Budget disaster for education - Dems
Ben Self, Chair KY Democratic Party
I'll cut right to it: Governor Bevin's proposed budget would be a disaster for Kentucky.
Not only is he proposing to eliminate funding to over 70 programs -- including Breast and Colon Cancer Screening, the Commission on Women, Teach for America, and the Bluegrass State Games -- but his budget will so severely cut public education across the state that it will never recover.
Instead of taking on the big issues -- like tax reform -- that we need to address to truly right the ship in Kentucky, Governor Bevin would prefer to cut away at vital state services including programs to dismantle the public education system so many of Kentucky's children depend on. Not properly investing in education is not the right answer to any budget shortfall.
Bevin loves to talk about the excesses in the public school system, but the teachers I talk to sure don't agree with him. In fact, I'm excited that we have more teachers signed up to run for office than we ever have.
An estimated $700 million more in general fund dollars is needed annually for our pension debt -- a promise made to retired state government employees, former law enforcement officers and Kentucky's educators. But Bevin and house Republicans aren't interested in keeping that promise, instead focusing on dismantling the pension system across the state.
They also haven't remedied why working-class families pay more than their fair share in taxes, and refuse to look at new ways for generating state revenue.
They also refuse to listen to Democrat lawmakers who have drafted bills this session aimed at generating that much needed new revenue (even though Bevin actually tried to claim that he hasn't received any ideas from them).
After Bevin's speech last night, we know we can't afford to not hold Republicans accountable in the upcoming 2018 elections in every district.
Taking back seats in Frankfort is the first step to ensure Republicans can't continue to ignore the concerns of everyday Kentuckians.
Electing quality candidates, who are motivated by the best interests of all Kentuckians, is the only way we can change the current course for our state and for our children's future.
Chair, Kentucky Democratic Party