Sen. Ray Jones pre-filed a bill today to put the Commission on Human Rights in charge of making movie theater owners install closed captioning systems in their theaters.
New Jersey’s politicians have been saying they are cutting government spending to the bone, just like we hear in Kentucky.
Even so, no one should be surprised to learn that those same politicians overshot the mark last year by $2.2 billion and have merely thrown it on the taxpayers’ credit card. What is interesting is that this fact made the newspaper up there.
Meanwhile in Kentucky, we are adding in more than $1.5 billion to our debt load over the next two years and you don’t hear a peep from our media watchdogs.
For a little context, New Jersey has more than double the population of Kentucky.
After receiving several emails and one phone call about yesterday’s post on the Kenton County Public Library’s online financial disclosure, I agree that a clarification is in order.
A tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet on the library’s site shows a proposed line-item spending plan. I didn’t mention this in the post, which caused several readers to contact me to inquire about the oversight.
My contention is that a government entity telling us how it intends to spend money is not transparency. It’s nice to have an idea of the library’s spending priorities, but transparency means showing us how the money is actually spent.
I’m glad the Kenton County Public Library made some kind of effort to address the public’s right to know. In doing so, however, they opened themselves up as well to criticism that making the information difficult to find displayed contempt for the spirit of the transparency movement.
By this, I don’t mean that the perfect is the enemy of the good. But half measures just don’t get it done when it comes to showing taxpayers where their money is going.
If government entities want credit for being transparent with their spending, they should make the information easy to find and they should make the information available as the spending occurs.
Louisville may be getting 12,000 new jobs if shipping company DHL flees Ohio. If it happens, feel free to ignore the inevitable chest thumping in the Beshear Administration.
At issue is a ballot initiative in the Buckeye state that would require small businesses in the state to give paid sick leave to all their employees. If we can just keep our noses relatively clean for a while, Kentucky could become a major beneficiary of this nonsense.
Thanks to Americans for Tax Reform for passing this one along.
Kentucky’s need for spending transparency is best demonstrated by the opposition to it by politicians of both parties and at all levels of government.
Take, for instance, the Kenton County Public Library. After Secretary of State Trey Grayson lit a fire under Gov. Steve Beshear to at least pretend to think about opening up the books, the library’s board had a discussion about following suit.
They decided to follow Beshear.
If you go to the Kenton County Public Library site, then click on “About Us” near the top of the page, click on “Administration,” then click on “Board of Trustees,” and then go down to the bottom of that page and click on “2008-2009 Budget,” you come to a spreadsheet that lists where the library’s $10.04 million in income comes from.
That’s not spending — though I assume they spend it all — and that’s not transparency.
Library Director Dave Schroeder said he doesn’t think the Board is inclined to do any more than they already have on providing spending transparency for taxpayers.
We have a lot of work to do to change the way our state operates.