CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19 NOW’s Jessica Brown sat down with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul one-on-one and asked him some questions viewers at home wanted to know.
He was in town touring the Brighton Center facility in Florence. The facility helps women in recovery from chronic substance abuse and addiction. Paul talked about curbing the opioid epidemic in Kentucky.
“There are more people dying in overdoses than in automobile accidents. It’s really one of our biggest problems in the state. It takes several years of doing things - we have allocated money, we have local leaders, faith, rehabilitation work - all those things are combined. I think it takes all of it to get people back on the right course," he said.
Paul also spoke on other issues important to Kentucky voters, like the long awaited funding for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement and if there’s any movement on that project.
“The biggest thing that I’ve promoted is that we are spending $51 billion a year building roads and bridges in Afghanistan. 17 years in Afghanistan... I’m ready to bring the troops home and I’m ready to spend that money here at home. If you spend that $51 billion a year on infrastructure in our country... I mean you can have all kinds of Brent Spence bridges, but we have to decide if we want to spend overseas or spend it here at home.”
Paul shared his thoughts on sick-outs and protests from teachers in Kentucky.
“One of the things I’ve been proud of Governor Bevin for is he’s actually taken the money and funded the teachers pension. In the last two years I think he’s put $500 million in the teachers pension,” he said.
I think the teachers say, ‘Oh, they’re trying to punish us somehow.’ It’s like, no, your pension doesn’t have any money. We’re trying to save the pension for the teachers. And I think that if that were gotten across, there might be a better chance at finding a solution. But things do have to change and I don’t know how we get to that."
In Washington, Paul has publicly been against President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration for a border wall, despite receiving some criticism from within his party.
He said it’s more about the Constitution than the plan to secure the border.
“I do think we have a border problem. We need border security... we can’t have open borders, yet the Constitution is very clear that spending comes from Congress,” he said. “The Constitution says all laws comes from Congress and only with the law can you spend money. Congress debated this and Congress didn’t give the president everything he wanted. I’m sympathetic to him wanting more money, but I don’t think he can take the will of Congress sand say ‘I’m going to change this and spend the money,’”