In the third video in our digital learning series, Richard Innes discusses some of the hurdles in the development of digital learning in Kentucky.
I wrote yesterday about the city of Lexington subsidizing golf courses, a practice which, fortunately, has been questioned by some on the city council.
Given the budget crunch Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government is experiencing, it seems that the $1 million annual loss from operating these courses could be put to use for more important things…say maybe…fire fighters?
LEX18 is reporting that fire stations in Lexington are experiencing brownouts. The Kentucky Club for Growth had great commentary on this today:
When Lexington’s mayor and city council choose to spend one million dollars to subsidize golf, they are making a simultaneous choice not to spend that one million dollars to keep this fire station open. It is a ridiculous statement of priorities.
I agree completely. Read the rest of Andy Hightower’s post here.
Once again, we have a special legislative session. And once again, newspapers trot out that special session legislative days cost tens of thousands of dollars. So what?
In that post, I offered to correct my calculation that regular legislative session days cost more than $1.1-million each. So far, no takers from either the General Assembly or the Legislative Research Commission. So, again I ask to be corrected if you have an argument to make on that subject. You can send me a note here or here or here.
My point is to illuminate out a deeper problem: Lawmakers have apparently no incentive to prioritize their workload or simply have too much work to do. It takes resources to do the commonwealth’s business. There may be ways to improve the process through legislative rules, but those rules likely aren’t sustainable or they would have been adopted by now. One potential solution to the problem of too many special sessions is to give lawmakers fewer financial decisions to make.
One of the key criticisms from the Mercatus Center’s Freedom in the 50 States is that Kentucky is highly fiscally centralized. Other states don’t funnel nearly as much money through their state lawmakers. How many local projects are included in the Kentucky budget? The bulk of the costs of numerous golf courses, industrial parks, arena renovations, water projects, recreation centers and all sorts of other local matters are too often borne by taxpayers elsewhere in the commonwealth.
The process for devolving local projects to local decisionmakers probably isn’t an easy one, but doing so is critical if we care about lawmakers having a workload that matches their time, energy and abilities.
Jim Waters will be one of many speakers tonight at a Louisville Tea Party rally. Other notable speakers include WHAS’ Mandy Connell, Senator Rand Paul, Phil Moffett, and keynote speaker Kevin Jackson.
“Now More Than Ever Rally”
Thursday, April 19th, 6-8pm
The Grand Belle Room
Ramada Plaza Hurstbourne
Did you know the special legislative session recently called by Gov. Beshear is costing Kentuckians $60,000 per day?
Hmm…how could we possibly find the funds to keep the maintenance of Kentucky’s highways and bridges out of the red? Well to start, maybe the top dogs in Frankfort could drop the political jockeying we’ve had to put up with over the first four months of 2012 and and get the state’s business done in the time allotted by the constitution of the Commonwealth. That’s a $60,000 per day solution. Not bad, especially considering last year’s special bonus session lasted 18 days – a grand total of over $1 million.
Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, summed it up: “To have a special session just to complete work that should have been done during the context of the regular session is really pretty sad,” Simpson said. “It’s not as if we were busy during the 60 days.”
Well put, Representative.
That is the question council member Jay McChord is asking. Kentucky.com is reporting that at a recent city council work session, McChord was asking difficult questions about whether it is not only feasible for the city to fund public courses at the tune of $3.2 million each year but also if that is the role of government:
We have to make some hard decisions. Government can’t be all things to all people.
Very true. In its effort to be all things to all people, the government could end up being nothing at all.
It is no secret that Lexington has been in a bit of a budget crunch. It is time that questions about the role of government in golf should be addressed.
Why can’t these courses be privately run?