4 Reasons to care about Kentucky Governor’s race

Posted by on September 6, 2015
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kygov2

The Cincinnati Enquirer is running a story this weekend by the same title, however, it is misleading and shows how disconnected they continue to be with Northern Kentucky.

Their reasons: “Northern Kentucky needs to improve turnout”, “who will gain momentum for the 2016 Senate race”, “the White House effect”, and “tepid Republican support”.

I ask, what do any of those have to do with how voters should weigh their choices this November? The answer is a very distinct, “absolutely nothing.”

Instead, please allow me to offer four REAL reasons:

  • Pension Crisis

As of January 1, 2015, the Kentucky teacher retirement system faced more than $14 Billion in unfunded liabilities. This is in addition to the $17 Billion in unfunded pensions in the Kentucky Retirement System. No solution came out of the legislative session, and the can was kicked down the road yet again. This massively looming debt grows daily, is not being addressed and is not sustainable. Pensions continue to be offered to state employees as a benefit, so the burden grows through attrition.

All of this burden falls upon the Kentucky taxpayer. Our police, fire, teachers, and civil servants all stand to lose their retirement that they’ve worked for if something is not done.

  • Tax Deficit

The current Kentucky tax code is more than 60,000 pages.  The state, in 2014, gave out $90M more than it took in, and is on pace to fall more than $35M short in 2015.  This, is in addition to the pension deficit. The tax code in current form does not provide competitive opportunity for businesses to locate within the commonwealth.  Major players such as Toyota, Humana, and Omnicare have moved out of state for greener pastures.  All sides agree that comprehensive tax reform is needed, but the seated governor and legislature have ignored the issue, and again, passed the buck.

  • Health Care Reform

The creation of a state exchange, KYNECT, was initiated as part of the Affordable Care Act.  The exchange is heralded as one of the better state exchanges in design, and was created with $253.6M in grants, of which only $60M have been accounted for.  The state spent more than $11M in 2014 just promoting the exchange, who has 622 employees.  The cost to operate KYNECT is stated at $39M per year.  States are not required to operate their own exchange, and all services provided by the exchange can be received through the federal ACA online exchange.

Medicaid expansion in the state has increased the annual state cost of funding. The governor’s projections in 2013 were for 147,000 people to join the expanded program, at a cost of $33M.  More than 310,000 people joined, just the first year pushing the cost projections to $119M per year.  The healthcare marked is turning to increased costs upon the insured, because of the reduced reimbursement rates of Medicaid, driving the expense of healthcare up, to compensate.  The cycle is not sustainable, and the state currently has no answers to fund the expansion.

  • Labor Law

Right to work legislation is at Kentucky’s doorstep.  The concept with Right-To-Work is that by law, no one can be forced to enter into an organized labor contract / agreement.  This does not ban unions, but does make participation within them elective.  This issue is very divisive, as the organized labor contingent believes it jeopardizes their funding and ability to operate, and those opposed to forced participation believe the increased dollars going to worker pockets instead of union dues are a job creation incentive.  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee all have passed right to work legislation, and are all in direct competition for business growth and expansion with Kentucky.

All four of these topics have major implications on the future ability of our state government to function. In Northern Kentucky we have a looming need for an I-75 bridge solution, and our sprawling growth has overburdened many state highways and systems.

Which candidate offers the best skill set, and approach to resolving these major issues facing our state?

Here are your choices:

Do your homework Kentucky, and VOTE!

November 3, 2015.

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Aaron Gillum

Aaron Gillum

Aaron Gillum is a journalist for ANM News and a 20 year tenured IT Professional, car enthusiast, amateur musician, skilled marksman, police volunteer and holds the titles of Kentucky Colonel, and Duke of Hazard, Kentucky.

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  • Bill Adkins

    Bevin isn’t qualified to run a convenient store, much less the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As for the contention Conway did not do his job, that was proven a lie by SCOTUS with their ruling in Obergefell. Tea Party types spend way too much tie watching Saturday morning animated documentaries.

    • Me112233

      Perhaps if Conway used his claimed brilliance to defend the Kentucky Constitution, the case would have gone the other way? Again, just as the leftists are lambasting Kim Davis for “refusing to do her job” and even putting her in prison for such, those very same leftists are 100% defending Jack Conway’s refusal to do his job, and Conway used the precise, exact, same reason Kim Davis did — his beliefs did not match up with banning gay marriage, so he wouldn’t defend the law on that matter.

    • AndRebecca

      Well, I see you leftists have elevated the cartoons to documentaries, just like you call the 6 o’clock propaganda spots “news.” Isn’t your life in La-La land grand?

  • Me112233

    Given the choices, Matt Bevin is clearly the best. If you just can’t bring yourself to vote for a Republican, then I would go with Drew Curtis. Jack Conway has already proven he won’t do his job (refused to defend Kentucky’s constitution, thought that is precisely what the Attorney General is supposed to do, so Beshear had to spend $250,000 of taxpayer money to hire an outside law firm to do it). Conway is all about the Obama agenda, including being a lover of gay marriage. OK, if you are a flaming liberal who likes what Obama has done to our nation over the past six years, then I suppose you should vote for Conway; but if not, it’s has to be Bevin or Curtis.