Paula Clemons-Combs for KY Senate
My name is Paula Clemons-Combs and I am running for Kentucky State Senator in District #30 which encompasses the counties of: Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, and Perry.
I have been a resident of Breathitt County since I was born many years ago in Johnson County. I attended the local elementary, middle, and high schools in my hometown and later furthered my education at Lees Junior College and later Morehead State University.
After college, I entered my chosen profession as a public school teacher and am currently in my twentieth year serving the students of Breathitt County. This is where I have come to know many of the issues facing our region through interactions with students, parents, and the community at large.
My family has a long history of working in the public sector. With several aunts and my father having worked in various state offices mostly associated with the agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (social worker, case worker) and the Division of Probation and Parole, I know how difficult these proposed changes to the Kentucky pension systems are going to be if they are made in to law.
My family also has a long history of working in the coal and timber industries. My father was an educated man who worked several years as a coal truck owner/operator before his public service; his brothers have spent their entire adult lives in the logwoods making their livings; and before them my grandfathers made their livelihoods in the same fields.
The women worked no less hard, raising children and gardens on mountain hillsides, enduring the hardships that only the impoverished can experience. It was from them that I learned education and hard work can elevate one’s prospects greatly onto that plain of “The Great American Dream”. Wanting no more yet no less than what they had earned.
I am committed to the growth and vitality of my district and the welfare of those who live there in – my family, my friends, and my neighbors. At the heart of this is the belief that we have been dismissed from the overall consciousness of the political juggernaut referred to as “Frankfort”. Our people may be poor in terms of financial resources, but we are a resilient lot and with the assistance we deserve we can begin to dig our way out of this depressed hole our current and previously-elected leaders have been content to leave us in.
The pension “reform” is in the forefront of the local news for many months. This is a great concern for not just the retirees but also current employees and those yet to come. Just like you, I am watching the current lawsuit filed by the State Attorney General and hope that the judicial branch can prevail where the legislative branch has failed us. There are additional issues unique to our part of the commonwealth which also must be addressed in the areas of education, economic development, the ridiculously rising costs of utilities, and the prevention and effective treatment of drug addiction. From these five overarching goals are a myriad of objectives which branch out into all facets of life from the classroom to the healthcare field and onward.