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Monday, January 25, 2010

Bowling Green Daily News Tasks Governor Steve Beshear For Not "Living Up To His Responsibility".

Beshear isn’t living up to his responsibility

Gov. Steve Beshear must like to gamble, because that is exactly what he is doing with the state’s budget.

Last week, Beshear presented what he called a balanced two-year budget that contains cuts to many agencies, topping 20 percent to 25 percent cuts they already received over the past two years. But the budget is supported by his call for expanded gaming, his third attempt to bring expanded gaming to the state.

Beshear said that without revenue from slots, state government would face cuts of more than 12 percent over the first year of the two-year budget proposal and 34 percent in the second year.

The problem with Beshear’s proposal is that Kentucky’s Constitution calls for the state to have a balanced budget and the chances of the legislature passing expanded gaming, especially during an election year, are slim to none.

So, the governor basically handed the legislature a budget with pretend money from slots that leaves legislators with all of the responsibility of solving our budget shortfall.

This shows poor leadership by the governor and is an abdication of his responsibilities as the highest officer in the state.

State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, said it best in referring to the governor’s budget proposal.

“I don’t understand the logic proposing a budget based on money that’s not even there,” DeCesare said.

It appears that the governor wants the legislature to take the heat for raising revenue or cutting services.

While the governor may think punting budget responsibility will enhance his chances for a second term, his lack of leadership only makes him look weak.

His actions have put legislators in a very awkward and difficult position by giving them essentially nothing to work with.

As Kentuckians, we look to our governor to offer sound solutions and proposals on important issues such as balancing our budget and in this instance, Beshear has proven to be a grave disappointment.

He has offered old ideas and no new solutions.

Beshear’s budget proposal was summed up well by State Rep. Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, who said, “I think it is very delusional to predicate a budget on passing gaming when it didn’t get through last time.”



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