If you're following the Kentucky General Assembly on Twitter or Facebook (#kyga17), then you know that last week was historic.
Four of the seven bills passed and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin had the Bluegrass Institute's influence stamped all over them.
In just a short week and a new GOP super-majority:
- Kentucky became a right-to-work state. No longer are Kentuckians forced to join a union as a condition of employment.
- Kentucky made legislators' pensions transparent.
- We repealed the arbitrary and artificial "prevailing-wage" requirements on public projects, saving taxpayers millions of dollars on new schools and government buildings.
- We prohibited union dues from being used to fund politics.
- And we determined that union membership should come with an "opt-in" requirement, not just a defacto "yes" that one must later opt out of.
"A hearty thanks to the Bluegrass Institute, who set the ground for the bills we passed this week," said Louisville Representative Jason Nemes, one of 28 new legislators to win office in the historic November election.
There also was praise from veteran lawmakers, including Northern Kentucky Sen. Chris McDaniel, who led the effort to pass legislation that shines the light on retirement benefits of current and former lawmakers -- including benefits received from other state-run pension plans.
"It's been great having allies like the Bluegrass Institute, who have put great work in through research, reports, articles and many other activities to help bring the necessary public pressure to bear on this issue," McDaniel said.
Thanks to your help, Kentucky took the spotlight. You and I: We did it!
Your commitment to the values and vision of the Bluegrass Institute made these liberty and prosperity-advancing policies the future of a truly freer Kentucky.
However, the real work is just beginning. Now more than ever, we need to have a voice in the public sphere that defends the policy gains made by our legislative allies last week. Kentucky teamsters have already threatened to attack on this issue come November.