I am also pleased to announce that Jessamine County will receive its fair share of funding. As the House Majority Caucus Chairman I was able to help secure $7.42 million for community development projects and water and sewer grants for our county. The following is a list of the projects that were approved by the General Assembly last week:
Water and sewer projects
$80,000 for Tankersley Lane Water Line Extension
$210,000 for the Baker Lane Water Service Upgrade
$220,000 for waterline extension on Bethany Road.
$500,000 for waterline extension on Old Railroad Road
$330,000 for waterline extension on Union Mill Road to the Jessamine County Fire District Building.
$150,000 for sewer system service to Ichthus staging area.
$200,000 to city of Wilmore for sewer collection system rehabilitation.
$200,000 to city of Wilmore for automated water meter reading.
$110,000 for sewer service from Wilmore to the Jessamine Co. EMS building.
$180,000 to Jessamine Co. Fiscal Court for sewer service to Centennial Park.
$1,900,000 to Jessamine Co. Water District one for water storage tank.
$750,000 to Jessamine County Water District One for Groggins Ferry Road water line upgrade.
Total $ 4,830,000.
Parks and community development projects
$200,000 to the City of Nicholasville for construction of a skate park.
$250,000 for park development in the City of Wilmore.
$250,000 for the Wesley Village Community Center in Wilmore.
$400,000 to Camp Nelson Civil War Park for building construction and renovation.
$70,000 for the Ron Spriggs Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit
$400,000 for land acquisition and development of the new Jessamine County Park Complex.
$100,000 for purchase of damaged downtown building by the Jessamine County Fiscal Court in the city of Nicholasville.
$300,000 for the renovation of three downtown buildings by the Jessamine County Fiscal Court in the city of Nicholasville.
$600,000 ($300,000 per year) to operate the Jessamine County Career and Technical School.
$20,000 to Jessamine Fiscal Court for Animal Shelter Improvements
Total $ 2,590,000.
Road fund dollars are essential to Jessamine County's future and I'm very pleased that money for the East Nicholasville By-Pass and the reconstruction of U.S. 68 from Brannon Road to Ky. 29 in Wilmore were also included in the budget. Better roads will help our existing businesses with their daily transportation needs, attract new jobs to the area and reduce congestion on our roadways.
Although I am very proud of the work we accomplished over the past three months, I am extremely disappointed that we were not able to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for Kentucky's small businesses.
House Bill 295, which I co-sponsored, was a bipartisan effort designed to provide needed tax relief to small businesses overburdened by the (AMC) Alternative Minimum Tax calculation, that was part of Gov. Ernie Fletcher's Tax Modernization of 2005. It was supported by the Kentucky Small Business Caucus which represents over 40 small business associations and whose membership reaches into the hundreds of thousands.
HB 295 had the full support of all 100 Democrat and Republican members of the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the Republican Senate Leadership refused to let the House version come to the full Senate for a vote and effectively "killed" the legislation, preventing small businesses from receiving any tax relief in the 2006 Session. Gov. Fletcher has indicated that he is considering a special session this summer to address this issue. I will continue to sponsor and support legislation to help Kentucky's small business and hope that we will enact legislation in the very near future to address this issue.
With the session now at an end, lawmakers are looking toward the "interim" period - the months between sessions - during which we will research issues that will be addressed in legislation we will consider in 2007. That period will last until December, when we will prepare once again for the hectic pace of session life.