Bluegrass Beacon: Inconvenient truth about teachers’ salaries

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. “Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed,” wrote 18th century English writer Daniel Defoe in “The Political History of the Devil.” “As certain…

SB 55 contains common-sense reforms for school council policy

This week’s Bluegrass Beacon column responds to one particular aspect of a recent missive by Ronda Harmon, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Councils, in which she labels those of us questioning the effectiveness of the School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) approach toward governing schools as “public school opponents.” There’s also little evidence to…

Bluegrass Beacon: Hit drug program’s PAUSE button

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. The 340B program was created by Congress in 1992 to provide life-saving medicine to poor and uninsured Americans by forcing pharmaceutical manufacturers wanting their drugs covered by Medicaid…

Bluegrass Beacon: Reforming Medicaid, tweaking elections and overcoming evil

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Past expanded government programs, present evil and future gubernatorial elections highlight this first edition of “Liberty Boosters and Busters” in 2018. Liberty Boosters: President Trump for allowing states…

Bluegrass Beacon: Councils just another failed fad of KERA

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Former House Speaker Jody Richards recently announced he would not seek re-election this year. Richards, D-Bowling Green, who went to Frankfort the year Jimmy Carter was elected president,…

Prescription reimbursement policies: Use scalpels, not sledgehammers

Each legislative session brings its own attempts – usually born out of frustration – to address real problems in ways that just wind up growing government’s size, scope and cost. It’s indicative of sledgehammer-to-ant syndrome. Rather than kill ants and address the specific problem, this approach knocks down the entire house. Obamacare an example Perhaps…

A state secret or a secret from the state: technology as an obstacle to the public’s right to know

Events have rapidly unfolded since we first commented on a serious threat to open government in the state of Missouri. The threat is a notable one for Kentuckians because it could play out in our own backyard. The Kansas City Star reported on December 7 that  Missouri’s governor – and his staff – had downloaded the app Confide…

BIPPS on ‘Ky Tonight’: Is Bevin’s proposed budget anti-education?

Is Gov. Matt Bevin’s two-year budget proposal with its 70 suggested program cuts, including slashing funding for a teachers’ professional-development project, really anti-education or could some of these programs be provided in a more efficient and effective manner? And how much do these programs affect the education of children in the classroom? These questions and…

Law firm’s investigation of Jurich may remain forever secret.

On January 28, we reported on an increasingly common practice among public agencies that threatens the public’s right of access to investigative reports and analyses for which they, the public, pay. The same practice – we noted — has expanded employment opportunities for the legal community. From an open government perspective, this is unfortunate. More…

State Journal files counterclaim against Finance Cabinet in Franklin Circuit Court action

On January 26, The State Journal filed a motion for leave of court to assert a counterclaim against the Finance and Administration Cabinet in a case in Franklin Circuit Court arising from the Cabinet’s lawsuit against a reporter for the newspaper. The lawsuit seeks to reverse a favorable ruling by the Attorney General obtained by…