General Assembly forms Pension Task Force

It is no secret that Kentucky’s public pension system is in crisis. Today, initial steps toward solving the crisis were taken. The Kentucky General Assembly passed a resolution to: Establish the Kentucky Public Pensions Task Force; provide that the purpose of the task force is to study issues regarding Kentucky’s state-administered pension funds and to…

Herald-Leader should look at prevailing-wage policies

A recent letter to the editor sent to the Lexington Herald-Leader: The March 25 editorial “University’s presidential pay erodes trust” has the right fire with regards to taking on wasteful spending. Unfortunately, it is sorely misplaced. Rather than taking on the increase (granted, significant) in the university president’s salary, the Lexington Herald-Leader should focus on…

‘Medicaid managed care blues’

A recent article about Medicaid managed care in Kentucky features quotes and research by Bluegrass Institute scholar Dr. John Garen. The article titled “Medicaid Managed Care Blues in the Bluegrass State” by Kenneth Artz is a great overview of the situation that Kentucky now faces. It is no secret that Kentucky’s Medicaid program faces significant…

State plane to travel to SEC tourney, ‘visit friends’?

Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters was quoted in a Lexington Herald-Leader story about how Governor Steve Beshear used a state plan to travel to the SEC basketball tournament followed by a trip to Florida so that first lady Jane Beshear could “visit friends.” Jim Waters, president of Bluegrass Institute, which promotes free-market capitalism and smaller…

Every Contractor a Potential Crony?

My friend Zubedah Nanfuka at the Sunlight Foundation highlights my colleague Logan Morford’s wake-up call about the risks of shutting off government contractors from Kentucky’s open records laws. Why do we require government agencies (and those who contract with the government) to avail themselves of requests for information from the public? A few reasons. It’s…

Budget battles, COLA, and ‘Future Shock’

The Lexington Herald-Leader is reporting that in the current proposed budget before the Kentucky General Assembly, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA’s) will be suspended for state retirees. This is significant because the state and local retirement plans are bound by what is called an “inviolable contract” (read more on page 8 of “Future Shock”) meaning that the retirement…

Prevailing wage = needless increase in cost: The bridge edition

Kentucky and Indiana are about to jointly embark on a $2.6 billion transportation infrastructure project to improve travel over the Ohio River to connect the two states. The project will result in two new bridges and improved interstate exchanges. These are badly needed improvements and it is great that these problems are being addressed. It…