Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Legislators Discuss General Assembly Wrap Up With Hopkins Business Leaders

legislators luncheonMADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/21/14) - The Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce held a “Legislative Wrap-Up” Monday featuring state representatives Ben Waide, Brent Yonts, Jim Gooch, Myron Dossett and state Sen. Jerry Rhoads.

The politicians spoke on several legislative priorities of concern to Hopkins County and also shared their views on the latest legislative session.

Waide congratulated Madisonville and Hopkins County local government for good communication with their local legislators.

"It starts with the judge-executive and mayor saying 'this is what we want the most,'" said Waide.

Funding for the Center Street-Island Ford Road Connector Road was discussed at the luncheon, and Rhoads said the topic was the subject of much debate at the legislative session.

According to Rhoads, the final version of the road plan is broken into two parts ― a two-year plan and a four-year plan ― as a projection after the build. The road is projected to be finished in 2015, costing approximately $3 million. The first portion of the plan will take the road from Center Street to where it crosses the railroad tracks. The design for the northern portion of the road was knocked down by the Senate, and did not survive in the legislative session. However, Rhoads hopes to get $1.3 million in additional funding soon.

The legislators also discussed funding for the Murray State University-Madisonville Post-Secondary Education Building saying that the project was "good to go", subject to the college being able to raise $5 million. Funding for post-secondary school projects is the same for all of the 16 KCTCS schools across the state.

HB 2 was passed in the session, which will give post-secondary schools in coal counties ― such as Madisonville Community College in Hopkins County ― $150,000 in grants to award $3,500 to $6,800 scholarships to improve outreach to students in the area. The scholarships would keep students close to home, according to the legislators.

"It gives kids the ability and better access right here in their county," said Waide.

In other education news, the session brought about a mandatory pay raise for teachers: 1 percent in the 2015 fiscal year and 2 percent in 2016.  In addition to a pay increase, Kentucky schools will receive funding increases in many areas such as technology and textbooks.

HB 388 was passed giving the state the ability to create environmental standards for coal production. The legislators explained that they would abide by EPA rules yet do anything they could to "keep jobs here".

"We will do it in a way that will meet the EPA and not totally damage the economy," said Gooch.

Tax reform was a major issue in the legislative session, according to the panel. The Local Investment for Transformation or LIFT plan was discussed, which would enable cities, states and counties to add a one cent additional sales tax to vote up or down on a special project. It was voted down on Monday with 50 votes.

"It's unfair" to brand the plan as a tax, and said that he was "disappointed" that the "Louisville-type" measure was not passed, said Rhoads.

"It could do some big things we couldn't do otherwise," he said.

In states that have passed LIFT, cities have gained hospitals and NBA teams, said Rhoads. He said he believes that voters, not legislators, should decide on more serious items.

Waide said he believes that it's not the last time legislators will discuss LIFT in the General Assembly.

"We can't wait for the state to help us, because they won't," he said.

For more information on all the House Bills passed at this session, go to: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/pubinfo/capitol_notes.htm.

Taylor Riley
SurfKY News
SurfKY News Photo/Taylor Riley

© Copyright 2014 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 by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,461.32
-153.49 (-0.92%)    
2 S&P 1,927.11
-14.17 (-0.73%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,382.85
-36.63 (-0.83%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Convicted Felon Charged for Handgun Possession after Traffic Stop

DRAKESBORO, Ky. (10/22/14) ― A Dunmor man was charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon after a… Read More

Benton Middle School Participates in Clothing Drive

BENTON, Ky. (10/21/14) — As winter approaches, local students will have a need for warmth. With that in mind, Benton… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

October 17, 2014 12077

UK Women's Soccer Welcomes Ole Miss, No. 5/4…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
October 20, 2014 5739

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 17, 2014 3944

Single Vehicle Collision Results in One Injury

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S. C. Recke
October 19, 2014 3846

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 16, 2014 3143

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 3054

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 18, 2014 2804

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 17, 2014 2793

Woman Arrested at Taco Bell for DUI

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 17, 2014 2712

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 17, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2687

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 21, 2014 3054

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 20, 2014 2024

Hopkins County Board of Education Recognizes…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
October 21, 2014 1941

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1903

Man Charged for Switching Plates on Vehicle;…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 1598

Providence Police Reports Released

in Local (Webster) Top News by Chief Brent McDowell
October 21, 2014 1579

Arrival of Overpass Beams for I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in General News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
October 22, 2014 1538

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1401

Alliance for a Drug-Free Owensboro-Daviess County…

in Owensboro News by Carla Shelton
October 21, 2014 1294

Meade County Set to Host Third Region Boys'…

in General Sports For All Sites by Steve LeMaster
October 21, 2014 1167

RWRA Sewer Repairs Starting Tomorrow

in Owensboro News by Abby Shelton

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss