Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he’s developing a “Republican alternative” to a Detroit bailout plan.
Speaking on the Glenn Beck radio show, Senator Paul said he is talking with his staff about ways to help economically depressed areas of the country, like Detroit. The Bowling Green Republican said he would like to look at ways to “have some tax forbearance, reduce some taxes, encourage businesses, encourage people to come in and take abandoned property.”
Politico reports Paul is opposed to the idea of borrowing money to bail out the city, but he is suggesting the government should redirect foreign aid sent to countries like Egypt, and instead use it on infrastructure projects in the U.S.
A national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that a majority Democrats believe the federal government should bail out Detroit, but an even larger majority of Americans oppose such a move.
The year-to-year unemployment rate has increased in 88 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet released figures Thursday comparing each county’s jobless rate from June of 2012 to June of this year.
Overall, the state’s jobless rate rose to 8.9% from 8.6%
Warren County’s jobless rate this June was up .8 of a percent to 8%.
In Daviess County, the unemployment figure increased half-a-percentage point to 7.9%.
Hardin County saw a jobless rate of 8.3% this June, up slightly from last year.
Pulaski County’s unemployment rate stood at 10.1% in June, up 0.7% from last year.
The current jobless figures in those four counties all exceed the national unemployment rate of 7.8%
The leader of Kentucky's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet says a declining recidivism rate is a major reason why the commonwealth no longer needs to house inmates in privately-run prisons.
The last remaining contract between the state and a company running a private prison expired over the weekend. That facility was run by Marion Adjustment Center in Marion County.
J. Michael Brown says the state is doing a much better job of preparing those exiting prison for life on the other side. The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary says probation and parole officers in Kentucky now use an assessment tool that better takes into account an individual's history and needs to help determine how much monitoring that former inmate will need once he or she is out of prison.
"Some individuals need very little supervision, some individuals need very targeted supervision. And doing it in a manner that is not a cookie-cutter approach, we find that we can better prepare individuals for re-entry," Brown told WKU Public Radio.
According to data kept by the Cabinet, the number of offenders who left state Department of Corrections custody in 2008 and returned by the end of 2011 declined by nearly four-percent over the previous three-year period.
Kentucky lawmakers could soon take up the issue of taxing electric and compressed natural gas vehicles, in an effort to bolster a flagging road and bridge maintenance fund.
Kentucky House Transportation Committee Chairman Hubert Collins says alternatives are already being discussed in other states and at the federal level. Collins says with gas tax revenue in decline, Kentucky has to do something to make sure there’s adequate funding for transportation infrastructure.
“I think we see that U.P.S. bought something like 1,700 new vehicles which will be the compressed natural gas variety, and that will again take a toll (on Kentucky’s gas tax receipts)," said Rep. Collins.
Despite the concerns from lawmakers, Kentucky’s gasoline tax will rise 2.4 cents next month to a little over 32 cents a gallon—something that could generate $900 million in new revenue over the next fiscal year. The hike comes as a result of a tax increase state lawmakers wrote into law more than 30 years ago.
A new report says the economic impact of tourism in Kentucky grew again last year.
The study reports a $12 billion impact for tourism last year. That's up about four and a half percent from the previous year. In addition, the report credits tourism for 174,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in wages.
In a statement, tourism officials give partial credit to growth of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The series of distilleries has drawn steady interest since it's inception in 1999, but broke an attendance record last year, drawing over half a million visitors.
April 18th is National Tax Freedom Day, the point at which Americans will have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the local, state, and federal levels. Elizabeth Malm is an economist with the Washington-based Tax Foundation. She says Americans this year will work five days later than in 2012 to pay all their taxes.
But the nation's jobless rate still edged down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent. That dip wasn't for a good reason, though: Nearly half a million fewer people were participating in the labor force. That smaller pool meant the jobless rate could tick down even as job growth was weak.