News Release: Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon receives Bluegrass Institute Liberty Award for right-to-work leadership
Contact: Jim Waters @ 270.320.4376
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon was recently presented with a 2015 Bluegrass Institute Liberty Award for his leadership in bringing right-to-work to Kentucky.
“While much of our attention has been focused on Frankfort and Washington, the success of the local right-to-work campaign during the past year reminds us that it’s government closest to the people that can make the biggest difference in their lives,” said Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters in prepared remarks for the Bluegrass Institute’s annual Liberty Awards ceremony at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. “No one has demonstrated more political courage and competency on the right-to-work issue than Judge Buchanon, whose efforts will have a huge impact in Warren County and southcentral Kentucky for generations to come.”
Buchanon, who led the Warren County Fiscal Court in passing America’s first local right-to-work ordinance on Dec. 19, 2014, noted in receiving the award that the county has attracted more than $900 million in new capital investment just during the past calendar year – “which represents the last 10 years combined for Warren County.”
He also reported that the county is now being considered for 89 new expansion or relocation projects, which represent nearly 10,000 new jobs and more than $1 billion in new investment.
“Those 89 projects that have been brought to us mostly by site selectors saying ‘We’re bringing it to you because you’re right-to-work,’” Buchanon said in accepting the award. “And those are huge payrolls that turn over in our community – new money coming into our community that makes life better for my Sunday School teacher and her children, and that’s important for us.”
Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester (legal reform), Pastor Jerry L. Stephenson (education reform) and Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, (regulatory reform) also received awards at this year’s ceremony.
Bluegrass Institute Liberty Awards are granted to policymakers without consideration to political parties who advance specific free-market policies that will improve the lives of Kentuckians.
“Our hope is to advance free-market policies by recognizing the efforts of individual policymakers who demonstrate the courage and leadership needed to move the needle in advancing solutions to Kentucky’s greatest challenges,” Waters said. “Judge Buchanon’s willingness to share his knowledge and experience with other county leaders has resulted in 12 counties fully passing right-to-work ordinances and 80 counties requesting a copy of the ordinance passed by Warren County.”
Past award winners include former state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown; House Minority Whip Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green; Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville; and Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner.
Buchanon praised the Bluegrass Institute’s efforts to educate state and local policymakers on what right-to-work is, and how it works.
“Jim was going around and educating the communities before they brought it up in their fiscal court; he was telling them what right-to-work does,” Buchanon said. “It does not say that unions can’t operate there. It just says workers have the right to choose to not be in a union or to be in a union, to pay union dues or not pay union dues; and in most states, where they’ve passed it, union membership goes up. So it doesn’t hurt anyone.”
You can hear Buchanon’s comments here.
For more information, please contact Jim Waters at 270-782-2140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.