honored to participate in the recent swearing-in ceremony held at the Carter County Judicial Center for the teenagers from East an West Carter High Schools who will serve as attorneys, jurors, bailiffs and clerks for cases sent to Teen Court for the upcoming year.

District Judge Rupert Wilhoit oversees the mandatory five training sessions necessary wherein the students will learn the process and roles they will undertake as they are instructed by local legal professionals. The students are taught proper courtroom tactics and procedures, confidentiality and a deeper understanding of laws.

"Each year, Judge Wilhoit has the students conduct a short mock-trial for those who attend the ceremony so parents and the community can see these bright young people in action, says Representative Jill York. "If any young offender's were hoping choosing this option would let them slide by without facing the consequences of their actions, they will be sadly mistaken!"

According to the Administrative Office of the Court's website, "Teen Court is based upon the premise that most young people want to do what is right when making decisions. Even those who may make the wrong choice due to external factors such as peer pressure are often gratified to learn that they have the opportunity to make amends. What better way to impress upon a young offender than to be judged by a jury of one's peers?"

Pictured are 2018 Teen Court Member Jacob Hensley and Rep. Jill York

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Students learn about legislator duties
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The wonderful sign and thank-you card signed by students at Fallsburg Elementary in Lawrence County.

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Another great year for Rep. York and the "Back to School" program that brings legislators to schools to discuss the way our state government works and how important the role of each citizen is in that process. Materials are furnished by the Legislative Research Commission to meet the ages and expectations of the students.

Late in fall of this year, Rep. York visited Louisa West and Prichard Elementary schools. According to her Frankfort office, time will be available in the spring for more schools to schedule visits. Some schools, like Olive Hill Elementary, wait until the curriculum turns to government or citizenship to plan for the interactive presentation that shares a glimpse into what legislators actually do.

"I am always delighted when kids begin to figure out how the process works, " explains York. "I try to make my talks very collaborative and bring them into the task of lawmaking. Once we get an idea for a bill started, then it gets really interesting as the students trouble-shoot the legislation and propose amendments." She described the vigor of the student debates and how involved they get when it comes time to vote on their measures. "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if several of these young people end up as community leaders someday!"
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Family ties strong for Rep. York in Lawrence County
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While many legislators saw themselves thrown into unknown territories by the maps passed for redistricting, Rep. York was delighted by the addition of Lawrence County to her district.

"It feels like a homecoming of sorts," she said. "My father's family all came from Lawrence County. He was the youngest of his brothers and sisters and then I was the youngest cousin of my generation. When I was a child, each visit to Louisa was a day long affair as we would stop and visit his friends all along the way."

She remarked about the warm reception she has gotten as she introduces herself to the county as their new voice in the legislature. "It's been delightful -- so many reconnections and lots of stories. One day in particular, it seemed like the question everyone had for me was, 'Now, you're Happy's daugher, right?' York is the daughter of the late James H. "Happy" York and late Sally Hunter York.

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2018 Session