“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

e-max.it: 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.

Posted on 2/2/14
1 DOW 18,041.54
0.00 (0.00%)    
2 S&P 2,104.20
0.00 (0.00%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,032.75
0.00 (0.00%)    

Most Read This Week

May 22, 2015 7509

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 7215

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 20, 2015 3602

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park Holding Beach…

by Gil Lawson
May 21, 2015 3374

Police Charge Madisonville Man with Harassing…

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3339

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10776

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 15, 2015 7584

Investigation of Local Barber Shop Leads to Drug…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 25, 2015 3339

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 25, 2015 2273

Hopkins Man Injured in Muhlenberg Motorcycle…

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1962

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1956

Large Necklace on Rearview Mirror Lands Driver in…

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 1896

UPDATE - MPD Seeks Three in Residential Robbery

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1679

Governor Announces Hopkins County as Kentucky…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 1240

Seniors Celebrate with Cook-out, Games, Fellowship

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 1221

Damascus Road House Leads Young People to Christ

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1200

Two Central City People Jailed on Meth Charges

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 1059

‘Remembering Those That Paid All’

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News