Daviess County's Judge-Executive says he's pleased with federal lawmakers' responses so far to the idea of creating a new interstate highway across western Kentucky and southern Indiana. Al Mattingly and other political and business leaders from the region this week went to Washington DC to lobby lawmakers for funding for the proposed I-67, a four-lane interstate running from Washington, Indiana through Owensboro and continuing to Bowling Green, where it would connect with I-65.
Kentucky lawmakers are planning to help home and business owners in tornado-stricken areas. Earlier this month, tornadoes ripped through Northern and Eastern Kentucky, causing millions of dollars in damage. But lawmakers are working on legislation to give storm victims refunds on sales tax for building materials.
New guidelines issued by the U-S Department of Labor mean claimants will have to conduct documented work searches to continue receiving jobless benefits. Under terms of federal legislation enacted in February, claimants will also be required to meet face to face with state job service workers.
The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says jobless rates declined in 114 of the state’s counties from January of last year to January of 2012. State officials say Woodford County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 6.9 percent. Webster, Fayette, Union, Oldham, and Henderson Counties are among those listed with relatively low rates, ranging from 7.2 to 7.9 percent.
A compromise to help employers avoid high federal unemployment insurance taxes has easily cleared a House committee. The proposal would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a bank or other organization to repay federal loans. Kentucky borrowed nearly one billion dollars from the federal government to pay for unemployment insurance during the recession.
The Office of State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says General Fund Receipts in the bluegrass state increased 3.8 percent in February, compared to February of 2011. Total revenues topped 574 million dollars, compared to just under 553 million dollars for the same month last year.
Owensboro leaders announced Friday a project that will invest 44 million dollars in the city's downtown area. A key portion of that investment will be a new convention class Holiday Inn hotel, to be located on the west side of the newly planned convention center. In addition, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP has come to a preliminary agreement with the Riverfront Jam, LLC developers to relocate the Owensboro office to a downtown location.
Officials with the U-S Treasury Department are trying to alert people who receive paper checks for Social Security benefits that they must switch to electronic payment by March first of 2013. Walt Henderson, the Director of the E-F-T Strategy Division of the U-S Treasury's Financial Management Service, says about fifteen percent of the recipients in Kentucky still receive paper checks and will need to make the change.
Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky says he's heard plenty of constituents expressing concern about higher gasoline prices in recent days. The Republican from Bowling Green says the higher prices at the pump are difficult for consumers to accept in an already troubled economy.