A compromise to help employers avoid high federal unemployment insurance taxes has easily cleared a House committee.
The proposal would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a bank or other organization to repay federal loans. Kentucky borrowed nearly one billion dollars from the federal government to pay for unemployment insurance during the recession.
Up until now, the state had no plan on how to keep up with interest payments on that loan. If the state is late on payments, the federal government can put a higher tax on employers to recoup the funds.
The Kentucky House has passed a measure giving retired prosecutors special privileges to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the Commonwealth. Representatives voted Monday for the measure now headed to the Senate. Democratic state Representative Bob Damron is sponsor of the bill extending to commonwealth's attorneys and county attorneys the same right already given to retired judges. The measure is intended to allow retired prosecutors to defend themselves if attacked. Kentucky already allows people to carry concealed weapons if they have permits to do so.
General Fund receipts in Kentucky have grown faster than expected over the past month, thanks largely to an increase in sales tax revenue. Budget Director Mary Lassiter says total February receipts were up by over 21 million dollars, or almost four percent. She credits a portion of that increase to gift cards exchanged during the Christmas season that are only now being used. Lassiter says February is not typically Kentucky's best month for revenue collection, so the rise was welcome news.
The McCracken County Fiscal Court continued discussions last night about a resolution supporting nuclear power plant workers uncompensated for work-related health problems. Commonwealth Environmental Services Vice President Gary Vander Boegh presented commissioners with a draft resolution on the workers’ behalf a month ago. The commissioners had several questions about the wording and content, and Judge-Executive Van Newberry says the resolution would need revision before sending it to the U.S.