Free trade works for coal, too

A $7 billion international trade deal may put Kentucky’s energy sector back on the path to long-term sustainability, despite federal regulators’ efforts to squash it. Earlier last week, an Indian coal group called Abhijeet agreed to purchase nine million tons of coal per year from Kentucky coal producers for the next 25 years. This comes…

KEA underling reveals boss hangs out at the public-pension trough

Mary Ruble, assistant deputy executive director at the Kentucky Education Association, took  issue during Tuesday’s public pensions task force meeting with a recent Bluegrass Institute claim that the state teachers union is one of several private organizations with its hand in the commonwealth’s public pension cookie jar. Ruble says “it’s simply not true” that KEA employees participate in…

Kentucky Tea Partiers rally for their healthcare freedom

Detractors and supporters alike showed up by the hundreds for Tuesday afternoon’s Kentucky Tea Party rally against Obamacare in Frankfort. The 1,500 in attendance was a testament to the controversy surrounding healthcare in the commonwealth, especially since Gov. Beshear has accepted more federal funds for state exchanges than any other state but New York. Chants…

Clear battle lines in tax commission town hall

The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission made a stop through Lexington last night to hear from concerned citizens about reforming thestate’staxing structure. You can learn more about who serves on the commission and how it is structured here but in a nutshell, the stated goals of the commission include fairness, competitiveness, simplicity and compliance, elasticity…

Enquiring Kentucky taxpayers’ minds want to know more, much more, about public pension payments

A letter by Ray Davis in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader effectively sums up the need for more transparency in Kentucky’s public pension system. Davis rightly refers to the lack of transparency in the Kentucky Retirement System as “the big, dark secret emanating from Frankfort.” “In Oregon, taxpayers forced their state to reveal pensions and found that…

Warning: Look out special taxing districts

Transparency is moving forward in Kentucky. Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen announced earlier this year that his office would conduct a fact-finding mission to bring accountability to special taxing districts in Kentucky, which involve entities from water and sewer districts to libraries. At a recent Governors Local Issues Conference, Edelen restated his strong commitment to this…

Courier-Journal takes a look at HB 299

The severity of Kentucky’s pending pension disaster is finally getting attention in Kentucky’s largest newspaper. This week, Courier-Journal columnist John David Dyche delved into the effects of The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2005 House Bill 299. From Dyche’s article: HB 299 reduced the number of years legislators had to serve before drawing a penalty-free pension prior…