Massachusetts’ government healthcare program keeps blowing through budget projection after budget projection, while lack of money is keeping Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear from attempting the same thing.
Fresh off his effort to sign up more Kentuckians for unsustainable government health insurance plans, Gov. Steve Beshear is now promoting federal tax credits as powerful poverty fighters:
“”The EITC is one of our best anti-poverty tools, and I want to make sure every eligible Kentuckian takes advantage of it and gets the money they deserve,” Gov. Beshear said.”
Education is a far better anti-poverty tool. And given Kentucky’s long and sad record of poorly-run schools, it would certainly be more inspiring and effective if he were to join in a bipartisan effort to improve the state on that front.
In a shocker that has important implications in Kentucky, the Washington Post today announced that DC’s schools’ leader, Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, is dropping district support for teachers seeking certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Rhee cites a lack of evidence that this expensive and time-consuming program produces better student achievement.
The Post also says Cheryl Krehbiel, Rhee’s top deputy for professional development and a NBPTS certified teacher, admits links between NBPTS certification and student performance are weak.
The reason this is important to Kentucky is that taxpayers here provide extra stipends for teachers who have NBPTS certification, and Kentucky also supports those teachers getting certified.
In this time of fiscal austerity, if the NBPTS program isn’t providing much, or any, bang for the buck, as DC educators allege, we need to investigate that right away.
The Beshear Administration has finally released its government spending transparency web site.
Let’s just say it needs some work.
One glaring error is the statement that Kentucky Retirement Systems doesn’t use tax dollars (click the image below to read it):
The legislature just met back in June and agreed to dump billions of dollars into KRS from now until 2025. Where do they think that money is coming from, the tooth fairy?
We clearly have a long way to go before government in Kentucky is transparent to the taxpayers.
“It might make sense to lend the money to the states that will make them spend it more wisely,” he said, “If the money were lent rather than just granted, states would, I think, spend it wisely and the states that didn’t need it at all wouldn’t take any.”
Does differentiating between gifted money to be blown and borrowed money to be spent judiciously really sound like part of the thought process in Kentucky’s state government?
That rationale didn’t do much to protect taxpayers forced to bail out bad-risk home “buyers” who borrowed money rather than have it given to them.
President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to make unionization of private workplaces more widespread with federal legislation to eliminate secret ballots in worker elections to accept or reject union representation.
Without secret ballots, union representatives could strong-arm workers into checking a card indicating their desire for a union.
A national organization is taking the battle against “card check” unionization to the states with the following proposed state constitutional amendment language:
“The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires elections for public office or public votes on initiatives or referenda, or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.”
Efforts are already underway in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah. Kentucky’s legislature is pretty well tied to big unions, but our General Assembly should have to explain why they want to take voting rights away from workers.