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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kentucky News & You

I know I generally keep these posts focused on local (Fort Thomas) news but a couple of items from Frankfort have too much potential impact on our community to ignore. As you may have heard there was a special session recently that required our legislators to return to Frankfort for discussion and voting. In this session there were a couple of bills they had to take to a vote.

The first item was dubbed the 'tax incentive bill' and focused on items to stimulate the state economy. It is famous for tax incentives for Newport on the Levee and the Ky Speedway that could have provided enough incentive to finish out the original plan for the Levee (which included a hotel and more) and bring a major race to the Speedway. However because the bill included a provision to allow tolls to be used for mega projects like bridges. There was no specific mention of the I-75 bridge but even the possibility was enough for all but 4 NKY lawmakers to vote no on the bill. What happened to negotiation and finding common ground? How is possible that our elected officials insist on playing politics instead of finding the right solution. I can't imagine if I made decisions at my place of employment this way - we would have gone bankrupt decades ago. Stop layering on pet initiatives, projects, and causes on bills that make sense - we have to start making the right decisions for our state.

The second, and some might say equally appalling, item that saw debate but ultimately met its demise was the gambling initiative. Without inciting backers on both sides of the debate I do find it ironic that in the same week this bill is voted down the Argosy's $300m+ remake is completed in neighboring Indiana. By the way neighboring Indiana has a $1B surplus while Kentucky and Ohio continue to struggle mightily to balance a budget. That surplus is not there because of gambling but because of sound fiscal and political management. Kentucky should take a lesson.

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