U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are urging Gov. Steve Beshear to seek a federal disaster declaration because of the potential economic consequences of a drought that has led to low water levels on the Mississippi River.
Beshear said Friday he appreciates their concern and that he's closely monitoring the situation.
McConnell and Paul said in a letter to Beshear on Thursday that commercial traffic on the river could "come to a complete halt in coming days" unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes action to increase the water flow.
After a nearly year-long review, Kentucky's Commission on Tax Reform has approved recommendations that could generate nearly $700 million a year.
Some $500 million of that would come from individual income taxes. Another $200 million would be generated by expanding the state's sales tax to household utilities and several services that have traditionally been exempt.
The Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform is scheduled to meet Thursday to craft recommendations for Gov. Steve Beshear. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. EST in a conference room at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority's headquarters at 100 Airport Road in Frankfort.
Beshear appointed the panel earlier this year to recommend a simpler tax code that would generate enough revenue to meet state needs even during recessions.
In Thursday's meeting, Beshear said the commission will review Kentucky's individual income tax to see if changes are needed there.
A nonprofit group said Monday the number of young adults who are not in school and unemployed in Kentucky and around the nation is skyrocketing. The children's advocacy group the Annie E. Casey Foundation said in the report that U.S. youth employment rates for both 16- to 19-year-olds and 20- to 24-year-olds are the lowest they've been in 50 years.