I not only work for one of the largest employers in Kentucky, I am a partner
in a family small business. I understand that business - not government - fuels
our economy. It is critical that Kentucky encourages the kind of business that will
provide good jobs for our citizens. For that reason, I strongly advocate repealing
the Alternate Minimum Calculation, which imposes unnecessarily high taxes on Kentucky
businesses. That is also why I rejected the house Democrat effort to raise taxes
on Kentucky businesses in 2012 - even on those businesses losing money! That bad
idea would have cost thousands of Kentuckians their jobs.
Located at the crossroads of Central Kentucky, the Heartland of Grayson and
Hardin County must continue to realize its full potential. The State has recognized
the economic contribution Fort Knox makes, and has prioritized funding BRAC-related
projects. When I arrived in Frankfort, I promoted the opportunity presented by BRAC,
and encouraged other legislators and 2 governors to help me promote development of
the entire Heartland region. To date, Kentucky has invested $251 million in order
to leverage that economic potential into expanded job opportunities. Thanks to the
right investment of attention, energy, and capital, the Heartland and the entire
Lincoln Trail region will continue to grow and still be a great place to live and
raise a family.
As Fort Knox transitions its mission, Kentucky has demonstrated its willingness
to step up to invest in the infrastructure to make that transition a success. Even
more importantly, Kentucky has helped ensure that our people have the training and
skills that will allow them to capitalize on the influx of new jobs on and around
The right of every citizen to enter into associations with whoever they want—and
to be free from coerced associations—means that Kentucky should join other states
in passing “Right to Work” legislation. Laws to protect the rights of individual
workers will not undermine the strength of unions, but will prevent unions from abusing
their role in the workplace. Again, no worker should be forced to join a union as
a prerequisite to getting a job.
I am in favor of laws that allow market forces to encourage the free enterprise
of labor. Within established “minimum wage” guidelines, no business or local government
should be forced to artificially inflate their costs beyond what market forces require
them to pay. This means that wages should be set by willing workers on the scene,
not government bureaucrats dictating wages from Frankfort.
During the 2007 “Short Session”, the General Assembly passed a law raising the
minimum wage in our state. More important than merely legislating wages in Kentucky,
state government must ensure that our workers have the training and skills to attract
and secure high-paying jobs. Kentucky has the potential for businesses and workers.
Our low cost of living and generally friendly business environment must be matched
with an education system that is second-to-none and tax structures that encourage
business and allow workers to keep more of their hard-earned wages.
As a fiscal conservative, I am convinced that Government takes more than enough
of our hard-earned dollars to fulfill its responsibilities to its citizens. In that
regard, I believe that Government should be run like a business. It must not merely
raise its price while delivering lower and lower quality goods and services.
By again exercising wise stewardship of the People’s tax money, I believe Government
will regain credibility that has been squandered. Some expenditures will always sound
compassionate and right, and there may be a time when unforeseen circumstances dictate
an increase in revenues. But I will condone raising taxes only when the will of the
people dictates. Again, I will advocate servant-leadership—spending tax revenues
as judiciously and frugally as Kentucky families guard their own budgets.
I am also in a union, and recognize that without labor there would be no business.
Kentucky must prioritize the needs of its working men and women, and never take their
tax contributions for granted. This means that government should balance the needs
of business with the rights of workers. Instead of unfairly favoring either side
of this balanced relationship, Kentucky must wisely advocate for both.