Thursday, March 1, 2007

Biting Legislation – Part One

House approves wage increase

The Kentucky House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure yesterday to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over the next two years. "It's the right thing to do," said Rep. J.R. Gray, D-Benton, the bill's sponsor. "It's the moral thing to do."

When the minimum wage increases, every price increases. Employers slash payroll by firing or not hiring workers. Governor Fletcher’s decision?

Servers would get 3 cents an hour more

Restaurant owners would have to pay servers 3 cents an hour more under a bill unanimously approved by the House Labor and Industry Committee. Servers now earn $2.13 an hour plus tips. Under the bill approved yesterday, they would earn 42 percent of minimum wage, which currently is $5.15. Their hourly rate would be $2.16.

Their dream of a college education realized…

Budget bill excludes Horse Park

A House bill amending the state's two-year budget does not include $38 million for an outdoor stadium and other improvements at the Kentucky Horse Park, although it does appropriate money for a new runway at Blue Grass Airport and allows the University of Kentucky to purchase Samaritan Hospital.

I oppose frivolous spending. With that stated, God forbid we promote Kentucky through tourism.

Almost $12.5 million given to breeders

Kentucky thoroughbreds earned almost $12.5 million in bonuses from the state last year from a new fund designed to act as a big carrot to breeders. "This amount is proof that the fund is providing results and will help maintain Kentucky's status again as the Horse Capital of the world," said Gov. Ernie yesterday at a press conference to announce the first payouts from the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund, which is funded by the tax revenue paid on stud fees.

Granted, we are a horse bastion. However, invest $12.5 million in education.

Seum bill targets MSD for stricter oversight

A bill to establish state controls over the Metropolitan Sewer District has been introduced by state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Louisville. The bill would make MSD rate increases subject to the approval of the state Public Service Commission and require an annual audit of MSD’s books by the state auditor’s office. The bill also would also change the way the MSD board is appointed. The city’s mayor currently appoints all eight members.

Is anyone interested?

Boat tax-exemption bill may be dead in the water

An attempt to exempt big-boat owners from paying property taxes on their houseboats and cruisers looks like it's sunk for this legislative session, but supporters say they won't give up. House Bill 466 would remove from state law language that allows local taxing entities, such as school and fire districts, to veto tax exemptions for boats registered with the federal government.

Property taxes for boats? Boats do not reside on property.

State May Lift Election Day Ban of Liquor Sales

A generations-old Kentucky law that bans the sale of liquor on Election Day would be lifted under legislation proposed by a Covington lawmaker. That law, which dates back to the days of prohibition when temperance leagues vilified alcohol in all forms, is antiquated and needs to be changed, said state Rep. Arnold Simpson, a Democrat. "I mean, we're in the 21st Century," Simpson said. "Liquor sales are a very important component of our business community and having a prohibition on any day for any period without a legitimate state interest I think is reprehensible."

Another case of Government limited. Legislation is not required. Simply purchase on the day before.

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