A group of three economists hopes to provide key input to Kentucky's tax commission this summer. The Blue Ribbon Tax Commission picked three professors to act as consultants as the group considers changes to the state's tax code. Two are from the University of Kentucky and one is from the University of Tennessee.
A lobbying group for various drug manufacturers has set a record for money spent during a Kentucky legislative session. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent nearly half a million dollars between January and March lobbying against a bill aimed at curbing meth production by limiting pseudoephedrine purchases. According to the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission, that’s a new yearly record, and there's still one month of accounting left to do.
A national battle between two legislative groups has reached Kentucky. The advocacy group Common Cause is asking federal agencies to remove the non-profit tax-exempt status of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. ALEC provides lawmakers with sample legislation and talking points, often to promote conservative issues, and Common Cause says the organization is a lobbying group.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s office has awarded the contract for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform to a three person team made up of two consultants from the University of Kentucky and one from the University of Tennessee. The Governor says the individuals selected for the consulting team have the necessary experience to address the issues before the Commission.
Indiana's Republican Senate Primary is next Tuesday, and it's drawing national attention. For the first time in decades, Senator Richard Lugar is facing a primary challenger. The person opposing Lugar is State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a conservative with backing from local and national Tea Party organizations. Despite the fact that Lugar has maintained a very conservative voting record since entering the Senate in 1977, Mourdock and his supporters say Lugar is out of touch with ordinary Indiana voters, and not conservative enough for many Indiana Republicans.
For the first time in a generation, Kentucky courts will temporarily close due to budget cuts. Workers in the judicial branch were notified this morning that furloughs will be necessary for three days. All state court employees will be furloughed on August 6, September 4, and October 15 of this year.
Exactly one year after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit. Mr. Obama is scheduled to deliver an address aimed at Americans this evening at 6:30 CT/7:30 E.T. You can hear live NPR coverage on WKU Public Radio. We'll also have coverage afterwards during our top-of-the-hour newscasts and Wednesday on Morning Edition.
A proposal that seeks to lift a cap on contributions from political action committees is once again advancing in the Tennessee legislature. The measure sponsored by Rep. Glen Casada had been withdrawn. But the Franklin Republican revived the measure and the House State and Local Government Committee moved it out Monday on a 6-4 vote.
U-S Senator Rand Paul, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power Ed Whitfield, and U-S Congressman Brett Guthrie have introduced the Services Members and Communities Act. The sponsors of the bill say it would provide a more accurate count of deployed service members in the national census. Representatives Guthrie and Whitfield introduced the legislation in the U-S House today, after Senator Paul introduced it in the Senate yesterday.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is adding his voice to one of President Barack Obama’s top campaign issues. The president spoke at two college campuses this week urging Congress to prevent an automatic rate hike in interest on student loans from taking effect.