State Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty
It is with mixed emotions that I begin to write what will be the last of my columns as the State Representative for the 15th District. These past six years have felt like they have flown by while simultaneously seem like they have lasted a lifetime. I can definitively say that it has been a distinct honor and privilege to have served you in this capacity.
As I come to the end of my tenure as state representative it is almost surreal, like it never really happened. Yet our oldest grandson who was seven years old when I started this journey is now fourteen, and so on down the line of our grandchildren, three of whom have been born while I was serving. Wanting to spend more time with my growing family, realizing my parents were declining, and honoring my self-imposed term limits are the main reasons I did not seek re-election.
I felt called to run in 2016, worked hard, put what I stood for out there for the People to see and hear, and was blessed to be elected and subsequently re-elected for two more terms. Throughout all three terms in office, I listened to constituents on both sides of issues, tried to educate myself to the best of my ability, prayed, voted and then let the rest go because I knew I would ultimately have to face God come Judgment Day. I feel I have stayed true to my word, myself, and my God. If I were to die tomorrow, my conscience is clear.
I wanted to share a few highlights of these last few weeks primarily of events that have taken place around the district. But before I do, I want to officially apologize for not being around more over the summer. I had fully intended to be out and about more, particularly in Butler County to try and get to know as many folks as I could prior to leaving office. I also had hoped to go by several events and places in Hopkins County to say good-bye. Unfortunately, with my parents both going under Hospice care in mid to late June, Mom’s passing July 23 and Dad’s passing September 26, that was not meant to be, though I did get to several.
I deeply appreciate and am humbled by events that have taken place recently to honor me and would like to share some of them with you. Madisonville Community College hosted a surprise reception for me at the Central City campus. The White Plains Senior Citizens Center honored me with both a plaque and poinsettia at their November meeting as well as the City of White Plains and the American Legion Post 2 in Earlington acknowledged their gratitude in special ways. I was deeply honored that the Greater Muhlenberg County Chamber of Commerce named me 2022 Citizen of the Year and the Muhlenberg Fiscal Court hosted a reception in my honor at the Muhlenberg County Senior Citizens Center. I also received a plaque from the Pennyrile Area Development District at their annual Christmas luncheon.
I am most appreciative and want to thank each and every one of you. In particular I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have taken the time to call, message me, send cards and/or express to me in person that you think I have done a good job representing you; that means more to me than you will ever know.
As some of my last official duties I helped welcome Double D Food Group, LLC to Greenville, Muhlenberg County, and the region and to Kentucky as a whole. I was honored to speak at Greenville’s annual Wreaths Across America event. My final public duty as state representative is to speak at the unveiling of the Future I-569 signs that are to be placed on the Western KY Parkway to indicate that the portion of the parkway between I-69 and I-165 is a future spur of I-69 to help attract businesses to the region to bring much needed jobs.
I have continued to attend meetings regarding economic development and city council meetings as able. I did the final cleaning out my office in Frankfort on December 16 but I will continue to field calls and answer emails until the end of my term on December 31.
It is my understanding that one of the first pieces of legislation that will be passed in the 2023 Session will decrease personal income tax 0.5% as a part of a larger tax reform policy; apparently the triggers of revenue generation have been met to allow that to happen.
I would like to express again the deep honor I have felt serving as your state representative over these past six years. I am proud of the legislation I personally sponsored or co-sponsored as well as addressing individual constituent issues and concerns. I was not successful on every issue, but I gave it my best effort and hope that progress can continue to be made on several fronts. Thank you for the privilege and opportunity.
I pray that you and yours have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year. I wish all the success to Representative-Elect Rebecca Raymer as she takes the helm of the 15th District in Frankfort in January.
Note: Representative Melinda Gibbons Prunty represented the 15th House District from January 2017 through December of 2022. She was Vice-Chair of both the Health & Family Services Committee and the Budget Review Sub-Committee on Health & Family Services. She served on the Appropriations & Revenue, Education, and Natural Resources & Energy Committees as well as Medicaid Oversight & Advisory and the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening & Prevention Advisory Committees.