Stephen L. Meredith

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Stephen Meredith
Stephen L. Meredith.jpg
Kentucky House of Representatives, District 18
Former candidate
PartyRepublican
Education
High schoolLeitchfield High School, 1971
Bachelor'sWestern Kentucky University, 1975
Master'sUniversity of Minnesota, 1986
Personal
ProfessionRetired hospital executive
Websites
Campaign website
CandidateVerification
Stephen L. Meredith was a 2014 Republican candidate for District 18 of the Kentucky House of Representatives.[1]

Issues

Campaign themes

2014

Meredith's website highlighted the following campaign themes:

Kentucky's Economy

In the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Session, over 700 bills were filed for consideration, with very few of those bills directed at job creation. It would have made much more sense, given the current state of affairs, if 700 bills had been filed soley to create jobs in Kentucky, but our State Legislature's attention was directed elsewhere. Creating jobs, more than any other single means, addresses the revenue shortfalls of this state[2][3]

Education

If Kentucky is going to compete in the new global marketplace, the lack of a quality education is no longer an option. The very success of our state rests upon having a qualified, trained and skilled workforce to meet the needs of present and prospective employers.

Yet, state government continues to cut funding to all levels of our educational system, but still demands increased accountability of our teachers to provide quality education without providing them with the resources to accomplish this task. This is like sending soldiers into battle without guns and ammunition. In the current budget, Governor Beshear has rolled back funding for kindergarten through grades 12 to 2008 funding levels! Funding for the purchase of textbooks for our children has been reduced from $21 million to $640,000! Cuts of this magnitude will harm our schools and our children for years to come.

At the same time, cuts to funding for our universities have resulted in higher tuition for our students and their parents who are already struggling financially to pay for their children's education. During the last decade, the University of Kentucky's tuition increased by 147% while Western Kentucky University's tuition increased by a staggering 179%. These increases represent nothing more than a hidden tax on parents and young people trying to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.

Adequate funding for education has to be a priority for Kentucky![4][3]

Fiscal Responsibility

Pension Crisis - Our state is teetering on the edge of a financial disaster because of a failing national economy, but also because our government has lived beyond its means and has ignored financial commitments it has made. There is no better example of this impending financial crisis than the current position of the retirement plan for state employees which has an unfunded liability of over $33.7 billion, and growing every day. This is not a new problem. Our state government has chosen to ignore it for years. Ironically, the pension fund of our state legislators is running a surplus!

Tragically, the shortfall in the retirement fund of state employees is only one of the many areas our state government has inadequately funded. The only solution our state government has found to balance our budget is to borrow from our federal government and shift funds - the proverbial "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Job Creation - Creating new jobs in Kentucky is the best way to ensure financial stability for our state and generate tax revenue sufficient to meet our financial needs and obligations. As of May 2013, Kentucky's unemployment rate is 6.5% higher than the national average. For Grayson County, the unemployment rate is 33% higher than the national average and 24% higher than the state average. Grayson County has the highest unemployment of any of its surrounding counties and of any county within the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. Frankfort is obviously failing us. The legislature needs to eliminate any and all barriers to job creation in Kentucky.

Tax Reform - A critical element in creating new jobs and finding financial solvency for the state is the overhaul of an antiquated tax code which punishes productivity and rewards consumption. Since 1982, Kentucky has funded 12 studies on its tax code and each sudy has shown that state revenues do not grow in proportion with the economy. Yet, the legislature continues to ignore the problem; opting instead to cut the state budget by $1.6 billion. Tax reform should be an immediate action in Frankfort.

Re-inventing Government - Mark Twain said he hoped he would be in Kentucky when the world comes to an end because everything happens 20 years later in Kentucky! How Kentucky conducts its business is no exception. State government needs to take a critical look into how it conducts its business and adopt the same principles and practices as private enterprise does. As an example, I would propose eliminating the position of Lieutenant Governor. It is a needless, antiquated position which role was effectively diminished and virtually eliminated with an amendment to Kentucky's constitution in 1992. The only formal purpose it serves is to replace the Governor should he or she die or become incapitated while in office. There could be other means to address this issue should it arise and save the state the cost of a six figure salary plus benefits.[5][3]

Government Reform

In politics, tenure brings position, and with position comes power, and with power comes corruption. The only way to effectively break this cycle is a two word answer - term limits. It is more than hypocritical that the major constitutional offices of our state are limited to two terms, yet the terms for our State House and our State Senate are endless. And why? Because those in power, want to stay in power.

Our state has a wealth of talent and intelligence among our citizens which our state government never gets to take advantage of because our citizens are denied the opportunity to participate. Election to an office should not be a job or a career, but a public service. To this end, if I am fortunate enough to be elected and re-elected as your State Representative, I will serve no more than four terms in office to allow others the opportunity to serve in our government.[6][3]

Elections

2014

See also: Kentucky House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Kentucky House of Representatives will take place in 2014. A primary election took place May 20, 2014. The general election will take place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was January 28, 2014. Incumbent Tim Moore defeated Stephen L. Meredith in the Republican primary. Craig Davis (R) withdrew before the primary.[1][7]

Kentucky House of Representatives, District 18 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTim Moore Incumbent 52.9% 3,104
Stephen Meredith 47.1% 2,762
Total Votes 5,866

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See also

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References