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Interview with J.R. Gray, August 22, 2006

Part of Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project

Interview with J.R. Gray, August 22, 2006
Catherine Herdman; interviewer. J.R. Gray; interviewee.
oral histories
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Gray (House, 1976-1989; 1995-2007, 6th district; Democrat) grew up on a rural farm in Lyon County, Kentucky. In the mid-fifties, Gray worked as a machinist in the steels mills of northern Michigan, and later in the mid-sixties, in mechanical maintenance in the chemical industry of southeast Kentucky. In this interview, Gray describes early years as a worker, chief steward, and business representative of the union. As chairperson of the House labor and industry committee, Gray explains the most memorable issues, including collective bargaining, labor/management advisory work, black lung, right-to-work, and prevailing wage. He also addresses the benefits of the lobbying body and the impact of BOPTROT on the politic and the General Assembly. In addition, Gray discusses significant changes to the House of Representatives, including the impact of the Legislative Research Commission. He points out the difficulties of legislative work, such as the limitations of time, pay, and annual sessions. Gray also shares his memories of influential contemporaries, including Glenn Freeman, Lloyd Clapp, Fred Morgan, Adrian Arnold, and Jim Bruce.
Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
University of Kentucky
Gray, J.R., 1938- -- Interviews, Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews, Kentucky. Governor (1971-1974 : Ford), Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll), Kentucky. Governor (1979-1983 : Brown), Lieutenant governors--Kentucky, Stovall, Thelma, McCallum, Shelby, Clapp, Lloyd E., Arnold, Adrian, Moberly, Harry, Jr., 1950-, Bruce, James Edmond, Labor unions -- Kentucky, Kentucky. General Assembly. House of Representatives -- Labor and Industry Committee, Public utilities -- Taxation, Right to labor -- Kentucky, Collective bargaining -- Government employees, Kentucky Labor-Management Advisory Council, Wages -- Law and legislation -- Kentucky, Lyon County (Ky.), Democratic Party (Ky.), Key Legislation: Right to work law, Term/District: House, (1976-1989; 1995-2007), 6th district, Leadership Position(s): Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Labor, Counties in District: Anderson County (Ky.) ; Bourbon County (Ky.) ; Boyle County (Ky.) ; Clark County (Ky.) ; Estill County (Ky.) ; Fayette County (Ky.) ; Franklin County (Ky.) ; Garrard County (Ky.) ; Jessamine County (Ky.) ; Lincoln County (Ky.) ; Madison County (Ky.) ; Mercer County (Ky.) ; Montgomery County (Ky.) ; Powell County (Ky.) ; Scott County (Ky.) ; Woodford County (Ky.)
Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project
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