Tuesday, February 7, 2023


Bill to expand tax credits draws on children's health data, Alaskans file petition opposing giant grocery merger, and a revised Colorado water plan prioritizes conservation.


President Biden is set to give the State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls the national debt limit the United States' greatest threat, and Kamala Harris announces new pledges to offer more economic stability in Central America.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Lawmakers Face "Stark Choice" in Next Budget


Tuesday, January 7, 2014   

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky lawmakers can take either a path of reinvestment or retrenchment when they craft a new two-year budget, according to economic policy analyst Jason Bailey, who calls the decision a "stark choice." He is co-author of a new report, from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, which he directs, that says the direction the state heads depends on whether lawmakers find new ways to generate more revenue.

"The conversation about tax reform in the state has been happening for several decades now," Bailey said. "We have studies on the shelf showing how to do it; we just need legislators with the will to move forward on it."

Bailey was on the governor's tax reform commission which released a plan last year that outlined how to broaden the state's tax base by $650 million. The main idea is to eliminate some of the many tax exemptions and loopholes.

Bailey remarked that there's pain from 13 rounds of cuts over the past six years, and more pain is ahead if something isn't done to reverse course.

"We're at a turning point," he declared. "Those cuts have eliminated $1.6 billion in funding for schools and for health care and social services. Those things have set us back."

And the economic policy analyst warned that the state has already "pulled every trick it can find" to limit just how deep the budget cuts have been.

"You know, we've done tax amnesty, forgiven people for not paying their taxes," he recounted. "We've pulled money from various funds across the state. We've restructured state debt which ends up just costing the state more over time. We haven't paid pension payments for employees."

Those are all reasons why the report Bailey co-authored calls for lawmakers to find ways to, in his words, "put more money on the table."

A link to that report is at KYPolicy.org.

get more stories like this via email

As many as 11% of eligible voters do not have the kind of identification that is required by states with strict ID requirements, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said a bill to require Maine voters to present photo identification in order to cast ballots is unnecessary and coul…

Social Issues

A bill to increase tax credits in the Commonwealth is backed up by research showing the credits lead to better nutrition for working families and bett…


Part of the deal Wyoming struck for sending its water down the Colorado River was that state residents would be able to tap electricity generated at G…

Advocates and activists from both the liberal and conservative sides are trying to encourage voter turnout for the upcoming state Supreme Court race, given the impact the outcome will have on the court's ideological balance. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Wisconsin's primary election is two weeks away, and a high-profile state Supreme Court race is on the ballot. Several advocacy groups are behind a …


A coalition of conservation groups is giving Colorado's revised state water plan a thumbs-up for its increased focus on protecting Colorado's rivers…

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported a 70% increase in reported fraud losses from consumers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Victims of investment-related fraud in North Dakota could soon recoup some of their losses through a proposed restitution fund. A bill to establish …

Social Issues

West Virginia is among a handful of states with the highest increases in educational attainment between 2019 and 2021, according to a new report from …

Social Issues

The state's "divisive concepts" law is preventing educators from holding rational discussions about race relations in America, New Hampshire civil …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021