Economic Justice News

From KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day

March 13, 2014 at 04:51pm

The folks at KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day – twenty or so, and lots of great folks we've gotten to know from Women In Transition and Network Center for Community Change, and many first-time lobbyists – met the challenge head-on of working with at least four issues (in many more bills) that would impact Kentuckians' lives. It was a full day!

Member Voices: "SB 99 is bad news and big trouble"

February 25, 2014 at 11:50am

Senate Bill 99, known as the AT&T bill, is back to Kentucky, along with a big herd of telecommunications lobbyists. The bill was defeated last year largely because of it's impact on Kentucky's rural communities, which would have been essentially written out of landline access.

Commemorative civil rights rally is March 5 in Frankfort

February 24, 2014 at 11:58pm

A major civil rights gathering will take place on March 5 in Frankfort as many people come together to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march in 1964 led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everyone who is proud of Kentucky’s historic role in helping to end segregation in the nation and for being the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to have a state Civil Rights Act is enthusiastically invited to participate,” according to a press release from the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

Member Voices: The Local Option Sales Tax

February 24, 2014 at 12:24pm

The Local Option Sales Tax (LOST, or LIFT as it is now called in Louisville) bills have been filed in Frankfort, HB 399 and SB 135.   If approved by the legislature in 2014, these bills would require a state constitutional amendment to allow cities in Kentucky the power to collect sales tax.  If passed by state voters, cities would then put it to their voters.  LOST/LIFT has been getting a lot of press in Louisville, and Gov. Beshear has indicated his willingness to support it.  Louisville’s Mayor Fischer is a proponent, and is advocating for a 1% LOST/LIFT that would be for a specific amount of money for specific capital projects approved by local voters to allow “local” “democratic” control over revenue.

Raise the Wage!

February 21, 2014 at 03:05pm

 Kentuckians believe in a fair wage.

House Bill 1, sponsored by Speaker Greg Stumbo, and House Bill 191, sponsored by Representative Will Coursey, would incrementally raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2016, and the tipped-minimum wage from $2.13 to 70 percent of the full minimum wage. Lifting the minimum wage to $10.10 would raise wages for one in four Kentucky workers. It would also benefit 22 percent of the state’s children who have a parent that would be affected, or 228,000 kids.

Telecom giants benefit but Kentucky could lose

February 21, 2014
The Courier-Journal

Senate Bill 99, the AT&T-drafted legislation, is a great deal for the telecommunications giants AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell. It will allow them to abandon their least profitable customers and service areas as well as public protection obligations. But it is a risky and potentially dangerous bet for Kentuckians. Kentucky House members should turn it down.

Members weigh in on Governor's tax proposal

February 11, 2014 at 04:29pm

KFTC members and allies met today after the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee meeting. The committee heard the Governor’s proposed tax plan, which harkened back to the Blue Ribbon Commission's work in 2012 and 2013, and that he offered last week in the name of tax reform.

The Governor's proposal includes some good policies that are needed in Kentucky.  He’s proposed an Earned Income Tax Credit at 7.5% of the federal credit. That’s just half of the EITC included in both the Kentucky Forward Plan (HB 220) and the Blue Ribbon Recommendations, which both call for a 15% EITC.  A 7.5% credit would mean that families that qualify for the highest credit (earning just over the minimum wage, and with three or more children), would receive a credit of about $350. The average credit would be $171.6—not necessarily enough to qualify the measure as an anti-poverty tool, but a small step in the right direction.

Lifting our voices from Home during the General Assembly

February 3, 2014 at 01:53pm

It’s a long drive from eastern Kentucky to Frankfort; a full day’s work, to say the least. That’s why members of the Letcher County Chapter of KFTC are getting creative to lift their voices around important issues this Legislative Session. 

The chapter is wrapping up a solid week of terrific work around Kentucky’s General Assembly, right here at home. Last Wednesday, several members hosted a Mountain Talk program on local community radio station WMMT 88.7 FM. The program’s theme of Voting Rights in Kentucky followed up on a recent radio news piece covering a lobby day and rally at the State Capitol in Frankfort organized by the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition. The Mountain Talk featured clips from that rally as well as commentary from former felon Kristi Kendall in Floyd County,WMMT Mtn Talk on HB 70 retired judge Jim Bowling in Bell County, and the father of a former felon/ coal miner, Carl Shoupe in Harlan County.  

Besides the too often told story of firsthand disenfranchisement of themselves or family members, Judge Bowling gave powerful testimony of his experience sitting on the bench, forced to hand down harsh felony convictions for offenses that once were misdemeanors.

3 key principles must guide tax code changes

January 19, 2014
The Courier-Journal

Changes to the tax code can make our state and economy better or worse, depending on the goals and particulars of a proposal.To move Kentucky forward, a tax package must be built on three core principles.

Affordable housing tops central Kentucky KFTC's holiday wish List

December 23, 2013 at 07:20pm
Central Kentucky

This year, affordable housing was at the top of the Central Kentucky KFTC chapter’s holiday wish list. Central Kentucky KFTC members asked Santa Claus to deliver an important message to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray: It is time to prioritize an affordable housing trust fund for Lexington.
On Friday morning, Dec. 20th, Santa delivered a stack of Christmas cards to the mayor’s office urging the mayor to take action on the trust fund in 2014.

The cards were created by Central Kentucky KFTC members, as well as members from the BUILD (Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action) organization who has been working toward the trust fund for the past five years.Upon delivering the cards, Santa said,  “I believe people shouldn’t have to pay money just to have a good place to live, and they certainly shouldn’t pay more than they can afford. Mayor Gray should take urgent action on making affordable housing a reality for all the residents of Lexington.”

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