KY Policy Blog

Trump Tax Plan Would Be a Windfall for Only the Wealthiest Kentuckians

By Anna Baumann
July 21, 2017

The wealthiest Kentuckians would be winners from the $4.8 trillion in federal tax cuts President Donald Trump has proposed, as shown by a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). But as a poor state the tax cuts — coupled as they are with huge federal budget cuts to programs and investments that support our communities — would be an especially raw deal for Kentucky as a whole.

With a smaller share of the nation’s wealthiest people than other states, Kentucky would see relatively little of read more

What’s at Stake in U.S. House Budget by Kentucky Congressional District

By Ashley Spalding
July 20, 2017

A number of key federal investments that help Kentucky families meet basic needs and support our economy are at risk for cuts in the budget resolution that has begun to move in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House budget resolution that passed out of committee last night sets out a harsh framework over the next 10 years that would lead to deeply damaging cuts to many federal investments that provide key assistance to Kentucky families. The budget proposes cutting federal entitlement programs by $4.4 trillion over 10 years — read more

Critical Investments in Kentuckians at Risk in U.S. House Budget

By Ashley Spalding
July 20, 2017

The House budget resolution that passed out of committee last night sets out a harsh framework over the next 10 years that would lead to deeply damaging cuts to many federal investments that help Kentucky families meet basic needs and support our economy. The budget proposes cutting federal entitlement programs by $4.4 trillion over 10 years — including Medicaid and Medicare and income assistance programs such as SNAP food assistance. Also in the resolution are big cuts to Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) programs that help to improve Kentucky’s economy and quality read more

Revised Senate Health Repeal Has Same Harmful Impacts

By Jason Bailey
July 13, 2017

Senate leaders released a “new” version of their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act that fixes none of the original Senate bill’s core problems and makes some of them even worse.

Through its cuts in funding, the Senate bill would effectively end Kentucky’s highly-successful Medicaid expansion, resulting in lost coverage for 473,000 Kentuckians. The bill goes beyond that to permanently harm the traditional Medicaid program by instituting caps that will squeeze funding over time. Those caps will jeopardize coverage for another nearly 1 million Kentuckians, including people with disabilities, read more

Year-End Revenue Results Underscore Need for Right Actions on Tax Reform

By Anna Baumann
July 11, 2017

Kentucky ended the 2017 fiscal year with $138.5 million less in General Fund revenue than economists predicted would be collected. The shortfall puts slightly more pressure on investments in our schools, universities and community colleges, health and human services and other building blocks of Kentucky communities. And its details reinforce the need to generate more revenue in ways that will work.

Total General Fund receipts in FY 2017 totaled $10.5 billion. Receipts did grow compared to FY 2016 by $138.9 million (1.3 percent), but the forecast predicted twice as much read more

New Study Provides More Evidence Harsher Penalties Are Not Solution to State’s Drug Problems

By Ashley Spalding
July 11, 2017

At the same time our state is increasing criminal penalties for heroin, a new analysis further bolsters existing research showing such an approach is not an effective way to address Kentucky’s drug problems.

House Bill 333, which the Kentucky legislature passed earlier this year, increases penalties for low-level heroin and fentanyl trafficking — rolling back the drug sentencing reforms in 2011’s House Bill 463. The new law makes trafficking in heroin in less than 2 grams a Class C felony, with a 5 to 10 year sentence and no eligibility read more

Kentucky Has the Most to Lose from Senate Health Care Repeal Bill

By Dustin Pugel
June 28, 2017

Kentucky would see its uninsured rate more than triple under the proposed Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Urban Institute, Kentucky’s uninsured population would jump by 541,000 people in 2022 based on the proposed changes to the healthcare system. The primary reason for the coverage losses is a cut in federal funding for Medicaid and premium subsidies on the insurance marketplace of $6.3 billion in 2022, a  58.5 percent reduction. That’s the largest percentage cut of any state.

The coverage losses under the Senate read more

Senate Health Care Repeal Bill a Drastic Step Backward for Kentucky’s Health

By Dustin Pugel
June 23, 2017

The Senate released the discussion draft of their bill yesterday to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If passed, the Senate proposal would be a terrible setback for the 1.4 million Kentuckians covered by Medicaid as well as all Kentuckians who benefit from the patient protections and assistance buying coverage contained in the ACA.

Nationally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it would end coverage for 22 million Americans and drive up health care costs for nearly everyone else.

Effectively Ends Medicaid Expansion

Over 473,000 low-income Kentuckians have gained read more

Medicaid Cuts Would Harm Kentucky’s Kids

By Dustin Pugel
June 21, 2017

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) makes massive cuts to Medicaid, which currently covers 537,736 Kentucky children – 42 percent of kids in the commonwealth when combined with the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid is a vital source of health care for children that provides both immediate care and long-term benefits.

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Medicaid Works for Kentucky’s Kids

Medicaid has always been used as a tool for providing care to kids from low-income read more

Kentucky Public Pensions Are Not Expensive — If You Fund Them

By Jason Bailey
June 21, 2017

A special session this fall will likely include proposals to cut public pension benefits, and new employees are especially vulnerable because their plans can be changed easily under law. However, such cuts do nothing to reduce the existing unfunded pension liability — which is owed to retirees and current employees — and won’t save money over the long-term either. That’s because Kentucky’s pensions are already inexpensive to the state as long as they are properly funded on time.

Actuaries refer to the regular cost of a pension plan as the read more