LOUISVILLE (April 3, 2017) – With the legislative session over, the Pegasus Institute think tank announced its core research agenda for the rest of 2017 on Monday. The ambition agenda will focus on major policy objectives in Kentucky’s economy, education system, and criminal justice system.
Pegasus Institute spent several month prior to the legislative session traveling across the state in the hope of identifying key areas of policy opportunity. The aim was to discover Kentucky’s biggest needs and craft a research agenda accordingly. Multiple conversations, combined with the legislative outcomes during the general session helped to guide the agenda. The agenda includes:
Tax Reform – There will not be a bigger opportunity to impact Kentucky’s future this year than through bold, substantive tax reform. Kentucky must respond to our pension crises and economic growth crises (the state’s growth is 30 percent below nation average in the last 40 years) by shifting our revenue stream to a consumption-based model and simplifying our tax system.
Raising Our Academic Standards – Kentucky’s education system has made significant strides since KERA passed in 1990. The time has come to take the next steps, establishing a benchmark of excellence and becoming the nation’s leading state for K-12 education. This will be accomplished by raising our academic standards and adapting the way our students learn. With Common Core on the way out, the time is now to mirror the successes of Massachusetts and develop a 21st century education system.
Improving our Probation and Parole System – Judges and prosecutors are too often faced with a difficult dichotomy. Release someone back onto the street or put them behind bars. We need a probation and parole system that inspires confidence and creates a high quality third option. Successful models in South Dakota and Hawaii can be applied to Kentucky, creating a statewide system that addresses our biggest challenges and reduces our dependence on incarceration.
Addressing Violent Crime in Louisville – Louisville’s violent crime rates continue to grow, with homicides more than doubling between 2014 and 2016. Several success stories around the country exist that Louisville can emulate. We are working closely with seasoned academics to apply successful models to help curb the growing threats in our neighborhoods. We expect formal recommendations to be released later in April.
Multiple projects in these core areas are already in progress, with numerous research papers commissioned, according to a news release from Louisville-based Pegasus Institute (pegasuskentucky.org), which has assembled top experts and scholars to work on these issues, according to its founder, Jordan Harris. Pegasus Institute is a first of its kind, millennial-led, state-based think-tank. Our mission is to provide public policy research and solutions that help improve the lives of all Kentuckians. Pegasus Institute operates as an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization focused on state and local policies.
Harris can be contacted at (270) 617-3627 or [email protected]