News Release: Pension legislation reflects Bluegrass Institute’s paradigm regarding future – but not past – benefits

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2019 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) – While the Bluegrass Institute lauds new pension legislation filed Wednesday in the state House of Representatives for adopting the institute’s innovative paradigm prohibiting the guarantee of future benefit rates, the bill must be simplified and address other irresponsible spending policies that have created the current crisis in…

Bluegrass Beacon: Education facelift incomplete without school choice

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Photos of the state Capitol being tweeted by Gov. Matt Bevin offer an unmistakably dramatic before-and-after contrast showing impressive results of a $1.2 million scrubdown of the century-old…

Kentucky should observe National School Choice Week with bold thinking

Just in time for National School Choice Week, a new national poll finds that more than two-thirds of Americans favor school choice and bold reforms. Hopefully, Kentucky lawmakers are listening. The American Federation for Children’s Fifth Annual School Choice Survey polled 1,200 likely 2020 voters and found 67 percent of respondents support the concept of…

When will Kentucky be able to truly celebrate National School Choice Week?

Among those activities will be a week-long series of Bluegrass Institute policy blogs, op-eds and media appearances centering on the theme: Kentucky needs school choice because it works to provide more options for families and opportunities for children. It’s National School Choice Week, which recognizes the importance and celebrating the effectiveness of empowering parents and…

Bensenhaver addresses AOC audit, fallout: Judiciary should ‘heed its own words’

The first-ever audit of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) by State Auditor Mike Harmon was the subject of today’s meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and the Judiciary in Frankfort. Harmon’s audit raises issues identified in “Shining the Light On Kentucky’s Sunshine Laws: A Proposal for Legislative Revision,” a 2017 report by the…

PAUSE Act a responsible approach toward reforming the 340B drug pricing program

With 340B being back in the news and with beneficial legislation in the works, I wanted to take the opportunity to reshare my thoughts. The 340B program, a well-intentioned program which, through bureaucratic tinkering, has gone off the rails, primarily due to a lack of oversight and transparency, is back in the news. Created in…

Bluegrass Beacon: Tax-raising politicians should choose comfort over transparency

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. What led to Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate’s ruling supporting the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government’s claim that the Kentucky House of Representatives held an illegal closed-door…

Bluegrass Beacon: Union contracts squeeze school districts’ flexibility

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Those who’ve convinced themselves that teachers’ union contracts don’t affect how flexible, innovative and ultimately successful school districts are in educating future generations also likely believe Russia colluded…

News Release – JCPS-union contract: ‘Business as usual will mean failure as usual’

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Bluegrass Institute will be watching closely to see whether a new collective bargaining agreement between the Jefferson County Public Schools and its teachers’ union reinforces the failure that’s left thousands of low-income, minority and special-needs children behind for decades, or whether there will be substantive changes in the contract that result…