When you work for the Commonwealth of Kentucky you get compensatory time (comp time) for the first 2.5 hours of overtime you work in a week.
From the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet:
“….. receive compensatory time, on an hour-for-hour basis for hours between 37.5 and 40 in a work week.”
You can save your comp time until you are eligible for a “block 50”.
“The maximum amount of compensatory time that can be accumulated is 240 hours. Once 240 hours is reached, employees in non-policy making positions will be paid for a block of 50 hours and the balance reduced accordingly. Employees who have accumulated over 150 hours may request a block 50 payment; however, the agency is not required to pay until 240 hours is reached. If you transfer to another agency, you take your compensatory time with you to your new job-just as you do with accumulated sick leave and annual leave.”
From fiscal year 2007 to the present the state has paid employees $9,969,772.36
Now every one of these block 50 payments may have been justified, but here is the problem, the Kentucky’s “transparency portal” doesn’t tell us who got the money.
Experience in state government tells me some employees are more equal than others. Some will churn a block 50 every pay day or two. This sometimes gets to the point where the employee’s lifestyle depends on the block 50 showing up.
So if the Commonwealth really wants to be transparent we should probably get a look at who is on receiving end of the almost $10 million in block 50’s.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I don’t often agree with David Williams and I think he would be a disaster as Governor, but sometimes even a blind hog finds an acorn. Williams found an acorn of truth in Louisville at the forum for the candidates for Governor.
From the Herald Leader:
“Senate President David Williams said Friday he supports a statewide smoking ban to promote health, but two of his rivals in this year's race for governor said the issue should be decided by property owners.”
Williams has it right, Phil Moffett and Gatewood Galbraith have it wrong.
This is not a property rights issue or freedom of choice issue it is a health issue and tax issue.
I’m not going to talk about raising the cigarette tax, although I think that is a good idea.
No one, not even the most dedicated or addicted smoker will argue that smoking is good for you or anyone around you.
Here is the main ingredient in cigarettes:
Aminobiphenyl – a human carcinogen
Arsenic – inorganic arsenic can cause you to experience a sore throat, irritated lungs, nausea, vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels and a sensation of pins and needles in hands and feet
Benzene – breathing benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness, harm to bone marrow and a decrease in the production of red blood cells
Chromium – a human carcinogen
2-Naphthylamine – a human carcinogen
Nickel – can cause asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis, and reduced lung function
Vinyl chloride – dizziness and sleepiness
N-Nitrosodiethylamine – a human carcinogen
N-Nitrosopyrrolidine – a human carcinogen
N-Nitrosodiethanolamine – a human carcinogen
Cadmium – possibly a human carcinogen
Benzo[a]pyrene – can damage red blood cells
Ammonia – can cause coughing and irritation to the nose and throat
Acrolein – can cause irritation and damage to the lungs
Pyridine – can cause headache, giddiness, drowsiness, increased heart rate and rapid breathing Catechol – can cause cough, burning sensation, and labored breathing
Formaldehyde – can cause irritation to your nose, eyes, skin and throat
Acetone – can irritate your nose, lungs, throat and eyes
Hydrogen cyanide – can cause headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting
Nicotine – an addictive drug
There is no way that being exposed to this stuff, even in miniscule quantities, is good for you.
Let’s talk the cost of smoking to the taxpayers of Kentucky all the taxpayers of Kentucky including the majority of taxpayers that don’t smoke.
Tobacco use disproportionately affects the poor and uneducated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking costs the Kentucky Medicaid program nearly $500 million per year.
Remember, Governor Steve Beshear is playing a shell game to come up with $166.5 million dollars to balance this year’s Medicaid budget.
Making smoking socially unacceptable is one way of reducing the number of smokers and the resulting costs to the Medicaid program. Now it won’t happen soon enough to keep Beshear from playing fast and loose with the budget, but it will happen.
So on this issue Williams is correct.
Moffett and Galbraith are pandering to an addicted electorate while at the same time showing a remarkable lack of commonsense on health care and financial issues in Kentucky.