My last post focused on local races but I would be remiss to not at least mention the races for the state house. Both the local state senator and local legislator are up for re-election this November. The stakes are high in this election as well. By way of a brief summary here are few of the issues that will impact everyone in Fort Thomas:
- Possibility of rolling back sales tax on goods to 5% and expanding it to services. Would likely raise taxes overall and impact businesses in Fort Thomas that are not taxed today. This is of course one of the options that have been discussed to close the nearly $1 billion potential shortfall in the budget over the next 2 years. Some estimates have placed the potential deficit as high as $1.5 billion.
- Gambling will no doubt back on the agenda as a potential means of closing the above mentioned deficits. Of course I think this ship has sailed now that nearly all neighboring states have some form of casino gambling legalized. Indiana has had legalized gambling for some time and are now unencumbered by restrictions on where. Ohio just legalized and could have one of their largest casinos less than a mile from the riverfront.
- School funding is always a big one and should be a critical issue for those voting from Fort Thomas. Cuts have occurred over the past couple of years and with the funding situation in Fort Thomas how they solve this one will be critical to the future of Fort Thomas schools. We all know how difficult it is for Fort Thomas Independent Schools with the current state funding formula and that could only be made more difficult by the budget issues and how they plan to solve it.
As a little background you may want to get to know our current representatives and their voting records:
- Joe Fischer - legislator serving Fort Thomas since 1999. Served in Fort Thomas city government for nearly a decade prior to serving in the state house. Here is a good summary of his voting record.
- Katie Stine - state senator serving Fort Thomas since 1999 (served 3 years in the legislature prior to moving to the Senate) and currently serving as the President Pro Tem of the Senate and hasn't had to raise money for re-election since 2001. Appears to have delivered a few items to the Pendleton County portion of her district through infrastructure funds but no tangible benefits to Fort Thomas.