By David Adkisson
Kentucky's legislators are facing serious challenges as they gather in Frankfort for the General Assembly. Writing a state budget leads the list. It usually does, but it is particularly tough in times of tight money and a growing demand for services.
The Kentucky Chamber, the state's largest association of businesses, will watch the budget process closely and emphasize the need to aggressively manage cost increases in government's big ticket spending areas such as Medicaid, prisons and public employee benefits.
But even in times of tight money, we believe the 2014 session offers real opportunities to move Kentucky forward.
Education is the top priority of Kentucky's business community. We're advocating for charter schools and a serious review of the state's tenure system for teachers. We'll continue to support the tougher academic standards now in our classrooms. And we will join education advocates and other leaders in calling for more money for our schools…to get back close to the funding level before the recession. But with any more money for schools, we will demand greater accountability for how it's spent.
In other areas, we'll push for legislation to encourage the use of partnerships between government and private companies to provide public services or facilities…..legislation for a statewide smoking ban in public spaces…..legislation to support coal and Kentucky's energy future….and other worthwhile initiatives to give Kentucky a competitive edge.
We see these as important pieces of a success story for the 2014 General Assembly and for advancing Kentucky in a positive way. We hope Kentucky's lawmakers will agree.
I'm Dave Adkisson and that's my Point of View.