My GOV 331: State and Local Politics class took a field trip up to Frankfort to see the Kentucky state legislature yesterday. We took a tour of both the Governor’s Mansion and the Capitol Building. As an amateur historic architecture geek, I very much enjoyed seeing the Beaux-Arts style of the various state government buildings. (I also thought it slightly amusing that while Kentucky’s more conservative political culture does not view favorably most anything coming from France these days, the state’s capitol and governor’s residence are all unabashedly French in their stylings.)
We also had the opportunity to meet with a number of individuals working at the Capitol, including a number of Centre College alums. We also met up with our state representative Mike Harmon. One highlight of our trip was a meeting with Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson. He talked about his time as mayor of Louisville and some of the issues coming before the legislature in this session.
Before coming back to Danville, we sat in on a session of the state House of Representatives. The business of the day was debating the state house and senate redistricting plans that had been introduced by the House Democratic leadership. As is very often the case when it comes to redistricting, it was a highly contentious and emotionally-charged debate, with plenty of name calling and pleas for reconsideration by the minority. It was certainly lively!
Next week begins our week-long local government simulation.