The January short session of the legislature will meet to set budget priorities, and make changes in the budget already adopted.
Kentucky badly needs more coal mine inspectors...even with mining production falling; which may seem like a fallacy.
But recent news stories have pointed out several facts:
Kentucky has failed to collect millions in mine safety violation fines...some from out of state millionaires. While the inspectors don’t collect those fines, they can keep after culprit mines and keep pressure on other state agencies to do their jobs.
Environmental groups have again told the state that some mines are falsifying their pollution reports...and there does seem to be evidence they are right. These groups shouldn’t have to do such reports, the state should, and with enough inspectors it can.
Inspectors are there to make sure safety rules are followed. If they do their jobs correctly, miners can work more safely. Fewer inspectors mean, inevitably, more mine accidents and more Kentuckians injured and killed.
This is where budget priorities need to change..and where this state needs a “culture change”..no longer turning a blind eye to operator violations. Fewer eyes, more violations, and more deaths in an already not-too-safe industry.
I'm just sayin'...