News of KFTC and our issues

Kentucky just put doctor shopping into law to help coal companies avoid paying for black lung

July 22, 2018

On July 14, the coal industry’s doctor-shopping was enshrined in Kentucky law as a spate of new laws took effect.

Coal miners’ lives still matter

July 11, 2018

If you wonder why black lung disease is not just still killing coal miners but also making a roaring comeback, consider the criminal indictments announced in Owensboro on Wednesday.

A now bankrupt coal company and eight of its managers conspired to cheat on dust monitoring tests and lied about the results in violation of federal law, according to the charges.

Bevin’s spite is a prescription for pain

July 3, 2018

Gov. Matt Bevin’s decision to end dental and vision coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians is vindictive, probably illegal and also illogical because emergency-room visits for dental problems will increase.

New taxes won’t do much for Kentucky. (But they’re sweet for the well-off.)

June 29, 2018

In Kentucky, conventional wisdom has long held that if lawmakers are going to raise taxes (and inevitably make some voters mad), the increase should be big enough to both accomplish something dramatic and avoid the need for another one any time soon (like three or four decades).

In 2018, the Republicans who control the legislature junked that conventional wisdom.

Kentucky Lawmakers Limit Black Lung Claims Reviews Despite Epidemic

April 1, 2018

A measure signed into law in Kentucky this past week would prevent federally-certified radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung compensation claims, leaving diagnoses of the disease mostly to physicians who typically work for coal companies.

Pension bill takes an extra six years and $5 billion to pay Kentucky’s pension debt

March 30, 2018

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road.

Congress should make good on debts to coal country. Now.

March 21, 2018

Congress should renew a tax on coal companies that supports medical treatment for miners disabled by black lung and expires at the end of this year. A vicious resurgence of the incurable disease gives lawmakers little choice.

Anti-solar bill hurts Kentucky’s energy future. It’s also a case of dirty politics.

March 16, 2018

The anti-solar energy bill that was narrowly passed by the House and is awaiting action in the Senate illustrates two weaknesses in Kentucky’s civic character: We try to cling to the past, and we tolerate dirty politics.

House Bill 227 was written by electric utilities to protect their monopolies by discouraging Kentuckians from installing solar panels on their homes.

16 coal-county leaders implore McConnell to move RECLAIM Act

March 15, 2018

Congress has pending before it the opportunity to provide a $1 billion boost to the local economies struggling with the decline of the coal industry.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the power to make this a reality for hundreds of Kentucky families looking for the means to make a decent living and stay in the Kentucky communities they call home.

That’s why we — and 14 other county judge-executives across the state — sent a letter to McConnell imploring him to see that the RECLAIM Act becomes law soon.

Eastern Kentucky can have a future; Mitch McConnell holds one of the keys.

March 13, 2018

I operate a small business based in Clay County that reclaims abandoned coal mines.

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