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Farm, legislators share information at Farm Bureau legislative breakfast

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By Stephen Lega

The Marion County Farm Bureau held its annual legislative breakfast Jan. 31. State Rep. Jimmy Higdon, and county and city officials attended the meeting along with area farmers.

The local Farm Bureau chapter also shared information on the state legislative priorities. Those priorities include changes to health insurance laws in Kentucky that make the market more stable, support competition and create more choices for consumers; opposition to reinstating an estate tax; continued support of the 22.2 percent of state gasoline tax revenue going toward rural roads; and limits on local government's ability to implement regulations on agriculture that exceed state regulations.

During the meeting, Higdon predicted that the state would approve a cigarette tax increase as a means to increase revenue.

He added that changes in K-CHIP provisions could allow nearly every child in Kentucky to be covered by some form of health insurance.

Farmers expressed concerns about the effect of a tobacco tax and about focusing on one segment of consumers to balance the budget. Higdon agreed, saying he believes the state shouldn't balance the budget on the backs of smokers.

Higdon also said slot machines or video poker at race tracks have been discussed as a way to boost horse racing within Kentucky, although it's not clear if the Senate would hear the legislation.

Farm Bureau's complete legislative agenda can be read online at www.kyfb.com.