Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is reportedly signaling that he and fellow GOP Senators are open to a strategy that would likely lead to the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for the nation’s highest earners. The website Politico is reporting McConnell talked about Senate Republican strategy late last week during a dinner in Washington with lobbyists.
Citing multiple sources in the room, Politico reporters say McConnell told those in attendance that Senate Republicans were looking to take a “two-bill strategy” to resolving the fiscal cliff crisis. Under such a plan, two different bills would be advanced in Congress, giving each party the chance to vote on the approach they favored, while knowing only one measure will actually be signed into law.
Poltico reports McConnell suggested he believed Senate Republicans could support a bill that renewed the Bush-era tax cuts for all but the top 2% of wage-earners, and increased taxes on capital gains and dividends from 15% to 20%. At the same time, the GOP-led House would pass a second bill that would extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans. Such a move could possibly allow House Republicans to save face with supporters who are against raising any taxes.
The governors of Kentucky and Ohio have announced an agreement to work together to find the money to replace the outdated Brent Spence Bridge.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear agreed Wednesday to create a bi-state management team that will investigate funding options to replace the nearly 50-year-old span. The heavily used bridge carries traffic between the two states over the Ohio River and is considered obsolete.
Preliminary estimates for replacing the bridge run more than $2 billion.
The discussions relating to the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" in Washington have included a number of proposals about ways to raise tax revenue. One suggestion that is drawing concern among some charities would reduce the tax deduction for wealthy Americans to donate money to charitable organizations.
Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains.
Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.
The University of Kentucky's Departments of Forestry and Agricultural Economics recently announced the findings from an economic impact study on the wood and forest industries in the Commonwealth. The study found that Kentucky's forest industries contribute nearly $10 billion to the state's economy each year.
Dr. Jeffrey W. Stringer of the University of Kentucky says about three-fourths of the state's forests remain in private hands, and they continue to grow at a faster rate than they are being removed. The study found that the state's forest industries provide about 2.7 % of the jobs in Kentucky, with more than 24,000 people being employed by the logging and wood/paper industries.