Vanessa Gallman

Vanessa Gallman

Vanessa Gallman, a Kentucky Lantern freelance columnist, worked for more than two decades as editorial page editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She was also a local government editor for The Washington Post and a national correspondent for Knight-Ridder Inc.


What now? Child care in Kentucky faces a cliff as pandemic-era federal aid has ended

By: - November 21, 2023

Rylee Dakota Monn’s salary as a day care teacher mostly went to pay for child care for her own two sons. “I was working full time but I wasn’t making any money for myself or making much of a contribution to the household,” said Monn, who works at Baptist Health Child Development Center in Lexington. […]


Kentuckians invited to speak up on hemp regulation, including CBD and Delta 8

By: - August 25, 2023

Over the last few years, hemp’s CBD and Delta 8, a less-potent marijuana alternative, have been sold online and in wellness shops as relief for pain, anxiety and insomnia. But that could change. A Kentucky agency and a congressional committee are separately seeking comment on how to regulate these products. This is an opportunity for […]


Trump indictment is a chance for the GOP to reclaim itself

By: - August 8, 2023

Donald Trump’s indictment for various schemes to overturn his 2020 election loss will get distorted by allegations that Democrats, President Joe Biden and “the deep state” are unfairly trying to prevent his return to the presidency. Yet in reality, Republicans provided the details of Trump actions to the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection […]


A tiresome Kentucky threesome

By: - July 25, 2023

A few observations about Kentucky politicians making national news lately: Abortion-rights advocates are right to question whether gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron is seeking the power to prosecute — or just intimidate — women who seek abortions in states where the procedure is legal. If not, why sign onto a letter with 18 other GOP attorneys general objecting […]


James Comer is making it hard to take him seriously

By: - June 8, 2023

Kentucky Congressman James Comer has had so many embarrassing media interviews about his House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the so-called “Biden crime family.”  He outlines an elaborate international bribery scheme yet admits he doesn’t have the facts to back it up. He calls out “suspicious activities” but acknowledges they may not be crimes. His informants […]


Daniel Cameron needs to focus on Kentucky’s challenges, not cultural attacks

By: - May 18, 2023

Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s resounding victory in the Republican primary for Kentucky governor is an historic milestone. As the first Black person to be nominated for the office by either party, he has a chance to become the first Black Republican governor from any state. The win also factors in analyses of the clout and […]


Being pregnant was already riskier in Kentucky. Then the legislature banned abortion.

By: - May 12, 2023

Motherhood can certainly be a blessing. But Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban also has made it a risky obligation in a state with one of the highest maternal death rates. “Pregnancy in Kentucky is too often a death sentence,” said Rep. Lisa Wilner, chair of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus, which has focused on maternal-health issues […]


Weakening child labor laws is no way to build an economy

By: - April 24, 2023

Consider this an early intervention for Kentucky lawmakers and business leaders: Don’t follow other states in weakening child-labor laws. In the frantic scramble to find more workers to rebuild the economy, businesses are violating federal laws and states are allowing children to work longer, in more dangerous jobs and with less liability on employers. The […]


Time could be right for a special session to enact ‘red flag’ law in Kentucky

By: - April 17, 2023

On a CNN interview about last week’s mass shooting in Louisville, Gov. Andy Beshear talked about his support for a “red flag” law to remove guns from those who are a danger to themselves or others. “It ensures that everybody’s rights are protected, that evidence is heard. It has every check on it that we […]


Child care — the ‘workforce behind the workforce’ — is in crisis in Kentucky

By: - March 22, 2023

Kentucky lawmakers, concerned that the state has half the workers it needs, cut unemployment benefits to force those who lose jobs to get back to work quicker and set up a program to get ex-inmates directly from prisons into jobs. But a direct, long-overdue way to beef up the workforce would be to provide affordable […]


Demands by protesters and Breonna Taylor’s family helped expose the rot in Louisville policing

By: - March 9, 2023

The fallout of the 2020 Breonna Taylor killing by police, resulting from an invalid warrant, made clear that the Louisville police department has serious problems in management and training. But a two-year federal investigation into the department exposed the depth of the bullying and overall disrespect toward citizens. Attorney General Merrick Garland rightly described the […]


Evangelical movement is in danger of being usurped by a hostile Christian nationalism

By: - March 2, 2023

The 16-day outpouring of spiritual fervor at Asbury University in Wilmore was a welcome reminder that religion should be a search for peace and purpose rather than a strategy for divisiveness and dominance. Christianity is too often used to force others — especially women, minorities, and LGBTQ persons — into narrow thinking and proscribed paths. […]