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- Count Your Blessings -Submitted by Commissioner Cathy Flaig
- Notable Quote
Governor Ernie Fletcher Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address
Governor Fletcher Unveils JOBS For Kentucky, Budget Proposal to Legislators
Frankfort , KY : Governor Ernie Fletcher delivered his State of the Commonwealth address tonight to the three branches of state government and to families across Kentucky. During the address, Governor Fletcher unveiled JOBS For Kentucky, his tax modernization plan, and his 2005 budget proposal. Click here to download Governor Fletchers Jobs and Opportunity Bipartisan Solution for Kentucky.
"This is a new year and a new opportunity. We are all Kentuckians and we all want Kentucky to flourish and prosper," said Governor Fletcher.
Describing the current budget and tax code, Governor Fletcher said, "As we enter a new year, Kentucky is at a crossroad. One way is the timid status quo; the other is a courageous course that unbridles opportunity and prosperity. But to forge that path we must pass tax modernization."
Governor Fletcher outlined two budget options. The option without tax modernization only provides for the immediate needs for Medicaid and healthcare for teachers and state employees and includes some new initiatives.
"This budget will allow us to continue government services, but it is not the vibrant vision we share for Kentucky," said Governor Fletcher. "My vision for Kentucky is a Commonwealth where there is so much economic opportunity, and our quality of life is so high, that the people who are born here can stay here and the people who aren't fortunate enough to be born in Kentucky can look forward to locating here."
Governor Fletcher also outlined the specifics for his JOBS For Kentucky plan, which would modernize the tax system and help fulfill the vision for Kentucky. JOBS For Kentucky would:
- Create more than 10,000 additional jobs by its first full year of implementation
- Lower the individual income tax rate by 9 percent and reduce the income taxes on 99 percent of working Kentuckians
- Remove 211,000 filers, representing 485,000 Kentucky family members, from the tax rolls altogether
- Close the loopholes that allow out of state companies to avoid paying Kentucky taxes
- Eliminate the constitutional obstacles to enforcing Kentucky's tax code
- Raise the cigarette tax
"The budget we can have under a more stable, modern tax system meets more needs," said Governor Fletcher. "I propose that we invest the extra money to grow opportunity, build careers, and strengthen education. I prefer, and I believe Kentuckians prefer, this unbridled path."
Kentucky 's current tax system is unfair and unreliable, and in some cases, unconstitutional. The current tax code is a system rooted in an economy nearly 100 years old.
Governor Fletcher emphasized the JOBS For Kentucky plan provides more revenue for the current budget cycle. For example, the extra revenue could provide:
- $35 million to primary and secondary education
- $10 million to bring the total for the flexible teacher pay program to keep and attract quality teachers to almost $36 million
- An additional $10 million to the already proposed $12 million to post-secondary education to help restore the funding lost in the last few years
- $26 million to the reserve fund
"I am optimistic about our future, because I know our people are good, our hope is unwavering, our faith is unshakable, and our spirit is unbridled," Governor Fletcher concluded.
For a copy of the speech, please click here. This requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
( Frankfort , KY ) Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman John McCarthy announced today that there are now more than one million Republicans on state voter rolls, according to statistics published by the Secretary of State. As of December 15, 2004, there were 1,002,915 registered Republicans in Kentucky , compared to just 944,197 on Election Day 2003.
“Our party continues to grow at a remarkable pace,” said McCarthy. “The reasons are clear—the Republican Party represents the values of most Kentuckians, and the voter registration numbers you are seeing reflect that.”
According to the Secretary of State, the GOP registered 58,718 voters from Election Day 2003 through December 15, 2004, compared to just 30,395 during the same period for the Democrats. Between Election Day 2002 to Election Day 2003, the Republican Party registered more than 36-thousand new voters compared to just over 14-thousand for the Democrats. Since Election Day 2002, Republicans have added 94,884 and Democrats have increased by just 44,672. The Republican Party of Kentucky is gaining registration ground at a more than 2-to-1 clip and shows no signs of slowing.
“What we've seen at the voting booth for years is now being reflected in voter registration numbers,” McCarthy said. “Look at the overwhelming victories for President Bush, Senator McConnell, and Governor Fletcher. Clearly, a majority of Kentuckians believe in the message and the values of the Republican Party.
“We won't be satisfied until Kentucky 's registration numbers match its election results,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy added that while there are no elections in 2005, the Republican Party would continue its aggressive voter registration efforts. McCarthy said GOP election victories in 2004 only make the party “hungry for more.”
“We are committed to registering more Republicans because we know it helps our candidates in the future,” McCarthy said. “The more people we register gives us a larger pool of potential volunteers, donors, and people who simply are out there convincing their family and friends that the Republican Party and is right for them.”
“If the Bush/Cheney ‘04 campaign showed us anything, it is that that friend-to-friend, neighbor-to-neighbor contact wins elections. That grassroots model is one that will be followed for years to come, and a major component of that is voter registration,” McCarthy said.
If you reduced the world's population down to 100 people, 57( or 57 percent) would be Asians, 21 would be Europeans, 14 would be from the Western Hemisphere and eight from Africa. Among those 100 people would be 52 females and 48 males. Seventy people would be nonwhite; 30 would be white. Seventy would be non-Christian; 30 would be Christian. Six people would possess 59 percent of the world's wealth, and those six would all be Americans. Eighty people would live in substandard housing, 70 would be unable to read and 50 would suffer from malnutrition. Only one person would be college-educated, and only one person would have a computer. If you have food to eat, clothes to wear and a place to sleep tonight, you are richer than 70 percent of the world's people. Furthermore, if you're alive at this time next week, you won't be among the one million people who died during that time. Think about your blessings as you start a new year in this most favored and wonderful nation.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
Happy New Year
Commissioner Cathy Flaig
Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving,regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
-- Ronald Reagan