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Local reaction mixed to Bevin's budget, tax plan vetoes

10 April 2018

About 200 stunned and furious teachers shamed GOP lawmakers March 29 after they rushed through a pension reform bill, opening the way to an agreement on a two-year budget proposal and tax reform bill that Bevin will veto, reported the Courier-Journal.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is expected to talk about fiscal responsibility at a Monday morning news conference.

"Gov. Bevin's veto creates another opportunity for legislators to save money and save lives".

But Bevin's Budget Director, John Chilton, said last week the estimates are inaccurate and revenues are likely to fall at least $50 million short of spending.

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Bevin said he was vetoing the bills, because of concern that they were not fiscally responsible.

While Bevin spent much of the news conference noting the deficiencies of the far-reaching pension bill passed two weeks ago, he said it was a small step in the right direction and did not indicate that he would veto the bill.

But some felt the issue would come down to whether the House and Senate want to override the governor's vetoes, with Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Republican, saying the House will have the votes for an override.

Shell said the state needs "to grow our economy through tax reform while also investing heavily in the very things our budget funded: pensions, public education and public safety among other things". "We believe Gov. Bevin would be best served to meet with legislators to understand their thoughts and rationale before making a final decision on vetoing the revenue and/or budget bills".

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The bill applies Kentucky's 6 percent sales tax to 17 services, increases the cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack, and cuts the individual and corporate income tax to a flat 5 percent tax. No Democrat voted for the bill in either chamber. The governor subtly referenced the protesting teachers who packed the halls in Frankfort last week, adding that the people who were really upset by the budget and tax bills after their passage were the "job creators" and taxpayers "who are paying for it".

"I supported the revenue bill because I saw the budget, revenue bill and pension reform (bill) as a three-legged stool all tied together", Bowen said.

"We believe Governor Bevin is misguided in his interpretation of the budget and the revenue bills, as we are comfortable with LRC staff revenue projections". The Jefferson County Teachers Association, which represents one of the largest school districts in the country, urged its members to take a personal day on Friday to come to the Capitol and urge lawmakers to override the vetoes. "Whether they override the veto or put in separate legislation, cities hope to see some type of action to ensure the phase-in when the legislature reconvenes on Friday, April 13".

He says he does applaud the legislators who have made hard and unpopular decisions to try to fix the budget. The Republican-proposed tax bill increased taxes on the working class of Kentucky and the budget bill continues the war on public education.

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Bevin said lawmakers "probably" can't re-do the budget and tax measure in the two days before they adjourn.

Local reaction mixed to Bevin's budget, tax plan vetoes