Friday, February 16, 2007

Fletcher’s Fordfare Now Bipartisan

Governor Fletcher’s proposals were unacceptable. Now, he has state legislators slinging handouts.

Additionally, the below is not a solution. This package will make Kentucky competitive? Make us superior. Tax breaks, return for investment, negotiable employment? This is not help. This is “great society” smoke and mirrors.

From Pol Watchers:

Louisville lawmakers filed a bill today that would provide incentives potentially worth tens of millions of dollars to Ford Motor Co. if it decides to invest at least $100 million in its two Louisville assembly plants.

The bill would allow Ford to claim tax breaks worth up to 50 percent of their investment, said Republican Rep. Scott Brinkman of Louisville, a co-sponsor of the legislation along with Democratic Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively.

"It enables Kentucky to be competitive with other states who are negotiating with Ford Motor Co. for job retention and new investment," Brinkman said. "They made it clear that they felt Kentucky did not have a package in front of them that they felt was competitive."

The proposal would require Ford to maintain a certain number of jobs in Louisville, but that number would be negotiable, Brinkman said. Ford has about 8,000 workers at its two Louisville plants, which mostly produce Explorer sport utility vehicles and F-250 Super Duty trucks.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has already recommended that lawmakers use $10 million of the state's projected $401 million surplus to provide training for Ford workers. Lawmakers have not yet acted on his recommendation. In an effort to reduce vehicle output at its U.S. factories by 26 percent, Ford announced in September that it would cut the number of hourly workers in North America by 25,000 to 30,000 and close 14 plants by the end of 2008, four years earlier than previously announced. The company offered buyouts to all of its 75,000 hourly workers.

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