Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Leadership Opens Door- A Little

House Leadership in an apparent attempt to limit discharge petitions and the debate surrounding them has allowed some legislation to be reported out of Committee. HB- 163 & HB- 43 relating to the Military Tax Exemption for active duty military and national guard were reported favorably out of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee with only one dissenting vote. Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville voted no.

Sponsors were given only minutes notification that their bills would be voted on this morning. Allowing the bills out of committee prevented the Republicans in the House from politicizing and grandstanding on the issues at the expense of House Leadership. Although budget considerations and timing are probably not on the side of these bills, there is at least an opportunity that they may make it to the House floor.

House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins moved this afternoon for the posting (3 days) to be waived for these bills. The bills will now have a maximum 5 days to get through the Rules Committee. Although there is a window of opportunity here there is no guarantee that the bills will not be recommitted back to the A & R Committee.

Rep. John Tilley who is the chief sponsor of HB-163 stated this afternoon that he was pleased with the opportunity to continue promoting and working for passage of this bill although the latest developments may not allow for the time needed to gain enough support for the bill's passage.


Jeff Noble said...

Tim --

This will not be easy to read, so if you are in the middle of a good meal of roast beef and potatoes, or if just came in from hunting some coyotes or groundhogs (which I think are the only things in season in Kentucky right now), you may want to delay this till later.

I have to wonder what programs affecting which groups of people Representative Tilley is willing to cut in order to pass this feel-good measure, this while the government is facing a near $1,000,000,000.00 deficit during the next biennium?

While I've no doubt there are needs to be met for those honorably serving our country, any new expenditures come at a cost somewhere. Representative Tilley should explain from where the $18,000,000.00 will be taken to pay for this measure. He needs to be willing to tell whatever group is de-funded why this measure was important enough to him to take up.

Representative Wayne cast the only fiscally responsible vote today on this bill.

Until and unless the General Assembly raises taxes to meet the needs of all Kentuckians, tax expenditures such as Representative Tilley's, which benefit a very-limited few should be avoided. We have 100 representatives and 38 senators. If everyone of them acted as fiscally irresponsible as Representative Tilley did with this measure, we would add another $2,484,000,000.00 to our already deficit ridden budget. That's 2 with a Billion after it.

Governing isn't always about Mom, Apple Pie, and the Flag. Sometimes there are real-life decisions to be made and unfortunately many of our elected officials, at all levels of government, are refusing to answer some of those less-than-pretty questions that hard times call us to do.

This is one of those times.



Tim Havrilek said...

Jeff, I do agree that we need to be fiscally responsible but I think the exemption is being viewed the wrong way. This is not meant to honor our military as much as it is an economic development tool. This provides an incentive just like we gave UPS, Toyota or GM.Fort Campbell if viewed as an industry provides over 5 BILLION dollars a year in money being distributed. A 17 million dollar investment on Kentucky's part allows us to move closer to securing much more of that 5 billion which we don't receive now. The dividend in new residents to Ky would build and buy houses, cars, shop ect.. not to mention bring in new revenue through other forms of taxation. Clarksville Tn is not allowing new housing because they have grown to fast in every direction. A controlled growth on the Kentucky side would benefit Kentucky much greater than the 17 million a year investment. As always I appreciate your input. Tim