Galvanized by state government’s recent efforts to impose unfunded mandates on cities and counties, three-term Owensboro City Commissioner Bob Glenn has opted to run for the Kentucky State Senate’s 8thDistrict seat.
As a city commissioner, Glenn has observed again and again that legislators in Frankfort seek to solve our state’s problems by cutting services and shifting costs to municipalities, rather than by finding alternative sources of funding.
“We are at a critical point in the future of the Commonwealth,” he says. “We have leaders in Frankfort who claim they believe in workforce development and education, yet they have consistently cut higher education and K-12 education substantially over the past decade. Now, they intend to fix the pension crisis on the backs of working families by again cutting the state budget, while also piling increased pension payment requirements upon cities and counties.”
When these mandates are imposed, municipal governments and fiscal courts across the state may be forced to drastically cut essential services and increase taxes to fund that mandate.
Additionally, without stable, properly funded pension plans, it will be difficult to recruit and retain qualified state workers like educators, police, and firefighters. “These jobs don’t pay that well. The generous pension was an attractive benefit that prompted many state workers to stick around. The pension is critical to the health of public service in our state,” Glenn says.'We have leaders in Frankfort who claim they believe in workforce development and education, yet they have consistently cut higher education and K-12 education substantially over the past decade.' – Bob Glenn, candidate for KY Senate /1Click To Tweet 'Now, they intend to fix the pension crisis on the backs of working families by again cutting the state budget, while also piling increased pension payment requirements upon cities and counties.” – Bob Glenn, candidate for KY Senate /xClick To Tweet
Bob Glenn wants to overcome short-sighted solutions
“We need leaders who are willing to look for new revenue sources to address the pension crisis and address critical shortfalls in state funding for social services, education, health care, and workforce development,” he says.
Some solutions the state has proposed, such as the six percent “luxury tax” are clearly regressive and not in the best interests of Kentuckians, Glenn says. “I don’t consider items slated for taxation like dry cleaning and diapers ‘luxuries,’” he says. Other services such as car repairs, fitness centers and janitorial services are also targeted for additional fees under the luxury tax. “The next thing you know they will be taxing groceries and prescriptions,” he says.
Bob Glenn also sees other state initiatives, such as the recent Medicaid program changes proposed by Gov. Bevin, as particularly ill-advised. By making it more difficult for Medicaid recipients with chronic conditions like COPD and diabetes to obtain routine care, the program is increasing the likelihood that those individuals will experience serious complications that require expensive emergency care later on. “People could die as a result of the governor’s actions on Medicaid,” he noted.
“The group in Frankfort is just not doing any long-range planning,” he says.
Another area where Glenn believes the state legislature has been short-sighted is its repeal of a prevailing wage requirement for publicly funded construction projects. “Whether they are union or non-union, the loss of a prevailing wage is devastating to workers, and it is money right out of the economy. Today’s wages are equivalent to those in 1978. Workers haven’t had a decent pay raise in years.” To make matters worse, corporations have just received a huge tax break. “But if you are not in the top five percent, your taxes are going to go up, not down,” he notes.
“In short, the policy initiatives of the Bevin administration represent a war against the poor, the middle class, union workers, seniors, retirees, and public education,” he says.“In short, the policy initiatives of the Bevin administration represent a war against the poor, the middle class, union workers, seniors, retirees, and public education.' – Bob Glenn, candidate for KY SenateClick To Tweet
Bob Glenn’s profile
During his tenure as city commissioner, Bob Glenn presided over an era of community development and employment growth. In addition to his role in city government, he is a veteran faculty member at Owensboro Community and Technical College, where he has served as a tenured professor of communication and as director of forensics.
He holds a doctoral degree in communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been married for 28 years to Holly D. Glenn, a retired educator, and they have two adult children.
Why vote for Bob Glenn
Glenn feels the key to moving Western Kentucky and the Commonwealth forward is supporting public education, promoting workforce development at all levels, reforming our tax and pension system, and supporting economic growth that plays to our area’s strengths.
“I believe my experience in city government and as an educator provides me with the experience and insight needed to work with legislators, on a bi-partisan basis, to cultivate workable solutions to the many major problems facing the state.”