Taxes and the Economy
With the passage of the Taxes Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, 817 Companies (and counting) Announce Pay Raises, Bonuses, 401(k) Match Increases, Expansions, and Utility Rate Cuts (1). This act has made the USA competitive on a worldwide stage, and it is now more important than ever that we as a state find ways to compete with other states for jobs. We must have a competitive state tax system that promotes work and investment from job creators. This bill in tandem with HB 487 in 2018 (2), lowered personal income taxes, and has created a surplus in the State Budget (3). Kentucky has had record low unemployment, increased investment, and created many jobs due these tax cuts and they must be preserved for our economic future (4).
Public Sector Pensions
I do not believe the pensions can be or should be changed at all for current employees, rather only future hires. The passage of SB 151 in 2018 was last ditch effort to just get something passed and was not given proper vetting. The supreme court of Kentucky was correct in their ruling that the manner in which the bill was passed was unconstitutional. Passage of this bill gave credence to the those who asked to find funding first, to which I agree with. This should not be a partisan issue. We must maintain full funding and seek additional revenue sources dedicated to strengthening our pension systems. I believe in merging the Judicial and Legislative Pension systems into the KERS Non-Hazardous eliminating the bad optics this provides as the funding level of this system in near full funding. As I have stated many times to people, my mother is a merit state employee so the health of our pension systems is of upmost importance to me.
Approximately 52.7% of our budget appropriations goes to education (1), yet we are still 45th in the nation for educational attainment and 47th for percentage of associate and bachelor degree holders (2). We will never see large investments of high-tech jobs in our state until we can increase the amount of college degree holders in our state. Kentucky ranks 19th in the nation for reliance on state funds for education (3). This is the opposite of what needs to happen; better schools will rely on local funds and less on state funds. In order for that to happen we must grow our economy locally and statewide to increase the tax base to do so. I do believe we need to focus just as hard on “work ready” and “vo-tech” as we do “college ready” in high school. Nationally, only about 35% have a bachelor degree or higher. We must focus on the 65% who will likely never go to college as well by having more certificate type trainings, vocational schools, and workforce development in high schools.
- Office of State Budget Director https://osbd.ky.gov/Publications/Documents/Budget%20Documents/2018-2020%20Budget%20of%20the%20Commonwealth/1820%20BOC%20Budget%20in%20Brief%20-%20FINAL.pdf
- WalletHub https://wallethub.com/edu/most-educated-states/31075/
- National Education Association http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/2019%20Rankings%20and%20Estimates%20Report.pdf
- US Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2018/demo/education-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html
Right to Life
I am 100% Pro-life. I will not bend on this issue whatsoever. We should continue our forward momentum in this area by ensuring your tax dollars are not funding abortion clinics, promoting foster care and adoption, and funding of pregnancy help clinics.
I am an avid hunter and NRA life member. I believe in our 2nd amendment and our Kentucky constitution reiteration of the 2nd amendment in Section 1 No. 7 in the Kentucky Bill of Rights. I will not support any legislation that hinders our right to bear arms.
The 1st duty of a state legislator is actually local and not statewide. The State Senator is elected to be a representative of the people and to bring funds and programs to their community and not to simply represent their particular party issues at a state level. While state level issues are a part of the job, it is important to represent the needs of my community first. These are mostly non-partisan.
Other issues I support
- Community Before Party
- Limited Government
- Transparency in Government
- Alternative Revenue Streams
- School Safety Measures without infringing the 2nd Amendment
- 100% ARC funding with a balanced budget
- Increased funding for faith-based drug rehab clinics.
- Suicide prevention for first responders
- Legislation to help with the growing industrial hemp business, lowering hurdles for crop insurance and lending.