As our 2021 graduates walk across the stage, I want to take a moment to congratulate them for their hard work and accomplishments.

This year's class walks across the stage on the back end of a once in a hundred-year pandemic. The disruption in their educational experience over the past year and a half of school is unfortunate. They--along with their teachers and loved ones--have overcome challenges through their dedication and fortitude.

The world the class of 2021 is entering is much different from the one I did when I graduated high school. Technology has vastly changed the makeup of our workforce, and with an economy recovering from shutdowns and restrictions, the job market is uncertain.

However, I believe there is hope for future generations, including those who receive their diplomas this year. The Kentucky legislature has taken bold steps since 2016 to stabilize the state's finances, including addressing the pension crisis, improving our credit rating, and modernizing the state's tax code--leading to job creation. The General Assembly has recently grown the "rainy day fund" to over 1.2 billion dollars and invested $300 million in broadband expansion. Lawmakers have made it clear that we are committed to building a brighter future for our youth.

A lot of my hope also lies with these graduates. The Class of 2021 has a chance to make a difference in their hometown, state, and country. I urge graduates to strive for greatness while keeping a servant's heart and always remember to help those who cannot help themselves.

Congratulations on this life accomplishment. Enjoy the moment and be the change you wish to see in the world.

STATE SEN. RICK GIRDLER (R-Somerset) represents the 15th District, including Boyle, Lincoln, and Pulaski Counties. Senator Girdler is the co-chairman of the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance and is a member of the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Girdler, please visit: https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators%20Full%20Res%20Images/senate115.jpg

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