Posted on 2/2/14


“When you give government more permission to take your money, they will.”
—Rep. Ben Waide

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/20/14) – Approximately 40 people attended Monday morning's Legislative Breakfast sponsored by the Madisonville - Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce and Baptist Health to listen to area state legislators about issues being addressed in the current legislative session.

The panel of two Republicans and three Democrats were in agreement on a number of issues and had stark differences on others.

All agreed that they would have to wait until the governor makes his budget proposal before they could really get to work on the details. All agreed that I-69 would continue to be a priority.

State Sen. Jerry Rhoads said that the interchange at the intersection of the Western Kentucky and Pennyrile parkways is progressing.

representatives 500

State Rep. Ben Waide said that he had met with District 2 Highway Engineer Kevin McClearn, and that good progress is being made to designate more sections of the old parkways to I-69 standards.

All were in agreement that the Mid-Town Commons connector road is on their radars. State Rep. Brent Yonts said that he hoped the project was on Gov. Beshear’s list; but if not, he will work to put it in the House plan and said there is a high probability of getting it done.

State Rep. Myron Dossett, whose 9th District will extend into Hopkins County, said that he would make the connector road a priority as well.

waide 300All were also in agreement that they would like to see a new Murray State building on the Madisonville Community College campus. Rhoads said that communities requesting capital construction projects should expect to contribute a significant portion of the cost. Yonts added that even University of Kentucky projects were being funded by their own bonding.

Likewise, the five men hoped that teachers and state employees would see some pay increases after several years of no Cost of Living adjustments.

State Rep. Jim Gooch said that education is an economic development issue. He hopes that SEEK funding relief is in the governor’s plan.

When the discussion came to budget priorities, the panelists began to differ. Waide said that the state needed to tighten its belt. He is very concerned about the ballooning costs of Medicaid. Waide pointed out that 60 precent of the state’s budget is for education and Medicaid is crowding out dollars that should be spent on education.
Gooch is also concerned about Medicaid. He pointed out that 800,000 of Kentucky’s 4.2 million people were on Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, he expects the number to increase about 50 percent to 1.2 million or 28 percent of total population.

“This is being paid for by the federal right now,” he said. “In three years, Kentucky will have to pay 30 percent”.

Gooch said he has asked for the numbers from the state.

The sentiment of the panel was that there needs to be tax reform. They acknowledged that the public hears “tax reform” and thinks “tax increase”.

yonts 300Yonts was not optimistic about comprehensive tax reform; but, he thought “bits and pieces” could be done. Rhoads was a bit more specific on tax reform.

“There have been 13 studies since 1982 on revenue, and they are all sitting on shelves gathering dust,” said Rhoads. “We can only do so much without proper funding.”

On establishing a statewide smoking ban, there were several opinions. Waide said that he did not like the legislation previously considered.

“A business owner sitting back in his office smoking a cigarette would have been in violation of the law,” Waide said.

Rhoads took a different view.

“I think it is freedom to not be exposed to second hand smoke,” he said. “I have not heard any complaints from anyone about our (Hopkins County) smoking ban even from business owners.”

Regarding giving local government additional taxing authority, Rhoads said that it would require a constitutional amendment and local voters would have to approve. Most on the panel were in favor of putting it on the ballot.

Waide offered a cautionary note.

“When you give government more permission to take your money, they will,” he said.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 17,084.49
+33.74 (0.20%)    
2 S&P 2,014.89
+1.46 (0.07%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,830.47
+19.68 (0.41%)    

Most Read This Week

October 06, 2015 4854

County Passes Occupational Tax Ordinance

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 4736

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 05, 2015 4086

Four Charged with Drug Offenses after Motel…

by SurfKY News
October 06, 2015 3784

Dawson Man Charged with Cultivating Marijuana,…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 3248

Vehicle Overturns during Two-Car Collision

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read This Month

September 16, 2015 13392

Mining Accident Fatality - Update

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 30, 2015 11456

Dawson Woman Dead After Princeton Factory…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

October 08, 2015 1400

Madisonville Police Department Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 1241

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 1187

Local Pastor's Son Filming Documentary about…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 910

Work Zone Lane Restriction on Pennyrile Pkwy Set…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 812

Democratic Candidate for Governor Jack Conway…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 794

Registration for Free 'Project Hire Kentucky'…

by SurfKY News
October 09, 2015 754

Travis Ipox Appointed as New Agency Manager of…

by SurfKY News
October 09, 2015 711

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 632

Guns - Stopping That One Person

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 617

UPDATE: Mortons Gap Boil Water Advisory Lifted

by SurfKY News