These 5 wealthy, out-of-state men helped finance the GOP takeover of Kentucky’s House


Arthur Laffer, the former Reagan Administration economist who advised Gov. Sam Brownback on his tax plan, testifies before the Kansas House Tax committee at the statehouse, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in Topeka, Kan.

Above:  Arthur Laffer, the former Reagan Administration economist who advised Gov. Sam Brownback on his tax plan, testifies before the Kansas House Tax committee at the statehouse, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in Topeka, Kan. Thad Allton AP

By Daniel Desrochers

ddesrochers@herald-leader.com

Last fall, a group of five wealthy men from out-of-state dumped at least $211,500 into Republican efforts to take over the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921.

They live from Miami to New York, but have one common bond: Arthur Laffer, a prominent conservative economist who served in the Reagan administration.

They also share a similar goal: reshaping how Kentuckians pay taxes.

“I think now’s a good time for any state like Kentucky to look at their tax structure and say ‘how can we modernize?’” said Travis H. Brown, a Missouri lobbyist who donated $23,000 to GOP House members, more than any other individual.

They picked a winning horse, pumping $105,000 of their money directly to winning candidates and another $59,500 to state GOP committees that gave more than $1.8 million to successful GOP House candidates.

Follow the money: Search donations to the Kentucky House of Representatives

Republicans claimed a super majority in the House and quickly pledged support for Gov. Matt Bevin’s promise to call a special law-making session later this year to transition Kentucky’s tax system from one based on production (income taxes) to one based on consumption (sales taxes).

That economic philosophy was, in many ways, coined by Laffer. His message of lowering income taxes and reducing business taxes has been embraced by scores of Republican politicians across the country.

Though Laffer and his associates may feel the time is right for business-friendly tax reform in Kentucky, there’s a roadblock — massively underfunded pension systems for state workers and teachers.

Last November, financial projections showed Kentucky’s state pension systems had an unfunded liability of $32.5 billion, with the main pension system for state employees only 16 percent funded (anything below 80 percent is considered underfunded). Now, Bevin claims that number is grossly miscalculated, suggesting the state’s real pension debt is closer to $82 billion.

To meet that challenge, Bevin warned in his State of the Commonwealth Address last month that any changes to Kentucky’s tax code will have to raise revenue, not reduce it.

“This is not going to be a revenue neutral tax plan,” Bevin said in the speech. “It’s not. We can’t afford for it to be, that’s a straight up fact. We cannot pay off eight times what we bring in if we simply reshuffle the deck.”

Brown, though, says Kentucky can still raise revenue without raising taxes, arguing that the state can even cut taxes if it’s on the right side of the “Laffer Curve,” an economic concept that says a higher tax rate doesn’t necessarily mean more government revenue.

“What percent of your state government is not efficient as it should be?” Brown asked. “What voters typically believe is they know how to spend their money better than the government knows how to spend their money.”

Regardless of how lawmakers in Frankfort decide to rewrite the tax code, Laffer and his associates clearly thought Kentucky was ripe for an influx of conservative philosophy.

“It just looked like the time and place where it was to come,” Brown said.

Here’s a closer look at the five men, of which only Brown responded to Herald-Leader requests for interviews.

CONTINUE READING…

BIG PHARMACY AT WORK HERE IN KENTUCKY, IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


marijuana

Chad Wilson

 

BIG PHARMACY AT WORK HERE IN KENTUCKY.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED..IF YOU CARE ABOUT THIS STATE…THIS PLANT..AND IT’S FARMERS.

Legislators’ Hot Line: 1-800-372-7181

Legislative alert:

HB 333 – Fentanyl Bill:

In this bill they have buried something that will undo a lot of the good work Jamie Comer did when he was Ag Commissioner.

This bill deals with Fentanyl, not Industrial Hemp or CBD oil.

Right now, Big Pharma, more specifically GW Pharmaceuticals is working on a synthetic CBD Oil for prescription to be allowed by the FDA.

In Section 25 (d) of this bill it tinkers with what Marijuana is and is not, and what Marijuana will not be in Kentucky if this passes is CBD Oil Prescription Approved by the FDA.

By doing this any natural CBD oil from Industrial Hemp plants that is not prescribed will then be by default Marijuana, and thus a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.

What needs to happen is Section 25(d) needs to be stricken as not germane, or amended to included CBD oil from Industrial Hemp.

TBK Opposes, if these changes are not made.

ACTION: Call Rep. Moser and your Representative and see if we can get section 25 (d) changed. – Reported favorably out of committee, posted for passage, floor amendment filed that does not address our concerns.

SOURCE LINK

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB333.htm

Send this to your Kentucky Legislators NOW!!!!


 
Image may contain: 1 person
 
Thomas Tony Vance

12 mins ·

Send this to your Kentucky Legislators NOW!!!!

In 1969, the 1937 marijuana tax stamp act was declared unconstitutional.

In 1970 they began creating the 1970 Controlled substances Act and without any scientific input made marijuana schedule one, right up there with heroin. A schedule that cannot be questioned or changed without the approval of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Very few drugs are in this category.

Now we know it was all a political scam to use the drug war to go after and suppress Nixon’s enemies. We know this for sure because the Nixon Administration said so.

The cover story in the April 2016 edition of Harper’s Magazine was, “Legalize it all” written by Dan Baum. Mister Baum was asking Nixon aide John Ehrlichman questions about the politics of drug prohibition and as he tells it, Ehrlichman asked,

“You want to know what this was really all about?” He went on to say, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did”.

The new AG, Senator Sessions is saying he is going to step up the war on pot users. For what reason?

They claim States Rights when deciding whether or not to protect transgender kids’ right to go to the bathroom of their choice, but not when deciding a State Marijuana policy!

Please ease the fears of the tens of thousands of marijuana users in our State and send a message to the new administration that as a State we will not be bullied by the Feds.

PS: Scientifically, there is a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in the first year after passage of a medical marijuana bill that grows to 33% by year 6 after legalization. that means 250 of our citizens will die in the coming year if a bill is not passed this year.

So Git Busy!

You may never know but passage might save the life of one of your family members!

https://www.facebook.com/thomas.t.vance?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

Kentucky house passes bill to create Bible literacy courses in schools


(Pixabay)

FRANKFORT, KY (AP)

The Kentucky House has passed legislation aimed at creating elective Bible literacy courses in public schools.

The bill would require the state Board of Education to establish policies for local school boards that choose to offer elective social studies courses on the Hebrew texts and New Testament.

The measure passed the House on an 80-14 vote Thursday and now goes to the Senate.

Rep. DJ Johnson of Owensboro, the bill’s sponsor, said the Bible is the “single-most impactful literary document” in western civilization.

The bill’s opponents said it intrudes on the principles separating church and state by sanctioning one faith.

Under the bill, Bible literacy would be an optional course for public school students, with curriculum set by Kentucky’s Board of Education.

The legislation is House Bill 128.

CONTINUE READING…

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB128.htm

“Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. …


Chief removes Punisher emblem, ‘Blue Lives Matter’ from police cars after public reacts

The Catlettsburg Police Department installed the decals on eight vehicles in December.

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

Catlettsburg

An Eastern Kentucky police chief has removed large decals with the Punisher skull and “Blue Lives Matter” from eight police cars after a backlash following the publication of a Herald-Leader story.

The Catlettsburg Police department, which employs eight full-time and two part-time officers for a population of about 2,500, featured the images on the hoods of its 2013 and 2017 Ford Interceptor sedans and sport-utility vehicles, assistant police chief Gerry Hatzel said. The stylized skull was from “The Punisher” comic book series.

The vinyl decals featuring “Blue Lives Matter” and the Punisher logo were created in Louisiana and affixed to the Catlettsburg Police Department vehicles. Fernando Alfonso III falfonso@herald-leader.com

The logo was praised by local residents but raised questions among others in the commonwealth.

The designs were spearheaded by Police Chief Cameron Logan, who worked with a vinyl decal shop in Louisiana to get the decals printed. Logan installed the decals on all the police vehicles in December. He would not discuss how much the decals cost.

“That design is basically to give back to the police officers,” Logan, who has been with the department for 13 years, said before reversing course on the emblems. “Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. … I’m not racist or anything like that, I’m not trying to stir anything up like that. I consider it to be a ‘warrior logo.’ Just ’cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe.”

Overdoses and drug-related crimes have been on the rise, the chief said.

The city council and Mayor Randall Peterman approved the designs, Logan said. The Herald-Leader unsuccessfully sought comment from the mayor.

Richard “Andy” Brown, 37, who was elected to the six-person council after its vote on the decals, was critical of the decals.

“I don’t see why they’d waste the money, honestly,” said Brown, a Catlettsburg native whose family owns the IGA grocery in town. “My main objective is to make sure the taxpayers’ money is used in the most efficient way possible. It wasn’t expensive, but still. If it’s something they feel strongly about, they’re risking their lives and I understand that. I just think it’s a little bit strange. There’s been a lot of people mistreated by police, and their lives matter, too, like that guy in North Carolina.”

The shooting Brown referred to was of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in September 2016 by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer.

Central to the decals was the Punisher, the nom de guerre of the Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle, a former Force Reconnaissance Marine and Vietnam War veteran who doles out justice “using torture, murder and kidnapping in his anti-crime crusade,” according to Time Magazine. The logo has been unofficially used by military units and was popularized in the award-winning film “American Sniper.”

The “Blue Lives Matter” movement unofficially began in December 2014 after two New York Police Department officers were shot and killed “by a fanatic who believed the lies of Black Lives Matter, the media, and politicians,” states Bluelivesmatter.blue, a media company founded by active and retired officers. The movement has since been embraced by President Donald Trump and has been used to describe a series of bills in Mississippi and Kentucky that would label crimes against police officers as hate crimes.

Kentucky’s “Blue Lives Matter” legislation is House Bill 14. The bill passed in Kentucky’s House on Feb. 13 after Donna Mayfield, R-Winchester, was called a racist by Black Lives Matter protesters angry over her support of the legislation. Louisiana became the first state to pass a “Blue Lives Matter” bill in May 2016.

Some Catlettsburg residents said they hope Kentucky is the next to formally embrace the “Blue Lives Matter” movement.

Daniel Ray, 63, grew up in Catlettsburg and said that respect for police has suffered nationwide.

“I think everybody should be out there supporting their police and their community,” Ray said. “They’re out there putting their lives on the line every day. They get little gratitude for that already, and when we have silly people who challenge them and wonder what’s going to happen, what do you expect is going to happen? We shouldn’t be challenging our police officers. We should be supporting them.”

That opinion was shared by Charles Allen, the pastor of Catlettsburg’s United Methodist Church. Allen has lived in Catlettsburg since 1968 and is originally from Michigan.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Allen said. “I think all lives matter. Nothing to do with color. Black lives, yellow lives, red lives, whatever color of your skin. To God, every human being has a soul and we matter to God and we matter to each other.”

Photos of the Catlettsburg police cars were positively featured on the Kentucky Going Blue’s Facebook page, but on Reddit’s Kentucky community, the response was more critical. Reddit users questioned the legality of the decals and suggested the Punisher was “a really poorly thought-out message for a law enforcement agency to be putting out there.”

Syracuse University’s Roy Gutterman, who also is director of the school’s Tully Center for Free Speech, said the Catlettsburg Police Department was within its rights to feature the decals, which are often “an ordinary governmental administrative decision.”

“Even though the slogan mimics the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, I would not say that ‘Blue Lives Matter’ necessarily demeans any other slogan that would subject the city to any other additional criticism,” Gutterman said.

Gutterman also said the department’s use of the Punisher could generate negative attention from the Walt Disney Co., which acquired Marvel Entertainment in December 2009 for $4.2 billion. Disney threatened legal action against a gun accessory manufacturer in Nov. 2015 for using its Punisher imagery. The city didn’t seek Disney’s approval, the chief said. Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

“If the department is using an actual comic book character, I suspect this usage is an infringement of intellectual property rights, specifically the copyright held by the creators or owners of that character,’ Gutterman said before the decals were removed Friday. “The appropriation of that image might be more troubling than whatever the character may stand for. They might as well put Batman or Superman on the cruisers while they’re at it.”

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

CONTINUE READING…http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article134722264.html

Kentucky Senate approves repeal of Common Core standards in schools


By Valarie Honeycutt Spears and Jack Brammer

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

The Kentucky Senate on Friday unanimously approved a wide-ranging public education bill that would establish a new process for intervening in low-performing schools and establish a new process for reviewing classroom academic standards.

Under Senate Bill 1, revisions would be made to the Kentucky academic standards in 2017-18 and every six years after that. Teams of educators from public schools and higher education would recommend changes with suggestions from citizens.

Senate Bill 1 would repeal the controversial Common Core academic standards, but not until the new standards are rolled out in a staggered fashion, the bill’s sponsor State Sen. Mike Wilson, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, has said.

Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core standards and subsequently incorporated them into the Kentucky academic standards. Those standards, which have undergone other revisions, define what Kentucky students should learn at each grade level. How the standards are taught is decided by local schools.

There was no debate on the bill in the Senate on Friday but two Democratic senators praised Wilson, R-Bowling Green, for his handling of the measure that was approved on a 35-0 vote.

Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, said there is no need to question the bill because Wilson has done a good job explaining it to all involved. Wilson contacted educators, policymakers and citizens, including families of students, as he developed the bill.

Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, said Wilson’s approach to listen to all parties involved “is exactly how this body ought to function.”

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said this is the third year Wilson has worked on this “major piece of policy.”

He said it combines the realities, demands and desires of returning control of school systems back to locals.

Also under Senate Bill 1, a new assessment system would still rate schools but would not use a single numerical score that ranks schools against each other. Local districts would establish their own evaluation systems for teachers, principals and other staff aligned with a statewide framework. Evaluation results would not be reported to the state education department.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears

CONTINUE READING…

(KY) This Week at the State Capitol


For Immediate Release

February 17, 2017

This Week at the State Capitol

February 13 – 17, 2017

FRANKFORT — Headlines in recent days have made it clear that Kentucky’s problems with heroin, other illegal opioids and prescription drug abuse, continue to take lives and devastate communities at a shocking rate.

In-state newspapers have recently reported the more than 52 drug overdoses occurred over a 32-hour period in Louisville, and nine overdose calls came in over 12 hours in Madison County. A national publication reported that one rural Kentucky county filled enough prescriptions over 12 months to supply 150 doses of painkillers to every person in the county.

The same conversations held across the state about the way the drug crisis is impacting the court system, police, health care workers, treatment facilities, social workers, prison officials and families are also being held in the State Capitol. Those deliberations resulted in a number of bills aimed at addressing the issue, including several bills that took steps forward in the legislative process this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 14, which is aimed at getting drug dealers off the streets by strengthening penalties for trafficking in heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Under the legislation, which was approved on a 36-0 vote, trafficking in less than two grams of these substances would be elevated to a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

Later in the week, a pair of bills addressing the drug crises were also approved in the House committees.

House Bill 333 would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil – a powerful opioid intended for large animals – and related drugs. Trafficking any amount of these drugs could result in up to 10 years in prison under the legislation. The bill would also restrict prescriptions for some painkillers to a three-day supply, though exceptions would be allowed in some circumstances. House Bill 333 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full House for consideration.

The House Education Committee approved House Bill 145, which would help fight opioid addiction by requiring that public school students be educated about the dangers of prescription pain killers and their connection to addiction to heroin and other drugs.

Bills on other issues that advanced in the General Assembly this week include the following:

· Senate Bill 1 is a sweeping education reform measure that sets the course to change educational standards and accountability for public schools. The more than 100-page-long bill is an omnibus measure aimed at empowering state education officials, locally-elected school board members and teachers to decide the best teaching methods for their communities. It would set up several committees and advisory panels to review educational standards. The bill would change how students are tested, and it would also set up a new way for intervening in low-performing schools by placing more power in the local school district during those interventions. The bill passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote and now goes to the House for consideration.

· House Bill 14 would give police, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel protection under the state’s hate crime statutes. Under the bill, those who assault, kidnap, or commit certain other violent offenses against first responders could face stricter sentencing in court. Currently only the legally-protected classes of race, color, religion and national origin, as well as sexual orientation, are covered under the state’s hate crime statute. House Bill 14 passed the House on a 77-13-1 vote and has been sent to the Senate.

· Senate Bill 78 would require public schools across Kentucky would to go smoke-free by next school year. The bill would outlaw the use of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on elementary, middle and high school campuses in addition to buses. The bill was approved by the Senate on a 25-8-2 and has been sent to the House.

· Senate Bill 75 would increase the amount donors can contribute to election campaigns. Under the legislation, individuals and political action committees could donate $2,000 in the primary and general elections in Kentucky– up from the $1,000 limit. The bill passed the Senate on a 27-10 vote and has been delivered to the House.

· House Bill 192 would make it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds in foster care to apply for driver’s permits and driver’s licenses. The bill, which passed 96-0 before being sent to the Senate,  would allow those in foster care to get a driver’s license or permit without requiring them to have a parent’s or other adult’s signature on the permit or license applications.

Members of the General Assembly are eager to receive feedback on the issues under consideration. You can share your thoughts with lawmakers by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at 800-372-7181.

You can also write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to: Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.

–END–

Sen. Morgan McGarvey Hosting Public Mtg RE: Medical Marijuana (KY) on February 18th in Louisville, Kentucky


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Senator Morgan McGarvey Hosting 2/18 Public Meeting

Legalize Kentucky Supporters:

Sen. McGarvey filed a bill to allow medical marijuana in last year’s Legislative session and is expected to do so again this year. We need to get a huge crowd to attend this Saturday to thank him for his past support, and show him there are still many supporters of this important issue!

Here is the information: 

Senator Morgan McGarvey

Public Meeting

10 AM

Saturday, February 18

Douglass Community Center

2305 Douglass Blvd

Kentucky: House Introduces Constitutional/Permit less Carry Legislation


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Kentucky House of Representatives introduced their own constitutional/permit less carry bill. House Bill 316, sponsored by Representative C. Wesley Morgan (R-81), recognizes Kentuckians’ freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without the burdensome requirement of acquiring a Kentucky concealed deadly weapons license. It is of the utmost importance that this bill be scheduled for a hearing as soon as possible.

Your NRA-ILA would like to thank Representative Morgan and the House Leadership for understanding the urgency of this important legislation. The 2017 legislative session is short, and constitutional/permit less carry legislation must progress fast through the legislative process to have a chance at being signed into law this year.

HB 316 would allow any law-abiding individual who can legally possess a firearm to carry a handgun for self-defense in Kentucky without having to obtain a permit to do so.  This bill recognizes a law-abiding adult’s unconditional Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense in the manner he or she chooses.  Self-defense situations are difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate.  Accordingly, a law-abiding adult’s right to defend himself or herself in such situations should not be conditioned by government-mandated time delays and taxes.  Additionally, this constitutional/permit less carry legislation would keep the current permitting system in place so individuals who obtain a permit could still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that Kentucky has with other states.

Please contact your state Representative and state Senator in support of House Bill 316 and Senate Bill 7 by calling 1-800-372-7181.  Please continue to check www.NRAILA.org and your email inbox for alerts on the latest action items.