Joe Bowen

Economy
6:57 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Daviess County Lawmaker Wants to Cap Kentucky's Debt

Sen. Joe Bowen (R-Owensboro)
Credit Kentucky LRC

Legislation to bar state General Fund debt from exceeding 6% has been approved by the full Senate. Republican Senator Joe Bowen of Owensboro has been pushing the measure since last year when a similar measure passed the Senate but died in the House.

Bowen said Kentucky now has $6.3 billion in debt and that, he says, translates to $14,589 in debt for every man, woman and child in Kentucky.

Bowen said lawmakers need to do the right thing by putting a limit on the legislature's credit card. The bill now goes to the House where it faces a shaky future.

Business
9:14 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Daviess County Lawmakers Sponsoring Bills to Help Keep Region's Smelter Jobs

Workers at the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville, a major employer in that region.

Legislation introduced in both the Kentucky House and Senate is designed to help keep aluminum smelter jobs in the northwestern Kentucky region of Daviess, Henderson, Hancock, and Webster counties.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports Sen. Joe Bowen and Rep. Tommy Thompson, both of Daviess County, have introduced identical bills in their respective chambers. Bowen told the newspaper the legislation is aimed at allowing Century Aluminum in Hawesville to buy electricity on the open wholesale electricity market.

That is currently not allowed under state law.

Last summer, Century, which employs 700 workers, announced it would shutter its smelter unless either the price of metal went up or its electric rates dropped. The smelter terminated its contract with Henderson-based Big Rivers Electric Corp. Before that, Century was Big Rivers largest customer.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Kentucky Pension Bill Passes Senate Committee, House Still Has Hang-Ups

Daviess County Republican Joe Bowen is chair of the Senate State & Local Government Committee.
Credit Kentucky LRC

An effort to reform Kentucky's underfunded pension systems passed in its first hearing Wednesday from a state Senate committee meeting.

Senate Bill 2 stems from the recommendations of a legislative task forceĀ  that met over the summer to try and solve the pension problems.

It includes a suspension of cost of living adjustments and creates a new hybrid plan that acts like a 401-K with a promised rate of return.

State Sen. Damon Thayer, the bill sponsor, said the need for pension reform isn't a partisan one.

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