As Frankfort continues to look for ways to cut spending, some of our elected representatives might do well to be reminded that they had a chance to shut down the Treasurer’s office.
Maybe they could put him to work sweeping floors or something.
What is the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) really tracking? We have written before such as here and here about the teething problems with the KDE’s new student tracking system – at least we thought it was a STUDENT tracking system.
Now, a news report hints that the KDE’s new “Infinite Campus” computer database system may be something more – a household tracking system!
Why is the department of education setting up a system that tracks students not as individuals, but only as members of households? Does the department of education have legitimate reasons to track anything organized by households?
Certainly, the Times Tribune article raises lots more questions than answers about a computerized tracking system so involved that some educators say it’s “scary” just to implement the thing. Could there be even more to be scared of than anyone in the public knows?
The Beshear Administration tells me now that they are proceeding with the Efficiency Study.
They are currently sorting through 3600 efficiency suggestions from employees solicited when Gov. Steve Beshear took office almost a year ago. I was asked to report on efforts to reduce the number of employees and the promised government spending web site, which I did one and five months ago, respectively.
Also learned the Beshear Administration has roughly 460 fewer non-merit employees than the Fletcher Administration had. Certainly a step in the right direction.
And Gov. Beshear says more cuts are on the way.
In his weekly column, the Bluegrass Institute’s always-edgy Jim Waters chases Gov. Steve Beshear’s latest big idea up a tree:
“While campaigning for office, Gov. Steve Beshear promised to consider tax increases “only as a last resort.””
“Yet, Beshear now plans to waste costly fuel traveling around the state to try and soften opposition toward raising taxes and manipulating the hardworking residents of Kentucky into approving the distasteful idea of expanding casino gambling.
“As a last resort” means after exhausting all other options.”
“However, the governor offers no suggestions for meaningful reform of the state workers’ pension system. So far, Kentucky’s “tax-islature” has avoided tough, cost saving choices, including addressing elements of the pension system that line their pockets.”
Jim concludes that eliminating prevailing wage and corporate welfare would be far better solutions than merely raising taxes again. Good stuff.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s Chief of Staff Adam Edelen made an odd statement today in favor of a proposed bailout of three domestic auto manufacturers.
Edelen told WHAS’ Mark Hebert: “What the Governor has expressed to our Congressional delegation is that it is our top priority to protect the 80,000 people in Kentucky who are employed in automobile manufacturing or related industries.”
Really? What about the other four million of us? Do we rate top priority without working for or running businesses that fail? And how specifically does the Governor know that making those 80,000 his top priority for an unspecified amount of time is the best thing for them in the long run? Or is that even the goal? Why or why not?
Several unanswered questions remain for those who usually claim to have a lot of answers.
Over the last quarter of a century, Kentucky has underfunded its public employee benefits plans to the point that they have nearly a $30 billion liability that will hit taxpayers hard.
Now some private organizations that have also mismanaged their defined benefit pension plans are petitioning Congress to allow them to put taxpayers on the hook for their actions.
We opened this door when we started the bailout binge. Someone is going to have to stop it. Any volunteers?