“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

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

In Other News...

MPD Searching for Man Accused of Nearly Running over Two Officers

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/27/15) — Madisonville Police released a wanted notice for a man accused of almost running over two… Read More

Three Arrested during Execution of Search Warrant; One Flees, Remains at Large

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/27/15) — Three people were arrested and another person is wanted after a police investigation into… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5440

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5221

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5040

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 4954

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4171

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 3927

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13283

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11501

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 27, 2015 5440

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 27, 2015 2374

MPD Searching for Man Accused of Nearly Running…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 27, 2015 2317

Family Loses Possessions, Dog in Sugg Street Fire

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 28, 2015 1913

Young Child Dies in Princeton Fire

by Chris Rogers, KSP
March 27, 2015 1545

Hopkins Grand Jury Indictments Handed Down

by Karen McKnight
March 27, 2015 1401

Rehabber Explains Her Mission; Efforts Filmed by…

by Ron Sanders
March 27, 2015 1225

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
March 27, 2015 1188

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 27,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 27, 2015 1019

Utility Tax Petition Signatures Put Choice before…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 1012

Work Continues on Madisonville's Downtown Plaza

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director