Reducing debt means reducing number of projects, Governor says
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Addressing citizens across the Commonwealth tonight, Governor Ernie Fletcher outlined the need to reduce the amount of debt included in the Kentucky General Assembly’s recently adopted budget.
The budget the Governor signs into law will include a reduction of $370 million in projects through line-item vetoes.
“My selections have been guided by three principles: job creation, regional equity and most importantly, improving your quality of life,” Governor Fletcher said.
Even with the vetoes, the budget will provide more bond funding for universities and community colleges than any budget in the state’s history, including last year’s, Governor Fletcher said.
The level of debt is still more than twice what the Governor proposed in January, and there remains some danger to our credit rating, the Governor said.
“But I have taken the views of the legislature into account, and my action reflects a genuine and legitimate balance between their perspectives and mine,” Governor Fletcher said.
Governor Fletcher also announced that he did not veto the coal severance funds appropriated for the University of the Cumberlands.
“The fact remains: Kentucky has a shortage of pharmacists, particularly in Southeastern Kentucky,” Governor Fletcher said. “This is a difficult issue and one where there is no definitive case law establishing the legality. I believe we need to answer once and for all in Kentucky the legality of funding private faith-based institutions for public purposes. For that reason, I will not veto this project. However, before any money is released to the institution, I am asking the courts to determine the constitutionality of such projects.”
Budget documents, including a list of vetoed items, are available on the Governor’s Web site at http://governor.ky.gov/budget/