Sunday, January 28, 2018

Musings On Our Legislature

Things are not going well in Frankfort.

Despite promises to get to a pension bill in the “early weeks” of the session, zip has happened.
The dominant party is bogged down in charges and countercharges over possible sexual shenanigans in the ex-Speaker’s office and similar places; and whether taxpayers (that’s us) money was spent to bail out whatever happened. Shades of Washington (and past Democratic indiscretions.)

What have we got so far?  One proposed amendment to the Constitution, which would add more rights for crime victims—a worthy issue, but many advocates for them say it isn’t needed, that all those protections are currently granted them by state law.  It’s a matter of seeing that our state justice systems follows thru. (Which has a better chance to do so because Governor Bevin, to his credit, has upped dollars for judges, Kentucky State Police, and public defenders, etc.)

And we may get a proposed amendment to change our election cycle (again and just a few years after voters changed the election cycle) which could be just a party football and not an honest attempt to get more people to the polls.

What we don’t have here is an amendment to strike the crusty “anti-dueling oath” which each guv must take ever four years and which makes Kentucky the laughing stock of the world. Dueling? In the 21st century? Shirley you jest!

Or proposals to allow an independent commission to draw up state political districts as 16 or more other states do; or going back to the important and necessary reforms from the days of the BOPTROT scandals, which succeeding legislatures have all but overturned (do we ever learn?)  (This in the face of a report from the Illinois Institution on Public Corruption listing Kentucky as “the most corrupt state” in the US. ("Hey. we’re Number One!")

Or having the legislature admit that the true pension crisis was in a major way brought about by its refusal to put enough money into each budget until we are dangerously out of balance. (probably the worst in the US—"hey, we’re number one!")

Or doing an honest job on tax reform, which 20 state special commissions have urged. As the Herald-Leader points out, Kentucky exempts more in tax loopholes than it collects in tax revenues. That way lies madness.

Or answering the tragedy in Marshall County by offering bills to put more guns into our schools.
But wait...the session still has a few weeks to go. With luck we may get even more!

I'm just sayin'...

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