(1) Fight to Create Economic Opportunities
We need more jobs and less government if we hope to set Kentucky on a brighter path. Government dependency saps our economic strength and denies people the dignity that comes from a job earned. It is the private sector that ultimately creates jobs, not government. Ever since the Great Recession first hit our communities, we have suffered through hard times as we rebuild what was lost. But as long as Washington stands in the way, growth will continue to slow.
I am dedicated to changing this difficult truth for our district by bringing in more new jobs and helping to retain the jobs that we have. We must continue to fight for new, well-paying jobs for our communities and summon the courage to return to the limited government idea that once saw us as the world’s economic powerhouse.
A Path to Better Kentucky Jobs:
- Create better job programs for people on jobless benefits.
- Provide small businesses the tools to grow.
- Support manufacturing growth.
- Curb government overreach.
- Work with our schools to prepare our next generation by expanding technical skills training.
- Join the fight against Obamacare.
- Support labor law reforms.
- Improve our critical infrastructure like roads and bridges.
- Promote and expand Kentucky Agriculture opportunities, particularly exports.
- Reform and fund the Pension System to keep our promise to state workers and teachers.
- Create tax reform that works and actually expands our economy.
Help me to stop government from being the roadblock to economic opportunities.
(2) Fight for Small Businesses
Like hundreds of businesses across Fayette, Scott and Owen Counties, I started my business by myself with no guidance from the government to help me secure a loan, or even write a basic business plan. I have lived through the tireless Sunday nights worried what Monday would bring and the sleepless Thursday nights worrying how I would make payroll on Friday. Thankfully, I have been blessed along the way to grow my business to over thirty fulltime employees that are truly dedicated to their jobs.
As a small business owner, I bring to Frankfort the common sense ideas that will help all businesses grow. Specifically, we need to help small businesses by:
- Provide small businesses the same access to the Economic Development Cabinet and incentive packages as large businesses.
- Remove the stranglehold on small businesses created by the Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLET).
- Address Workers’ Compensation premiums and fee assessments by bringing transparency to the Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission.
- Enact drug-free workplaces by creating a voluntary program that expands drug testing.
(3) Stand for Government Transparency
As a citizen, taxpayer and small business owner never holding political office, I know nothing holds government leaders accountable better than transparency. As a Kentuckian, you have a right to know what your elected officials are up to. In fact, by allowing the public to have a better understanding of what goes on in Frankfort politics, we encourage a more honest and open relationship between the people and their state.
Being blessed to have a job in the private sector, I am not running to be your State Representative simply to have access to taxpayer funded health insurance or retirement benefits. We must make sure lawmakers in Frankfort have the option to refuse these taxpayer provided benefits. Moreover, we must bring transparency to lawmakers’ pensions and create policies that continue to discourage “double dipping” where elected officials pad their personal retirement funds at the taxpayers’ expense.
(4) Decrease the Tax Burden on Working Families
Kentucky cannot tax, borrow, or spend its way to prosperity. Taxes should be low and the system should be fair. I am committed to fighting stifling policies for you and your loved ones. The right way to spur the economy is putting more in families’ pockets and less in Frankfort’s tax ledger.
Our current state tax system is full of exemptions for special interest groups and lobbyists have too much influence. Honest, hard-working people are punished for simply living and working in Kentucky. We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, and make Kentucky the best state in the nation to create jobs.
(5) Cut Government Spending & Overreach
A bloated government is the fastest path to a weaker, less independent Kentucky. Similarly, an efficient and lean government is critical in creating a stronger Kentucky. As your representative, I will do what I can to see excessive spending cut and save taxpayer money on public projects.
Government overreach has been a constant trend while Obama’s liberals have been in power. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) blatant overreach has been denounced by members of both parties in Frankfort. The EPA, left unchecked, will continue to effect jobs and energy costs for our citizens. The Obama Administration has used the EPA as a means to circumvent the legislative process to implement a crippling liberal agenda. This cannot stand. The EPA’s heavy-handed measures may force businesses to leave Kentucky (and the United States) completely, or discourage them from locating here in the first place. The EPA’s limitless authority to create and then unfairly enforce these rules must be fought. It is time we looked for a new, more conservative, majority in Frankfort to fight back against government overreach and offer up new options for our communities.
(6) Find Solutions for Pension Problem
Kentucky’s public pension systems are now billions of dollars short of what they need for future payouts. Leaders from both parties can agree that the system is not sustainable. Our state constitution requires that we live up to the pension promises made to current and retired state workers. Without reform for future state workers, the system will eventually bankrupt our state or force massive tax increases. It is time that we fought for true pension reform, instead of simply slapping on the band-aid and hoping for the best.
Kentucky needs to start climbing out of this hole if we hope to solve this crisis in the next 20 years. The previous governor failed to address this problem by kicking the can down the road and nothing was done while our Kentucky families grew ever closer to devastating tax increases and a bankrupt state. Far too long the obligation to the pension system has been de-prioritized and underfunded by previous Kentucky General Assemblies. Now the bill has come due. In order to stave off an economic disaster in this state it must be addressed and addressed with a real solution.
Perhaps there is no greater need for more government transparency than in our state pension systems. For years, our pension system has kept millions of dollars in investment fees hidden from the public. No wonder their investments are underperforming compared to national averages. As your State Representative, I will work tirelessly to daylight the pension system and hold the leaders of these pension systems accountable in ways the public, and most importantly state workers and teachers, can understand how their future is invested by a select few individuals.
This issue is very close to me as my wife is a Kentucky teacher who is nearing retirement. I will be your voice, the people’s voice, in Frankfort on this issue and work hard at achieving a solution that protects citizens’ hard earned investments.
(7) Oppose Obamacare and Find Solutions for Higher Health Care Costs
As a small business owner, I have seen firsthand the impact of Obamacare on my thirty plus employees. Five years ago I had nearly a dozen insurance company providers to choose from to provide quality health insurance to my employees. Today, that number has dwindled to three. This has driven up costs for my company and left my employees with higher copays, deductibles and less access to their doctors.
Make no mistake, Frankfort did not pass Obamacare. It was passed in Washington, but that doesn’t mean Frankfort cannot come up with the solutions necessary to bring competition back to Kentucky that will expand employer and employees’ insurance options and keep our rural hospitals from closing. We must sunset the 1% assessment on small group health plans and individual health plans that were used to fund Kynect. This assessment was specifically targeted and the burden placed on the back of small business owners.
(8) Solve the Medicaid Funding Crisis
Your next State Representative is going to be elected to a General Assembly that must find hundreds of millions of dollars for expanded Kentucky Medicaid. The federal government only promised to pay for the Medicaid expansion for three years, after which Kentucky will be left to find its own way to pay for the overburden. In some rural parts of Kentucky, we have already seen healthcare facilities shut down because of this poisonous law, and we cannot afford to lose any more hospitals and jobs in rural areas. The Liberal Democrats are content with the status quo and willing to accept mediocrity, which is exactly why we should all fight for a new, conservative majority in Frankfort. A few areas we need to see improved in health care include:
- We need to work tirelessly to be granted a Medicaid Waiver so we as Kentuckians, not bureaucrats in Washington, can solve our own problems.
- We need to cut out the waste, fraud and abuse from Kentucky’s Medicaid program so that the program will work more efficiently and help those who need it most.
- We need to develop asset testing for the Medicaid System that would more thoroughly screen recipients than income testing alone to ensure that those in the system actually need the system.
- We must create a residency requirement for Medicaid eligibility by requiring someone to live in the state for a minimum amount of time before qualifying for costly Medicaid services.
- We need to expand access to quality health care in Kentucky again, not at the expense of our medical professionals and working families.
As your representative, I will oppose higher health care costs. It’s about time that we create legislation to promote more affordable health care options.
(9) 100% Pro Life
There is no greater thrill in my life these days than holding my grandchildren and watching them play. As a younger man, my own young children stirred the same feelings in me. I cannot look into the eyes of a child and support abortion. Life is God’s precious gift. I could never support any policy that funds abortion. I promise to defend the Kentucky values that our communities hold dear, including supporting policies that affirm the sanctity of life for unborn children. I also oppose the government funding of abortion. We should be pushing for funding to other women’s health services and prevent taxpayer dollars from backing Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in our country.
(10) Support Kentucky Educators
Our Kentucky educators deserve better representation, better options and better control of their own curriculum. I support policies that put our children first and politics second. Above all, I will support policies that prepare students for high-demand jobs while offering their teachers the space they need to teach. I support:
- More local control of curriculum.
- More effective funding options.
- Better resources for our local educators.
- Better resources for struggling children and their families.
- Quality opportunity for all students, in rural and urban communities.
(11) Support your Second Amendment Rights
I have been a gun owner for over forty years and have been an avid hunter nearly all my life. I am a member of the NRA. The right to own and keep my guns is guaranteed to me- and to you by the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution is the foundation upon which all our laws have been built in this nation. I take a personal affront to the fact that President Obama works so hard to chip away at that foundation. President Obama’s last stand in office is to take away our guns and add to his forced legacy. The Second Amendment provides us with invasion protection, facilitating our natural right to self-defense. Here in Kentucky, gun ownership and stewardship is just a way of life. We see that Second Amendment rights are more important than sweeping and ineffective gun control.
(12) The Pratt Landscaping Promises
On my company’s website, I have created a list of promises to my customers and my employees that speaks to the kind of State Representative I will be for my communities. The “Pratt’s Lawn & Landscape Guarantee,” as it is called, promises high standards of work, work performed ethically, proper and professional conduct, and worker’s compensation insurance. I have chosen to live my life by certain standards – standards that I am ready to put to work for you.
PRATT’S LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC. GUARANTEE:
- All work shall be performed to the highest standard of horticultural excellence.
- All work shall be performed in accordance with all applicable laws, codes and ordinances.
- All employees are properly trained and licensed.
- All employees shall conduct themselves in a professional manner.
- All materials and machines shall be of the highest quality and perform the purpose for which it was intended.
- All employees and services shall be covered by Comprehensive General Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance.