Friday, June 10, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-11-'11
- Governor Steve Beshear says a rebounding state economy has pushed up government revenue to the point that additional furloughs of government employees appear unnecessary. The Beshear administration released the state's May financial report Friday, showing General Fund revenue up by 17.8 percent for the month and 6.7 percent for the fiscal year. That made 13 consecutive months of revenue increases, signaling what Budget Director Mary Lassiter called "a robust recovery." The Road Fund, which receives most of its revenue from fuel taxes, also reported an increase of 10.5 percent for the month and 11.6 percent for the year. Much of the growth could be attributed to a 9.3 percent rise in individual income tax receipts and a nearly 28 percent increase in corporate income tax revenue. The May financial report showed sales and use tax receipts up nearly 5 percent for the month and 4.3 percent for the year. Coal severance tax revenue was up 37 percent for the month and nearly 11 percent for the year. Beshear's Republican gubernatorial opponent, state Senate President David Williams, says the furloughs were "nothing more than a politically motivated gimmick" to give Beshear a talking point in a political ad, and that the governor has done a poor job with the budget while doing nothing to relieve the state's unemployment crisis.
- Sixty-two year old Harold Carmical Jr., a man accused of defrauding investors in several states out of hundreds of thousands of dollars has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Kentucky. Trial was set for August 8th in London, Kentucky for Carmical, and a detention hearing was scheduled for June 21st. Carmical was indicted in January on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property and arrested May 5th in California. Prosecutors say Carmical recently lived in Somerset. The indictment alleges he represented himself as an elite investment broker beginning in November 2006 and continuing to early 2008. He is accused of obtaining approximately $900,000 from several investors in Somerset, Loveland, Ohio and Chicago by guaranteeing million-dollar returns, promising to pay living expenses and offering jobs.
- Republican Senator Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, who is the chairman of the Interim Committee on Program Review and Investigations, told cabinet officials Thursday that a report by the panel's staff shows oversight problems with Medicaid, the program which provides health care for 820,000 low-income Kentuckians. Higdon says the reports have raised concern over whether the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is ready to move the state's Medicaid program to a private managed care company by July 1st. In response, cabinet officials told state lawmakers they believe they will be able to negotiate managed care contracts and will step up monitoring when those contracts are in place.
- Ten Kentucky counties have received grants to help link schools and local farms and try to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias. The Kentucky Department for Public Health Obesity Prevention Program awarded the $54,000 to Calloway, Carlisle, Daviess, Fayette, Madison, Marshall, Mercer, Owsley, Perry and Woodford counties. Local health departments will set up teams of food service directors, classroom teachers, farmers and community advocates to implement activities to help improve nutrition.
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