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.
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.
The wonderful sign and thank-you card signed by students at Fallsburg Elementary in Lawrence County.
This year, Louisa West and Fallsburg Elementary in Lawrence, Olive Hill Elementary in Carter and Tollesboro, Laurel and Central Elementary in Lewis County took their representative up on her offer to stop by and share a little about what legislators 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!"
"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.
York warned in her remarks that a challenge to the maps would most assuredly be brought and that was precisely what happened. The Kentucky Supreme Court found that the lines dividing districts were not properly drawn and the court upheld an injunction from a lower court to stop the use of the maps. This decision threw out the unconstitutional boundaries and lawmakers served and ran in the districts as they stood prior to the redistricting effort.
In order to meet population guidelines, new maps must be created to "even up" discrepancies between district sizes but it is hoped that the decision of the courts will help prevent partisan gerrymandering from being attempted again.