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Opinion

  • As legislators were debating Friday night whether to give final approval to a major revenue bill, someone brought up the old joke about how most of us would prefer to fund government: Don’t tax you, don’t tax me; tax that fellow behind the tree.

  • This time of year, Americans are taking part in an annual headache-inducing ritual: filing their income tax returns. Most of us dread completing this complicated paperwork and writing a check to the IRS each year, particularly under the current arcane federal tax system. Thankfully, as a result of the historic overhaul of the federal tax code, this is the last time that you will have to file under the outdated and expensive system that has held our country back for far too long.

  • April 21, 1988 (30 years ago)

    Trimble County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in all of Kentucky’s counties at 3.9 percent. However, local officials and University of Kentucky agricultural economists disputed the number. The economists cited problems with the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the rate results in statistics lower than true unemployment.

  • I’ve kept in contact with some very good friends at my alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University. Some friends have gone back after completing a degree to serve there and influence the next generation’s experience while others complete graduate degrees to enhance their post-college prospects. Although I couldn’t be on campus with them, I recently watched from afar at the prospect of cutting the budget...again, the third time in five years.

  • The common thread binding all good legislation is that, by the time the actual vote arrives, the outcome is all but a foregone conclusion.

    It takes a lot of effort to get to that point, of course. Stakeholders need to be included early on, because they are the ones who will be most affected by any change, and the public must have the chance to weigh in as well. It’s a process that can take months, but when it works, the positive impact is measured in years.

  • April 14, 1988 | 30 years ago

    High winds toppled trees across highways and county roads, partially destroyed a machine shed and even flipped a mobile home on its side off Palmyra Road. No injuries were sustained during the storms. The Banner notes that most residents suffered a sleepless night.

  • Of all the facts and figures surrounding the public-pension debate, two speak volumes about what happened last Thursday at the Capitol: nine and 291.

    The first is about how many hours it took for House and Senate leaders to publicly unveil their plan to reform the state’s public retirement systems and then steamroll it through both chambers. The second, meanwhile, is the number of pages other legislators and I were somehow expected to read and understand before voting in that short timeframe.

  • The 2018 Session is quickly winding down as Thursday, March 29, marked Day 57 of the 60-day budget session. Budget negotiations are continuing with positive results and the Senate gaveled in for two days to pass a number of bills including some aimed at helping our first responders and their families. Although the amount of days left is shortening, the days in the Capitol are getting longer as we prepare to pass the Commonwealth’s two-year budget.

  • April 7, 1988 | 30 years ago

    Trimble County Water District commissioners voted to use available funds, contingent on FmHA financing, to begin the Phase III extensions and improvements to the water system. The project would provide a second well supply with a short transmission main and two distribution mains to serve 60 families. Proposed additions included Barebone Road all the way to Wises Landing and Smith Lane. The total cost was estimated at $437,000.

  • The General Assembly’s top priority this legislative session – adopting a two-year budget to run state government – entered its final stages late last week, when House and Senate leaders sat down Friday morning to begin looking for common ground that both chambers could support.

    While there are a lot of similarities between the two spending plans, there are still some considerable differences.

  • Rapidly nearing the last days of the 2018 Regular Session, the Senate passed our version of the state budget that contained no new taxes during the 12th week. The Executive Branch Budget, contained in House Bill 200, put an emphasis on public safety by investing in law enforcement, the state crime lab, frontline social workers, and foster and adoption services.

  • There are few ideas worse than governments getting into the internet business. Doing so is a certain path to financial disaster, as cities like Burlington, Vt., Provo, Utah, Bristol, Va., Monticello, Minn., among many others, have learned the hard way. Kentucky now appears next to be added to an already long list of spectacular financial failures with its ill-conceived “KentuckyWired” program.

  • March 31, 1988 (30 years ago)

    Family, fans and friends gathered as Heath Taylor signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Brescia College. Brescia was Taylor’s only school preference that wasn’t considered a Division I school. Taylor said he liked Brescia’s coach Alan Walter and the atmosphere of Owensboro, where the college is located.

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. - The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

  • Since each has generated countless news stories and social media posts, it’s certainly understandable if the public thinks this year’s legislative session is just about the state budget and possible reforms of our public retirement systems.

    While the fate of those bills is what will ultimately be remembered most from the General Assembly’s time in the Capitol this year, that shouldn’t overshadow the many other issues that the House and Senate are also considering. They may not be as far-reaching, but they will have an impact just the same.

  • As we draw closer to the end of the 2018 Regular Session, there has been no shortage of movement on significant bills in Frankfort this week. The Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee has spent several days and some late nights working on the Senate’s budget proposal, which we expect to go before the committee early next week.

  • March 24, 1988 (30 years ago)

    Around 60 Trimble teachers joined 20,000 educators and supporters from across the state at a Kentucky Educational Association rally in Frankfort to protest Gov. Wallace Wilkinson’s proposed budget. KEA originally expected around 10,000 protesters to show up and march around the Capitol Building. Of the state’s 178 public school districts, 96 canceled class to allow teachers to rally.

  • When it comes to getting from points A to B, few states do as good a job as Kentucky.

    It certainly doesn’t hurt that our central location puts us closer to more Americans than any other state, and only three states have more miles of navigable waterways. We’ve added to that by having not one but two of the country’s busiest cargo airports, and we’re also among the top 10 states when counting the number of railcars originating here, a statistic that sheds light on the true size of our manufacturing and coal industries.

  • March 17, 1988 (30 years ago)

    State Rep. Bob Jones answered questions from 17 people at a public meeting in Bedford. Questions ranged from gun control to the representative’s vote on putting a lottery initiative on the ballot that would’ve allowed the Commonwealth’s citizens to have a direct say on the matter. Jones cited concerns in West Virginia with that state’s lottery and that it was losing money at the time.

  • When Governor Bevin presented his budget to the General Assembly in late January, it quickly became clear that his proposed cuts to education would be too much for our schools to handle.

    It would reduce elementary and secondary funding by more than $380 million over the next two years and take away almost $160 million more from our colleges and universities. That’s 540 million steps back at a time when it is more critical than ever that we have our students running ahead.