- This is such a classic example of the government “encouraging” choice by restricting choice. Give me a break.
- CafeHayek points out that if there is such a demand for NPR’s services, they shouldn’t need any taxpayer subsidies, right?
- Christian County High School responded to a records request for their school based decision making council meeting minutes. A tip-of-the-hat to them for posting these meeting minutes online! You can view them here.
More now from Gov. Steve Beshear’s recent interview with Tony Cruise on Louisville’s WHAS-AM.
Here, Beshear is explaining why he went AWOL from the Capitol after calling lawmakers back into a special session to address Kentucky’s Medicaid budget deficit at a cost of $63,500 per day:
Actually, I think what voters expect is for Beshear and those elected to lead by making the tough decisions, right?
Based on November’s election, I would also say that those same voters, er, citizens the governor was trying to reach while flying around the state to try and drum up votes, er, animosity against lawmakers who had the audacity to propose spending cuts — even to the bloated education budget — aren’t thrilled about Beshear’s plan to borrow $166.5 million from next year’s Medicaid spending plan to plug this year’s holes.
Wasn’t that election an expression of the outrage against Washington’s “borrow and spend” policies? Now the Beshear administration is trying to take the commonwealth down that same path to economic failure.
I wonder: Will we see the outrage over that before the end of the year?
In the latest action to outrage many Northern Kentuckians, the region’s Sanitation District Number 1 has voted to ask judge executives to enact huge rate hikes over the next two years.
SD1, as locals call it, wants a rate hike now of 15 percent followed by another 15 percent hike in just one year.
But, that isn’t all. SD1’s spending plan calls for rates to continue to rise to 107.6 percent of what they are today by 2019!
The SD1 board says it needs the money to meet requirements of a settlement with state and federal environmental regulators. The total price tag by 2025, according to SD1 officials, will be $1.2 billion!
The SD1 board elected to front load much of the cost of this dubious project at a time when many home owners in the region have lost jobs and are facing foreclosure on their homes.
The Kentucky Enquirer’s parent paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has details here.
While few are against intelligent programs to ensure our environment is kept healthy, the enormous size of SD1’s planned program raises questions as to whether such extreme measures are warranted, or even affordable. Citizens along with business and industry are likely to demand much more information and justification for this program, which hits at one of the major attractive features in the Northern Kentucky economy: currently inexpensive costs for water and energy.
And, down staters should not assume that this is just Northern Kentucky’s problem. Read here about how the water rate hike trend in Northern Kentucky recently expanded to Lexington.
Given Washington’s continued attacks on Kentucky’s water-related infrastructure, and the equally ominous attacks on the state’s coal and energy industries, Kentuckians had better wake up to the threats to our livelihoods, and quickly.
One of the problems with the Medicaid “compromise” coming out of the Kentucky House of Representatives is that it lacks the strength of accountability needed to ensure that the savings promised, and then no doubt touted by the governor, actually are delivered.
Members of the state Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee were right today as they “peppered (Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie) Miller (right) with questions about how those savings will be documented.”
The House is proposing allowing Beshear to stick to his original plan of borrowing $166.5 million from next year’s Medicaid spending plan to balance the program’s budget this year.
However, as the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, there’s a caveat: “If the state can not demonstrate that it has generated more than $116 million in savings through managed care and other efficiencies by Aug. 15, there will be across-the-board cuts in most areas of state government by Oct.1.”
But who will determine if these unlikely savings actually are achieved? It will be Miller and the administration’s budget office, who have hardly been interested in stepping into the sunshine with all the information lawmakers — much less you and I, the lowly taxpayers — deserve to know.
Since it is our money, after all, shouldn’t the plan demand an independent entity determine whether or not real savings have been accomplished?
Whatever happened to that “comprehensive efficiency study” of state government that was promised by Governor Beshear?
I had high hopes for that.
A Bluegrass Institute records request found that an efficiency study hadn’t been done BUT the governor did conduct a survey of state employees on how the state can save money. You can find those results separated by area of government here. I wonder if the governor has implemented any of those suggestions.