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Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky’s policy agenda for 2023 provides a bold outline of how we can improve the lives of all Kentuckians and transform the commonwealth into a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Many residents of the Bluegrass state cannot reach prosperity because of government-constructed obstacles. Kentucky ranks 25th in personal and economic freedom in the CATO Institute’s annual Freedom in the 50 States report. Our economy even took a back seat to neighboring states Tennessee (4th), Indiana (6th), Missouri (11th), and Virginia (13th).
Poor indicators in health care (#44), education (#36), and economy (#40) based on U.S News & World Report mean Kentucky is falling behind, and we need to find new and better solutions that empower every Kentuckian.
The commonwealth has a long and rich history. It’s home to Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, and the Kentucky Derby. Through a series of better, bolder policy solutions, the Bluegrass State can improve its trajectory and secure freer, more prosperous lives for its families.
All Americans should have access to opportunities that foster upward economic mobility. In the wake of tens of thousands of business closures over the last two years, it is essential that our economy makes it easier to start and grow principled, productive businesses.
Increased Government spending will not lead us toward economic recovery. It will hamper our ability to effectively recover. Economic growth instead will be driven by solutions that empower every individual.
After a year of record gas prices, surging costs for food and groceries, and mounting concerns over electricity and heating costs, it’s clear that what Washington has been doing isn’t working. In Kentucky we can be different than the Washington machine that has been failing the American people.
Kentucky needs a new approach that cuts the reckless spending fueling higher costs and removes barriers to help businesses flourish and innovate. Together we can make this happen by reducing regulation and encouraging freedom with our Bluegrass Blueprint.
Frankfort’s special interests are calling for higher taxes to fuel more spending. Kentuckians are taxed enough. Frankfort should live within its means and protect taxpayers’ wallets. We have fought off recent tax increase proposals and will continue to do so.
Kentucky’s government needs to get out of the way and allow Kentuckians to make their own economic choices. That means ending our state income tax in the next five years.
Conversely, states with lower or no income tax enjoy lower overall effective tax rates. Conversely, higher state taxes typically suffer lower economic growth, gross state product and even population loss.
State agencies’ ever-growing regulatory restrictions should be reviewed and streamlined where possible. Kentucky ranked #40 out of #50 states in regulatory affairs and the effects on small businesses. We must remove the red tape that burdens our economic progress and reduce regulations to incentivize enterprises.
Government should pursue policies that create a level playing field where the same rules apply to everyone. Instead, the game is rigged by powerful special interests, allowing the government to pick winners and losers through subsidies, tax carveouts, regulatory barriers, and protectionist policies.
Government occupational licensing laws and regulations are harmful barriers that prevent people from realizing their potential to earn a fulfilling living and improve the lives of their families and communities.
The path forward is to end the government’s role wherever possible, returning choice to consumers and occupational training to schools and the private sector where training and education can quickly evolve to meet society’s needs without the government’s heavy hand.
We can achieve this by removing and reducing occupational licensing requirements directly or by creating structural reforms that lead the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of governments to evaluate burdensome occupational requirements more critically and end them over time.
Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state in 2017 to improve investment in competition and job opportunities. Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky will continue to protect and preserve them by ensuring workers and employers are free to enter into mutually beneficial agreements.
We will also preserve the right to work and fight for a Janus decision opt-in for Kentucky, so public employees can choose whether to join a union. For many government workers, a union fee is money that could be better saved, spent, or invested in themselves, their family, or their community.
Every child is unique and deserving of a learning environment that enables them to develop the skills and knowledge to live a life of meaning and purpose. Expanded learning opportunities were made in 2021 with the passing of the first school choice law in Kentucky.
Due to our opponents in the school choice fight, that win was short lived, when the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down the legislation as being unconstitutional.
Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky is committed to pursuing a K-12 education system that empowers every family to choose the schooling environment that fits their child’s needs. We can look to Indiana, Arizona, and Florida as models where expanding access for all students enriches lives.
All children across Kentucky deserve an educational opportunity that best meets their unique needs —one that embraces the freedom of innovation and the dignity of the individual. We must allow educators the freedom to supply innovative solutions to educate our children. Educational empowerment for parents and their children is critical to ensuring all students are given the knowledge and tools to find their passion in life.
Health care already has enough big government influence without adding more regulations and control.
So, in opposition to top-down control in health care, Americans for Prosperity has put together the Personal Option, a set of reforms to give people the high-quality care they deserve, from the doctors they trust, and at prices they can afford — without new taxes.
A Personal Option will provide better outcomes at a lower cost for more people. That’s why Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky is urging lawmakers to give Kentuckians more choice and control over their health care, reduce prices, and supply better access to the medical professionals they trust. We don’t need a “public option.” We need more personal freedom.
AFP-Kentucky supports policies that will make our streets safer and help Kentuckians get a much-needed second chance. We strive for an effective criminal justice system that protects people, respects human dignity, prioritizes rehabilitation and re-entry, provides second chances to those who’ve paid their debt to society, and ensures equal justice under the law.
Second chances help create safer streets and more harmonious communities. Restoring the eligibility to vote for people who have taken their time and paid their debts in full will make our society safer, our system more just, and support real second chances for returning citizens.
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