Kentucky's state pension plans have problems, and a bipartisan legislative task force has approved sweeping recommendations to overhaul them -- including putting new employees in a hybrid plans akin to 401Ks.
The task force -- with an 11-1 vote -- is recommending that the General Assembly start fully funding their pension contributions starting with the next budget in 2014. Lawmakers’ inability to do that is part of the pension plans problems.
A task force in Tennessee is trying to encourage independent grocers to locate more outlets in low-income areas. The Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force is a coalition of more than 50 private and public sector groups who want to see a financial incentive program developed to encourage independent grocers to locate in so-called "food deserts."
The Kentucky House speaker said the commission charged with proposing changes to Kentucky's tax code is "backing away" from controversial issues. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview that the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform needs to be bolder. He said the appointed commissioners are approaching the tax code issues as if they have political capital to lose, refusing to offer new ideas.
The deadline is nearing for delinquent Kentucky taxpayers to take advantage of an amnesty period. Kentucky officials say this is the first amnesty period in 10 years and allows people to pay taxes that are due without paying fees or penalties and having the interest reduced by half.
In Kentucky's fourth-largest city, there's no instant access to an interstate seen as a magnet for job growth, but officials in Owensboro are riding hopes that a new study will put them on a path toward becoming aligned with a highway running from Tennessee to Michigan.
With the holiday season fast approaching, a food pantry in southern Kentucky is struggling to come up with enough food to give to needy families. The Come-Unity Cooperative Care food pantry in London is the central agency that hands out food to needy residents.
Gov. Bill Haslam will wrap up budget hearings this week. The hearings are for fiscal year 2013-14. Despite improving state revenues, the Republican governor has asked state departments to develop plans for a 5 percent spending cut as a fallback.
Kentucky State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says General Fund receipts rose 3.7 percent in October. That means receipts have increased 2.5 percent over the first four months of the fiscal year and must continue to grow at 2.4 percent for the remainder of the year to meet official revenue estimates.