Just days remain in this year’s legislative session. And with lots of bills still on the board, some Kentucky lawmakers offered their assessments on productivity during KET’s Kentucky Tonight this week. Retiring Representative Danny Ford believes legislative redistricting really bogged down the process.
A new report says college students in America are a trillion dollars in debt. Kentucky has seen a similar increase where annual student-debt climbed from $324 million in 1999 to almost $1.2 billion a decade later. Erin Klarer, who’s a vice president with Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, still says taking on such debt can sometimes be the right choice.
“You know we don’t want to blanket that all debt is bad but we do at KHEAA we want to encourage responsible borrowing,” said Klarer.
Floods in 2011 and this year’s tornadoes could complicate the tax returns filed by Kentucky farmers. For example, when farmers receive an insurance check for damaged crops, IRS spokesman Luis Garcia says they must claim that money as income. And, if bad weather forces the early sale of livestock, Garcia says that income can sometimes be claimed on next year’s tax return.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says a recent report puts the commonwealth as the fourth most medicated state in the country. Conway appeared with three other guests on KET’s Kentucky Tonight. The discussion centered on what’s been called a pain pill epidemic across the state.
“We are losing more people to prescription pill overdoses than car accidents and you know what, we think that’s under reported because only about half of overdoses make it to the coroner, state medical examiner’s office where we get these statistics."
The President of Kentucky Downs Racetrack says the expanded gambling issue isn’t going to go away, even after the state Senate rejected a constitutional amendment on the subject last week. Corey Johnson also chairs the Kentucky Equine Education Project. He says gambling revenues in other states continue to lure breeders away from the Commonwealth.
‘It takes human beings to take care of horses so when the horse leave, the jobs go away so it is a very, very..we have hundreds of stallions who have left the state.”
Kentucky lawmakers were reminded today of a 96 dog rescue in western Kentucky. The animals were retrieved in the community of Wingo through the efforts of Animal Rescue Corps. Corps President Scotlund Haisley was at the state capitol for ‘Humane Lobby Day.’
“We did 13 rescues last year large scale rescues and I’d say 90 percent of them were in the southern region,” said Haisley.
A first term lawmaker from Louisville would like to see term limits set for each house of the legislature. The measure, offered by Representative Mike Nemes, calls for a constitutional amendment. If approved, it would require lawmakers to leave their chamber after 12 years.
"It will somewhat rotate leadership so you won't have leaders that possibly could be in charge for 20- 30 years and kind of run everything and the rank and file is kind of non-existent if that happens," said Nemes.