Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

January 30, 2013

York hopeful of better fiscal decisions in Frankfort

By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Journal-Times

Jan. 30, 2013 — Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, has mixed emotions about serving on the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee in the 2013 session of the General Assembly.

She is understandably proud of being appointed to such an influential committee in only her third term as a lawmaker.

But she also is aware that at least two of the state’s toughest and most pressing problems – tax reform and pension reform – fall under that committee’s purview.

Moreover, the committee is responsible for assisting in changing state government fiscal policies which have helped create Kentucky’s budget crisis.

“It should be obvious to everyone that we must focus on making better fiscal choices in Frankfort so that support of schools and other vital services can be improved,” York said Monday. “I’m hopeful that I can contribute to the changing of attitudes that move us toward getting the most from existing state resources before we look for new revenue.”

A proud fiscal conservative, York believes the history of A&R committee members getting special consideration for capital construction projects in their home districts likely is gone forever.

“The fiscal landscape in Frankfort is vastly different than just a few years ago,” she stated. “The state budget has been cut to the bone and now we are faced with paying for these big ticket items that won’t go away on their own.”

York does not believe legislators will have sufficient time in the remaining 26 days of the session to properly handle the intricacies of tax reform.

“The public doesn’t like special sessions and I don’t either but that may be the only way to give this issue the thoughtful and responsible consideration it requires,” she added.

The Grayson business owner says her No. 1 goal for the session is to influence decisions that result in better fiscal choices at the state level.

“We simply have to do a better job of managing the state’s purse strings,” she added.

York also serves on the House committees on Economic Development and Tourism and Natural Resources and Environment.

“I feel both of those committees are a good fit for the interests of Carter and Lewis counties,” she said.

York and the other lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday, Feb. 4.

Keith Kappes can be reached at kkappes@journal-times.com or by telephone at 800-247-6142.