Fallout from the new state budget began settling on the Kentucky dystopia last week like a Harry Moberly White-Castle fart in a crowded movie theater. Public universities announced 9-percent tuition increases, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services went begging for donations, and 54 public defenders got pink slips. Mental-health agency Seven Counties Services will close its southeast Louisville office, which serves 1,500 people. School districts decried cuts to school safety and teacher professional development, announced increased class sizes and warned of layoffs.
Coal, that stuff that makes it possible for Gnarls Barkley to rock your iPod, took the lives of 47 U.S. miners in 2006, prompting Congress to demand more stringent safety measures. Big Coal, that stuff that makes it possible for Republicans to get elected, has naturally resisted. Two years later, many coal mines still lack a way to bring air and wireless communications to underground miners, prompting Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to lash out at Elaine Chao’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, which is clearly mailing it in.
Bypassing “Pope of Pollution,” “Greaseball of Global Warming” and other colorful Italian-slur-themed nicknames, the League of Conservation Voters chose “Don of the Dirty Dozen” to refer to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a campaign to expose the senator’s horrendous environmental record. His lifetime achievement score of 7 percent is the lowest in Congress, and he won a special citation for consistently voting with Big Oil. Kinda makes you wonder about The C-J’s “Godfather of Green” designation a few months back.
If you’re one of thousands of Jefferson County homeowners facing foreclosure, here’s some good news: Last week, the feds awarded an extra $1 million to The Housing Partnership to hire counselors to help people avoid the repo man. To contact a counselor, call the city’s mortgage hotline 211.