Budget amnesty on the horizon: House Democrats sent a revised budget proposal to Senate Republicans that cut spending by half. For the past few weeks budget negotiators have been deadlocked on the roughly $17 billion state spending plan, which is the one piece of legislation they’re required to deal with. In this week’s edition of LEO, staff writer Jonathan Meador scolds Frankfort’s failure:
Of the paltry 55 bills produced by the general assembly this session and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear, virtually none of them address the commonwealth’s most dire problems — measures to expand health care access to children, strengthen anti-domestic violence laws, reduce pollution from surface-top mining, and (most dire of all) adequately balancing Kentucky’s $1.5 billion budgetary shortfall without cannibalizing essential social services have all failed to reach the governor’s desk this year.
Good grief: The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate has gotten so petty that Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo’s allowance to pay for housing in Frankfort has become a political football.
Jobless stress: The unemployment rate in the 13-county metro area, including Southern Indiana, hit 12.1 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also shows that 76,000 people in the Louisville area were unable to find work in this lingering recession.
Confederate States of America: The south has risen again thanks to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who has stirred a controversy by declaring April, Confederate History Month. Interestingly, McDonnell urged his fellow Virginians to “understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War,” but not slavery. Even the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which endorsed McDonnell’s gubernatorial candidacy saw the dishonesty in the proclamation and said, “a hole lies in the statement’s heart.” The governor has since apologized for omitting human bondage from the executive order.