Kenny Imes

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Kentucky’s top officials would be required to visit the farthest corners of the state before beginning their duties under a bill filed for the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. Kenny Imes, a Republican from Murray, said the legislation would make the state’s top policymakers more aware of the state’s diverse needs.

Kentucky LRC

The appointment of Kentucky’s top education official would be subject to state Senate confirmation under a bill pre-filed last week in the General Assembly.

State Rep. Kenny Imes, a Murray Republican, said he’s seeking to add accountability to the state’s education department.

“I think the public should have the right to have a voice in who is running our education system in Kentucky, along with their elected representatives,” he said. “The state by constitution is charged with providing the public education, and as such I just don’t think it ought to be totally run by KEA or any specific group.”

A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association did not return an email request for comment on Monday.

The Kentucky education commissioner is appointed by the state Board of Education, which is appointed by the governor. Under current law, the Senate confirms the governor’s appointments to the education board, according to information provided by the Legislative Research Commission.

Last weekend, the state Board of Education interviewed a dozen candidates for the education commissioner post. The person chosen will replace the retiring Terry Holliday, the state education commissioner since 2009.

Kevin Willis

Newly-elected western Kentucky legislators are looking ahead to the 2013 General Assembly session. Third District House representative-elect Gerald Watkins plans to pre-file a bill that would increase job skills training for welfare recipients.