Kentucky Club for Growth
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December 17, 2009

Thurdsay, December 17, 2009

Posts are light this week and will stop next week for Christmas. We'll be back with scorecards, session previews and more on the 28th!

KCTCS enrollment up over 10%

KLC audit 'cites $350,000 in "questionable" expenses that Luallen said allowed the group's leaders to spend money for "their primary benefit rather than providing additional benefits to Kentucky's cities and communities."'

Senate 34: Worley opponent rings bells

Union won't modernize labor contract/company

Bowling Green/Louisville bank merger off

House 19: Sims files for reelection

Open records complaint filed against Hopkinsville Council

December 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mason County Schools urge Governor to provide some direction on budget

Governor continues to speak strongly against tax increases like the one he pushed last year

Governor urges more spending

Stumbo urges higher taxes

NKy Chamber urges more spending

Stumbo knows a horrible idea when he sees one

Transparency bills prefiled

December 15, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

York sworn in as District 96 Rep

Portable Solutions Group and Price Solutions grows in Ashland

Social worker sues state

Horse Group proposes nothing new

GE to expand in Louisville

$2.8 million to expand Head Start in Know County

Former mine permit chief files personnel complaint

King would reorganize Louisville police department

Higdon to be sworn in as Senator for 14th district

Rep. Jody Richards likes corvettes

Al Cross analyzes the special elections

Every commission seat in Boone County has contested primary

December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cap and Trade to kill nascent biofuels startup

KEEP tries to be less condescending to lawmakers and voters

Judge rules NASCAR event not an entitlement

Neighbors don't like Castle hosting people in the middle of US 60

Louisville Metro Council considers unenforceable nannying of idling

Beshear dreams the impossible

Kentucky responsible for some of 5,125 pork spending items in Congress

Senate 32: Mills formally files

ACLU fights invocation in Richmond meetings

Memorial services held for founder of Burger Boy in London

December 11, 2009

Prevailing Wage Repeal Could Save Raceland Hundreds Of Thousands

The Ashland Independent reports on plans to improve Campbell Elementary School in Raceland, Kentucky.

The renovation project will add four classrooms and a flexible room that can be used for special needs children in a wing attached by a corridor to the main body of the school.

The rest of the school will receive major upgrades, including new roof, heating and air conditioning, windows, lights and sprinkler system.

The added classrooms will enlarge the school, just enough that it can include four classes per grade level, which at Campbell include kindergarten through third grade, according to Superintendent Frank Melvin. The Raceland Independent School District, in keeping with its small-school character, doesn't want to grow any more than that, he said.

The renovation will bring the school, built in 1962, up to modern standards of energy efficiency, Melvin said. The heating and air conditioning system will be highly efficient, comparable to a heat pump system, and designers hope the school's energy bill will remain about the same even with the additional classrooms.

The project won't go out to contractors for bids until the state education department approves the design, but preliminary estimates come to around $2.7 million, project manager Don Nicholls said.

As noted in Senator Thayer's piece below, "According to a report by the Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky's prevailing wage laws artificially inflate school construction labor costs by 21 percent."

We'll reasonably estimate labor costs of 40% of the cost of these school construction projects. If prevailing wage requirements were suspended for this project at Campbell Elementary, over $200,000 could be saved and dedicated to other construction projects.

Later, the article notes that "The state is expected to kick in around $600,000," which would be 22% of the project. If prevailing wage was suspended, the state could save about $50,000 and dedicate that to other school construction. That's enough savings to build a additional thirteenth school for every twelve we have budgeted!

If the Governor and General Assembly are truly inspired to make good use of the tax dollars we provide them, a suspension of prevailing wage requirements for state construction should be one of the first things considered!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sewer tax rates increase in Maysville

State Education Department to remove all ultimate local education authority

State revenues improve

State approves unfulfilled tax giveaway

Herald Leader in denial about Kentuckians displeasure with Washington

Boone County in line for additional State House seat in 2011 redistricting?

A map of poverty in the US

Tax breaks thrown at companies considering expansion in Louisville

Sheperdsville to extend alcohol sales

Take advantage of deficit spending with a new fridge

Local office filings in Madison County

December 10, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stumbo bails on slots legislation

Paducah gets flights to Chicago

Knox County and Corbin fight over tax revenues

Louisville ran $29 million deficit in 2009

Like a senior in a casino, Beshear keeps pulling the arm on slot machines

State begins work on new education assessment plan that we knew we needed ten months ago

State panel recommends unemployment tax changes that will help increase Kentucky unemployment

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids recommends that $50 million of state education funds be exclusively for anti-tobacco education

December 9, 2009

Want To Know Just How Expensive Obama Is Trying to Make Health Care?

The Center for Health Transformation has a chart showing the cost increase estimates of each proposal from multiple analyses

House 6: Monti Collins to Challenge Will Coursey

Kentucky's Sixth District, consisting of Lyon, Marshall and parts of McCracken counties, will see a strong challenge in 2010.

Democratic State Representative Will Coursey, one of the most pro-tax-and-spend members of the House (2008 rank #74) wil face a challenge from Republican Monti Collins.

From his release:

"I want my children to have the same opportunities that I have had to not only grow up in this area, but to graduate from college and find jobs all close to home as well," Collins said. "I have worked to help many business owners in our area be successful over the years, but something will have to be done to keep these hard working people afloat. I want to be their voice."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

House 96: Seat goes Republican as York wins

Grey announces run for Lexington Mayor

KLC takes over insurance for school boards

Senate 14: Higdon wins to keep seat Republican

The sources of Kentucky's overspending

Whitley Sheriff cheats at taxes

Company creating 57 healthcare jobs in Louisville

Kentucky prison population declined in 2008

Olive Hill hikes property taxes the maximum rate

Trigg ends prohibition

Richmond to mandate 40 hour work week for city employees

Jim Barnes files for Richmond mayor

2009 Capitol Ornament Features Henry Clay

December 8, 2009

Governor Beshear Makes Some Contradictory Statements

Over at Page One, Jake points out that despite Governor Beshear saying he had nothing to do with the dismissal of an employee, the facts show otherwise. The directive came from the governor's office.

Yesterday, Governor Beshear painted a dire picture of the upcoming state budget:

"It's impossible to tell at this point," Beshear said when asked whether his budget proposal would include the layoffs of state workers. "Further reductions in spending at some of these agencies may result in some layoffs."

[SNIP]

"It is going to be the most difficult budget to put together that this state has seen in modern times," Beshear said.

This is a pretty strong contrast to the recent words of House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Rand:

State Rep. Rick Rand (D-47th District) of Bedford, Ky., said that the commonwealth's budget for 2011 is "in pretty manageable shape," thanks to $3 billion from the federal stimulus bill passed earlier this year.

"Most difficult in modern times" or "Pretty manageable"? Is the budget chairman misinformed or is the Governor overstating?

At another point in the interview, Beshear said:

"We are going to be facing probably the toughest budget, over the next two years, that this state has ever faced," he said during a phone interview with reporters.

"Obviously, all options are going to have to be on the table as we figure out how to get this budget balanced over the next two years."

But Beshear said he would not support broad-based tax increases, such as sales and income tax hikes.

It's good that he's ruling out tax increases. But are "all options" otherwise really on the table?

How about Senator Thayer's proposal?

Frankfort is already discussing options from expanded gaming to additional budget cuts to tax reform to meet these looming challenges. It would be my suggestion, however, that we first dedicate ourselves to maximizing every dollar we invest in Kentucky's future.

Let us look at an example. According to a report by the Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky's prevailing wage laws artificially inflate school construction labor costs by 21 percent. That means that 21 cents of those dollars are directed at inflated wages as opposed to going toward investments in larger schools, enhanced technology, more energy efficient facilities and an overall better environment for Kentucky's children to learn in.

[SNIP]

This is why I filed legislation to repeal "prevailing wage" during the 2009 Session and it is my intent to do so again. As the Governor and General Assembly come together to further address our budget shortfall, the time has also come to decide that failing to maximize our investment in our schools is a failure to maximize our investment in our children. Fortunately, this failure need not continue. We can increase our investment in our schools and Kentucky's children without having to raise one additional dollar from new taxes.

If this is really an option on the table, it's a no-brainer to save money for the state.

But does anyone really believe the governor?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Beshear says he doesn't involve himself with picking state regulatory policymakers

EPA rules exhaling a public health hazard

Lexington too small a market for Porsche, says Porsche

Beshear threatens layoffs

Trigg approves ordinance regulating alcohol sales

Paducah may buy Executive Inn (like Owensboro)

Technology allows greater learning opportunities in Trimble classroom

Electric car plant not viable without giant taxpayer subsidy

City of Louisville furlough plan challenged by unions

Louisville gasoline prices fall

Beshear falsely claims all options are on the table

Tea Party popular

Brown-Forman profits rise

Lancaster finds KLC uncompetitive

December 7, 2009

Support Charter Schools in Kentucky

The American Family Foundation has posted an online petition to support HR 79, Representative Brad Montell's effort to allow the creation of charter schools in Kentucky.

As a friend put it:

This will not only provide greater educational opportunities for lower-income, at-risk and failing students to succeed in education but will allow Kentucky to apply for President Obama's special Stimulus funding for expanding Charter Schools, which is exactly the opportunity you may need to finally break the iron grip of the teacher's unions which have prevented so many of you from doing the right thing for so many years.

Sign the petition here

Two Special Elections Tomorrow

There are two special elections to be held tomorrow in Kentucky.

The first is in Kentucky's 14th Senate District, consisting of Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties. The Courier-Journal analyzes:

Stakes high for each side in special Senate election - Courier Journal

Also, in Kentucky's 96th House District, Republican Jill York faces Democrat Barry Webb. The 96th district consists of Carter and Lewis counties

The Journal Times asked both candidates some questions

The Ledger-Independent profiles each candidate

York promises to put people before politics

Webb looks to turn political interest into
(Really, that's the entire headline)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor Day

Rep. Mike Denham files for reelection, and other local filings in Mason, Fleming, Lewis, Bracken, and Robertson counties

Legislator's pensions are more expensive

HL tries to pin mining regulator's firing on coal company instead of the Governor's office where the firing letter was penned

Non-binding vote supports extended alcohol sales in Sheperdsville

AP reporter advocates against surface mining

Link new KACo head

State Rep. Edgington new GOP 4th district chair

Local office filings in Christian, Todd and Trigg counties

December 4, 2009

Senate 18: Rematch!

Jack Ditty will file to hold Senator Webb to her campaign promises.

It looks like there will be a rematch for the 18th state Senate seat between Democrat Robin Webb who narrowly won an August special election for the seat over Dr. Jack Ditty in his first run for office.

Ditty, a Greenup dermatologist, came within 282 votes of beating Webb, a Grayson attorney, in the race to succeed Republican Charlie Borders in that race. On Thursday he said he will run again in 2010 and plans to file for the seat in the next few days.

[SNIP]

Ditty said Webb, who previously served in the state House representing Carter and Lewis counties, had more experience having won five House races while he was running his first race and had only 35 days to build support. He also noted that independent Guy Gibbons Jr. polled more than 500 votes, which could have been the difference in the race.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Madison County CJE draws first opponent in seven years

Laurel County is a Friend of Coal

Lexington hikes debt 25%

Bunning effort to oust Bernake

Rift between Beshear and Jerry Lundergan

Where'd all these chickens come from?

Education becoming more efficient, without having to

Pipe manufacturing plant coming to Etown

December 3, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where'd Wednesday go?

Sen. Webb quite the sportsman

Lexington considers debt issuance

Whitley City payroll taxes/jobs hold steady

Budget chairman calls state budget "in pretty manageable shape"

Carrollton slightly modernizes city employee health insurance plans

Louisville Metro jail management saving dollars

Retail reportedly strong in Louisville

Boone PVA Cindy Rich and Commissioner Cathy Flaig ask AG to crack down on property tax gamemanship by Boone CJE

Hokey-Pokey Kentuckian passes

December 1, 2009

Who Runs Kentucky's Government?

As all eyes in the political world look to the race in Senate 14, we read this today in the Herald-Leader:

Racing agency hires betting monitor

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has hired a supervisor of pari-mutuel wagering to address betting integrity.

[SNIP]

In 2007, State Auditor Crit Luallen noted the lack of wagering oversight in a report that found financial management problems at the racing agency. Luallen found that tracks have been self-reporting data on betting rather than being subject to monitoring and verification.

But no additional oversight was implemented because the agency couldn't afford it, according to Lisa Underwood, KHRA executive director.

[SNIP]

Money for the post came from a $2.7 million appropriation by the legislature during this year's special session that beefed up KHRA funding for positions recommended by the task force and the auditor. More hiring is expected.

Appropriations? Hiring?

Remember when the state was constantly cutting budgets and was going to cut an additional 6%?

Oh yeah, that's right now...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battle over annexation in Grayson

Senate 14 report from Ronnie Ellis

Petition fights tax increase in Georgetown, OH

Lexington recognizes economic importance of coal

Versailles-based Fark.com gets national deal

Senate 14: Democrat funded by special interests

Some less-than-substantial issues for 2010

Madison County moves back to paper balloting

Quality Sites

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Cato @ Liberty
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Constrained Vision, A
Coyote Blog
Dean's World
Federalist
Flash Report
Grassroots PA
Kudlow's Money Politics
Manufacturers' Blog
Marginal Revolution
NTU's Government Bytes
Newmark's Door
One Man's Trash
PoliPundit
Politics1.com
Politics of Money
Poor and Stupid
Porkopolis
Professor Bainbridge
Raising Farrahzona
RedState.com
Rossputin.com
Sibby Online
South Dakota Politics
Sports Economist, The
Tax Guru

Kentucky Blogs

Bluegrass Policy Blog
Blue Grass, Red State
ConservaChick
Conservative Edge
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CyberHillbilly
Elendil's Blog
Jefferson Review
Jim Clark's Muckraker
Kentucky Pachyderm 2
Kentucky Progress
KY Wordsmith
On the Right!
Osi Speaks!
Page One Kentucky
The Pure Investor
Vere Loqui

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The KY Club for Growth seeks principled candidates who are committed to the following:

* Free market principles
* Lowering taxes
* Reducing spending
* Decreasing the size of government
* Judicial reform
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* Reducing needless regulation

We will hold endorsed candidates accountable for these principles by monitoring each candidate on a vote-by-vote basis. As a Club member, you will receive candidate monitoring updates and scorecards on a regular basis. Join us today.