Issue / Education
An Educated Workforce
Education is the pathway to a larger life. Kentucky’s future depends on a highly-educated populace and workforce. At a time when 90% of students attend public schools, we must invest aggressively in our public educational systems, to ensure that all are prepared to contribute in this technological age. Investment must be coupled with accountability for progress. For-profit charter schools cannot be allowed to siphon off desperately-needed funding from public schools. I will work to increase teachers’ pay, to maintain their pension plans, and to fund essential support programs, so that our best and brightest see teaching as a valued and rewarding career option.
Issue / Health Care
High Quality of Life
Good health is essential to quality of life and a highly-productive workforce. The Medicaid expansion implemented by Gov. Beshear, along with insurance options available on Kynect, brought health care coverage to over 500,000 Kentuckians. I believe Kynect should be reconstructed, and the Medicaid expansion preserved, which among other benefits provides substantial funding for opioid treatment. Gov. Bevin’s Medicaid waiver will cause 100,000 Kentuckians to lose coverage. It should be abandoned.
Issue / Jobs
Building Our Economy
Jobs are the foundation of our economy. Businesses must have a highly-skilled workforce to succeed. I believe that fulltime workers should earn enough to escape from poverty. Low-wage workers qualify for as much in public benefits as they earn. I will work to increase wages, which have been stagnant for decades, and to maintain traditional job protections for workers. I support apprenticeship programs that teach meaningful skills, training programs for veterans returning from service, and re-entry programs to help ex-offenders connect to the workforce.
Public Employee Pensions
Public employees – teachers, police, firefighters, and others - have traditionally relied on pension plans as a significant part of their compensation. They work for less than they could make in the private sector because they are committed to public service, and because they agree to accept lower pay in exchange for a secure pension at retirement. They have honored their obligations over the years, while the legislature has not. New revenue must be secured to restore public employee pension systems to fiscal solvency without cutting other important government programs. Present and future public employees should continue to receive defined benefit retirement plans, not 401(k)’s, which they cannot fund.