Kentucky has a law on the books for a specialized license plate that funds “nature” and helps the preserve the great outdoors. The law, allows for a number of plates that when purchased at $10 over the normal cost allows for that $10 to go to the funding of Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund. As I was looking into this as a possibility for my wife’s Edge coming up in a month or so, I found out that shameful acts by the state government (namely both legislative branches and especially the governor, who proposed the budget, raided the funds).
It has basically left the programs and especially land purchases in limbo since the raids started. Granted, not all the funds revenues come from that, but when I contribute to something I want to ensure that program is fully funded to the level that it is supposed to be and especially not have those funds that I have specifically contributed moved to a general fund. A general fund that would not be in trouble if not for such similar mis-management from those same bodies in the past that have led to such dire problem with retirement funds (both state government employees and teachers).
Granted, this was done a couple of years back, but we are back in a legislative session that will be looking at budgeting for the next two years once again. I will be reaching out to all of my representatives to discourage this kind of behavior going forward. I would really encourage you to do the same.
It is really horrid behavior on their parts. After all, we all know from an early age that robbing Peter to pay Paul in a budget is not going to work out in the end – it is just a shell game that is going require catch up and some point or another. I would go so far as to support an amendment to the state constitution that forbids money allocated to a specific aspect being raided in such a fashion going forward.
Kentucky’s finest, I will agree with that in regards to the nature that it offers, but certainly find some opposite slogan to describe this over all outcome from the politicians in Frankfort.
Note: This was inspired by an article in the Courier Journal from February 2015 and can be found at State Budget Raids.