The Kentucky legislature opened its 2013 General Assembly on Wednesday. And while I don't believe in miracles, for the first time in memory I'm guardedly optimistic that our lawmakers just might get something of substance accomplished during the 30-day session.

The big reason, of course, is that former Senate President and Obstructionist-in-Chief David Williams is finally occupied with other concerns. And the new Senate President, Robert Stivers, is already sending signals that cooperation and compromise won't be the dirty words during his term that they were during the Williams years.

This is good news for us all, because Kentucky can't endure any more inaction on the critical issues that continue to plague us. Whether we're talking about the state tax structure, our underfunded pension plan, an underperforming education system or expanded gambling, there are enough serious problems facing the Commonwealth to occupy an entire year, much less a mere month. And if anything is to be accomplished in such a short time, the old norm of obstructionism and lethargy needs to give way to a new era of mature problem-solving.

Change doesn't happen easily in Kentucky.  But a major change from "business as usual" in Frankfort is absolutely necessary if we hope to improve our abysmal national standing. Here's hoping these are the people who can finally pull it off.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.