Five Things to Know Today
Jeff Hoover blisters GOP’s ‘asinine’ bid to limit Democrat Gov.-elect Beshear’s powers
Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover fired off a blistering email Monday saying it would be foolish for the lower chamber to adopt a measure giving the Senate confirmation powers over the governor’s transportation chief. (Forward Kentucky)
Slot machines multiplying rapidly across Kentucky, while state deeply undertaxes them
Betting using instant wagering machines, which resemble and operate similar to slot machines, has exploded across Kentucky, and thousands more machines will come online in the near future. Yet the state taxes them at very low rates compared to slot machines in other states and even compared to live racing within Kentucky at comparable levels of betting. Especially in the face of more state budget cuts next session unless new revenue is generated, taxing these machines appropriately is an action the 2020 General Assembly should take.
In May, we wrote about the missed opportunities and lost revenues because of Kentucky’s failure to uniformly tax betting that is already happening in our state. At that time, we estimated the potential new revenues from taxing all betting at a uniform 3.5% of average daily handle (the average amount bet daily), and depositing all the resulting new revenues in the General Fund, at over $40 million.
Since then, instant racing machine use has continued to grow rapidly. Based on new information, we now estimate the potential new revenues at over $60 million annually, excluding the expansion of instant racing machines described below. If the tax rate is increased and the planned expansions occur, potential new revenues over the next two years could increase to as much as $80–100 million, providing significant support to much-needed investments in the commonwealth. (KY Center for Economic Policy)
Legislators talk bipartisanship in Frankfort
Even though Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly, numerous legislators say they are hopeful for a bipartisan approach in KYGA20. (Forward Kentucky)
Rocky Adkins passes on U.S. Senate bid and takes job in Andy Beshear’s administration
Rocky Adkins will join the Beshear administration as a senior adviser, ending months of speculation whether he would challenge Amy McGrath for U.S. Senate. (Forward Kentucky)
Nemes, Bailey nominated for senate election
The field has been set for the special election on Tuesday, Jan. 14, to fill the seat vacated by state Sen. Dan Seum. Seum announced his retirement effective in November with three years remaining on his term.
While no official word has been received from either party, it appears that Mike Nemes will be the Republican nominee on the ballot. The Democratic nominee will be Andrew Bailey. (Pioneer News)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
[new] Want to hire and keep teachers? Keep their defined-benefit pension protected. – Defined benefit pensions are a major factor for retaining teachers in KY, and worries about those pensions are making it hard to hire new teachers. (read)
[new] Beshear announces first round of administration leaders – On Monday, Governor-elect Andy Beshear announced the filling of five leadership positions, including Jacqueline Coleman, Rocky Adkins, and Jim Gray. (read)
[new] 🔥 Repair costs for Kentucky planes have some lawmakers wondering whether they’re worth it – Maintenance costs for two state-owned planes primarily used by the governor topped $872,000 over the past two years, leading the state Senate president to question whether Kentucky should consider selling one of the aircraft. (read)
[new] McGrath, McConnell raise millions — but from where? – Amy McGrath and Mitch McConnell have already raised millions of dollars for the 2020 election. Where are they getting it from, and what does that mean? (read)
🔥 How will Beshear’s first term go? Three viewpoints from three analysts – We asked three different political analysts across Kentucky to give their opinion on how Andy Beshear’s first term as governor will go. And, as luck would have it, we got three fairly different viewpoints – one pessimistic, one moderate, and one optimistic. (read)
Trump’s fast-food fake out – Don’t be fooled by Trump’s high-brow/low-brow image. It’s a carefully crafted one, meant to impress his supporters – but it’s a fast food fake out. (read)
A thriving community requires a strong safety net – A strong safety net honors the dignity of every Kentuckian, and provides the foundation for thriving as a commonwealth. These 60 organizations agree. (read)
🔥 KY League of Cities wants to limit access to open records – KLC is proposing changing the law to only allow KY residents to make open records requests. This is a bad idea, and Amye Bensenhaver explains why. (read)
[podcast] An interview with Sam Newton, Beshear comms director – This week’s show features Sam Newton, comms director for the Beshear campaign. Lots of insights and stories from the campaign trail! Meredith Scalos sat in for Jazmin, who was away. Robert and Meredith spoke about Matt Jones opting out of a run for U.S. Senate as well as the Beshear administration’s transition team. Also, discussions include Louisville Metro’s surplus and a report from a committee looking at public assistance in Louisville. (listen)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
( 🔥indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Massie is lone No vote on ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’ (2,000+ shares)
- Pro-impeachment group goes after Mitch McConnell with new TV ad in Kentucky (2,000+ shares)
- ‘Grim Reaper’ asking for civility is akin to pot calling kettle black (1,000+ shares)
- Beshears invite all Kentuckians to free Dec. 10 inaugural events, including two balls (859 shares)
- Under Trump, LGBTQ progress is being reversed in plain sight (460 shares)
The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.
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