Economic Justice News

CKY members discuss the impacts of budget cuts on kids, and learn how to negotiate with people in power

February 25, 2013 at 07:30pm
Central Kentucky

DSCN0232Central Kentucky chapter members had a packed agenda for their February monthly meeting. Before the official meeting started, community member Will Bunge led a discussion about the ways that budget cuts were affecting Kentucky's kids, especially kids in foster care. As a former foster child himself, Will talked about the importance of supporting efforts that would make the foster care system more just, that supported folks receiving kinship care and about the possibility of alternative foster communities. He and his partner Susan are interested in starting a not-for profit alternative foster care community in Frankfort. If you're interested in learning more about their project, you can get in touch with them at (502) 523-1674 or

During the chapter meeting, CKY Organizer Beth Howard led a great training on how to negotiate with "power people." She explained the different ways that people in authority might try to get out of making commitments in meetings or change the topic of conversation. She taught chapter members valuable skills on how to recognize these tactics.

Keep the phone lines open!

February 25, 2013 at 03:36pm

Last week, the Senate Economic Development Committee approved Senate Bill 88, the bill written by AT&T that would end the right of Kentuckians to obtain stand-alone basic telephone service. The full Senate passed the bill 24-13 on Thursday.

The telecom industry tried to get this bill passed last year, but Kentuckians all over the state spoke out against it and it was pulled. The industry is back again this year in full force, and your voice is needed.

Call the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181, and leave a message for the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee. Tell them, "Keep our phone lines open! Don't let AT&T's Senate Bill 88 pass."

Be Part of a Just Transition for Appalachia, April 19-21

February 24, 2013 at 07:43pm

Eastern Kentucky's economy is changing fast, and our future is unwritten. We believe we have the opportunity to move forward together, to build a new economy here in the mountains – a diverse, home-grown economy good for all people. We can generate new jobs, new businesses and new opportunities for the workers, families and young people of eastern Kentucky. It won't be easy, but we can have a bright future here, if we build it.

We believe it's essential that the transition to the new economy is a just transition – one that celebrates our culture and invests in communities and workers who depend on the old economy. We have many assets here.

Who is this
conference for?

This gathering is for anyone who cares about the future of eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia and is interested in a positive, constructive conversation about the challenges and opportunities we face. Please join us whether you are already working to build a more diverse and sustainable economy or simply want to learn more about what a just transition means and ways to move forward together.

Details and registration information is available at




Cost: a sliding scale of $5 to $100. Lodging and some meals not included. Some lodging scholarships available
(apply when registering).

Don’t delay in registering for this exciting event. Many of the hotel rooms we’ve reserved will only be guaranteed through March 19. You are encouraged to make your arrangements as soon as possible!

Our goal is to develop opportunities for our people, for eastern Kentucky, to thrive. We hope you’ll join us for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges we face in our state and region as we work together to build the next economy in eastern Kentucky.

Program overview

The program features positive stories and examples about economic transition from eastern Kentucky and many other Central Appalachian communities. We’ll also hear from invited guests from places that have been through major economic upheaval, including speakers from Wales, the north Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and rural Pennsylvania, to name a few. The program has been designed to engage participants in many ways, including through art, music and theater as well as more traditional conference formats.

More than a dozen workshops will focus on promising pathways for job creation and community development in areas like renewable energy, land and stream restoration, arts and culture, broadband internet access, sustainable forestry, and energy efficient affordable housing. Additional workshops will explore what a just transition in eastern Kentucky means, and what it will take, from the perspective of journalists, workers, and young people in the region.

A primary goal throughout the weekend is to foster an honest, constructive conversation about economic transition. We don’t pretend that we (or anyone) has the answer. But there is a lot we can learn from each other about what’s possible and what’s needed.

Find out more:

What are legislators doing about revenue?

February 22, 2013 at 04:38pm

This year is Kentucky's best opportunity to pass meangingful tax reforms. The Blue Ribbon Commission meetings invited Kentuckians from all over the state to participate in the conversation, the governor is showing leadership, and the need has never been greater.

45 years after RFK's visit, poverty remains key issue in eastern KY

February 18, 2013
Hazard Herald

This Hazard Herald article explores what has changed, and what has not, since Robert Kennedy's visit to eastern Kentucky 45 years ago. MACED president Justin Maxson states, "I think so often we just think about economic development as a technical problem, and it’s not. It’s also a political problem..."

KY's cut to child care assistance is steepest in nation

February 7, 2013
Lexington Herald Leader

Citing lack of state funds, Kentucky is preparing to cut thousands of families off a program that subsidizes the cost of child care for working poor parents. Starting this spring, child care support will only be available to families with household income below $22,050. At that point, Kentucky will have the lowest threshold for child care assistance in the country.

HB 142 – believing we can move Kentucky forward

February 6, 2013 at 10:56pm

Legislators can move Kentucky significantly forward by giving serious consideration to comprehensive tax reform legislation introduced by Rep. Jim Wayne on Tuesday.

“The reality is … we are in a state of fiscal crisis,” Wayne said, adding that his intent is “to begin the debate during this session ... and start educating the legislators and the general public about the crisis.”

House Bill 142 would raise about $800 million in new revenue, mostly by tapping income and transactions that now go untaxed. That includes extending the sales tax to about 15 services and lowering to $35,000 per person the exclusion for pension income.

He pointed out that the bill would decrease taxes on the lowest incomes, primarily through a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.

KFTC members joined Rep. Wayne at the press conference, with Becki Winchel delivering a statement on behalf of KFTC’s Economic Justice Committee. She reminded those present that, “Our state budget is one of the best means we have for moving Kentucky and its people forward.

Beshear Administration describes need for new state revenue

February 6, 2013
Kentucky Center for Economic Policy

This post from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy does a great job capturing yesterday's grim testimony about Kentucky's financial crisis before a joint meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

Opportunities to build new economic power in Frankfort this week

February 4, 2013 at 05:58pm

KFTC members at the state capital for last year's HB 127 Yard Sale, promoting our work on tax reform

The Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes next week with lots of important issues to tackle – and plenty of opportunities for KFTC members to make a strong grassroots presence felt in the decisions that will be made.

The opportunities start on Tuesday, February 5 when Rep. Jim Wayne has invited us to join his press conference to introduce a comprehensive tax reform bill. Rep. Wayne has been the strongest voice in the General Assembly for progressive tax reform that meets our principles of fairness, adequacy and improving the quality of life for Kentuckians. We plan to show our support at an 11 a.m. press conference in Capitol Annex Room 129. Please join us if you can.

Ky. should not allow AT&T to end landline phone service

January 31, 2013
Lexington Herald-Leader

AT&T is circulating a proposed bill for the 2013 General Assembly that would deregulate basic local telephone services in the service areas of AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell in Kentucky. That means many Kentucians would no longer be guaranteed access to basic local service as a stand-alone option.