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May 30, 2018

McConnell wants legal hemp and 'no food-stamp work requirements' in Senate version of Farm Bill

 

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The Senate Agriculture Committee is finalizing its draft of the Farm Bill, and if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his way, it won't include work requirements for food stamp recipients but will legalize hemp production.

McConnell told The Wall Street Journal last week that "the Senate bill doesn’t need to expand work requirements for able-bodied adults who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a key feature of the farm bill that Republicans are struggling to push through the House," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse.

In addition to the work issue, the Senate bill has two key differences with the House bill, which recently failed to pass because of a dispute about immigration.

"The Senate bill would keep the Conservation Stewardship Program in operation and contain an energy title to fund assistance for renewable energy, biorefinery projects and other priorities," Brasher reports. "The House bill would eliminate both CSP and the energy title and would provide no mandatory funding for energy programs."

McConnell told Agri-Pulse last month that he will try to bring the bill to the floor as soon as it clears the committee, which he hopes will happen before the end of the summer. The bill still has a ways to go before that happens, with committee members hashing out issues such as debated changes to crop insurance.

Because the Senate is in recess this week and the Congressional Budget Office has not finalized the bill's cost estimates, the week of June 11 is likely the earliest the bill could pass out of committee.


Written by Heather Chapman

May 29, 2018

Nonpartisan primary for Judge of the Court of Appeals in the 7th District, 2nd Division to be recanvassed; only one to affect Lawrence Co...

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2018) – Several county boards of elections will convene Thursday morning to recanvass the results of races on the May 22 Primary ballot, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday.

Allison Grimes Allison Grimes Grimes' office received written requests for recanvasses in three races. County boards of elections will convene at 9 a.m. on May 31 to recheck and recanvass the voting machines, per Kentucky law.

"My office has notified all county boards of elections involved in these races, and we are reminding them of the laws and procedures to be followed," said Grimes. "As always, we will assist the county boards of elections in any way we can."

The Jefferson County Board of Elections will recanvass the results of the 43rd House District Republican Primary and for the nonpartisan Primary for District Judge, 30th Judicial District, 9th Division.

Unofficial totals show nine votes separate Everett C. Corley and Denise L. Raine in the Republican Primary for the seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Raine requested the recanvass.

Karen Faulkner, the third-place candidate in the 30th District, 9th Division judicial race, requested a recanvass of the race as unofficial results show a 17-vote margin between her and the second-place candidate, Tanisha Ann Hickerson.

Several counties in Eastern Kentucky will recanvass the results of the nonpartisan primary for Judge of the Court of Appeals in the 7th District, 2nd Division. The third-place candidate, Gene Smallwood, Jr., requested the recanvass. More than 1,200 votes separate Smallwood and second-place candidate Larry E. Thompson.

The purpose of a recanvass is to verify the accuracy of the vote totals reported from the voting machines. The boards will notify the candidates of the location of the recanvass. Immediately upon completion of the recanvass, the boards will file their recanvass reports with the Secretary of State.

Each candidate and both political parties may have a representative present at the recanvass, and the county board of elections shall authorize media to observe.

The last major Kentucky election recanvass took place in 2016 in the Democratic presidential preference primary at the request of Bernie Sanders. The margin was fewer than 2,000 votes and the recanvass did not change the outcome of the election.

 

May 29, 2018

Texas is hit hardest by trade war

A recent report from Moody’s Investor Service shows that even though Kentucky is middle-of-the-pack when it comes to international trade, the state is the second-most-at-risk from the effects of a trade war, because the trade we do is so much of our state GDP.

A new Moody’s Investors Service report found. … States with the greatest trade dependency on China, Canada and Mexico are at highest risk of seeing their tax revenues decline—namely Michigan, Kentucky and Louisiana."A new Moody’s Investors Service report found. … States with the greatest trade dependency on China, Canada and Mexico are at highest risk of seeing their tax revenues decline—namely Michigan, Kentucky and Louisiana."

As Route Fifty explains:

"Implementation of U.S.-China tariffs or withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would have bigger economic effects on some states compared to the more limited impacts of other recent trade decisions, a new Moody’s Investors Service report found. … States with the greatest trade dependency on China, Canada and Mexico are at highest risk of seeing their tax revenues decline—namely Michigan, Kentucky and Louisiana."

A large part of Kentucky's gross domestic product (GDP) comes from auto manufacturing and related industries. A drop in that segment could have significant impact on our economy, and thus on such things as tax revenue. 

As negotiations continue on NAFTA, and as President Trump continues to threaten a trade war with China, we in the Bluegrass State need to remember that even though those issues seem oceans away, they could have significant impact on our state. It also is a warning that we need to diversify our economy further, so that one segment does not have such a dramatic impact.

 

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