This morning, as you read this, I'm honored to be speaking to one of the most important organizations in Kentucky - the Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association.
Every February, the group gets together to learn about new challenges, network, and discuss current issues. Unfortunately, there are so many issues that impact our 120 counties. From pensions to opioids to paying for jails - our county governments deal with it all - and usually dealing with an issue also means paying for it in some way.
When it comes to transportation issues, our County Judge Executives and their fiscal court members are on the front line.
They get called first if there is a pothole. They get called first if there is a rail crossing issue. They get called first when public transit can no longer serve a certain area. They get called first when the runway needs to be repaired. They get called when their community grows and they need a new road project to accommodate that growth.
They get called about every single transportation issue you could think of - and they get called every day. Right now, when they receive these calls, there is only so much they can do.
Every Judge I've met has a maintenance or construction issue that needs to be addressed.
Unfortunately, none of them have the revenue today to do all they need to do.
And while not having enough revenue to do all they need to do is difficult for our Judge Executives - just remember that they serve the people of Kentucky.
And the people of Kentucky - from the most rural to the center of our largest cities - expect to have access to a safe, reliable, efficient, transportation network.
And in order to guarantee that we have access to a safe, reliable, efficient transportation network - no matter where we live - we are going to have to encourage our State Representatives and Senators to pass legislation that addresses our transportation revenue needs.
If we don't have the revenue we need to patch the potholes, repair the bridges, put in the rail crossing arms, repair a runway, provide public transit or improve the port, Kentucky will never be able to provide the access the people of Kentucky not only expect but need.