Steve Beshear has left himself a way out of the budget mess.
A day after legislators approved a lean state budget; Gov. Steve Beshear said he might veto specific spending items, but not the entire measure. He also warned of a possible special lawmaking session to raise taxes.
David Williams also has a way to save face from this fiasco.
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said it's the governor's responsibility to call a special session if revenue figures fall 5 percent below current projections. The budget bill spells out that shortfalls of less than 5 percent can be addressed by the governor without legislative approval.
Well I can pretty well tell you that the Bush administration will continue to drive the economy into the crapper and Kentucky will follow. Revenue will fall 5% or more below current projections.
So what should Steve Beshear do now?
First, take a red pen to every pork barrel project in the budget.
Second, take a few months to lay the ground work for a special session dealing with tax increases. Twist a few arms, pass out a few goodies, kiss and make nice, or kick butt whatever it takes to get the ducks lined up.
Third, help Greg Stumbo become Speaker of the House. Given recent performance Jody Richards should pass the gavel to someone that might have a clue on how to manage caucus. This one act will improve state government immeasurably. On the well documented in the media personal side, Greg Stumbo is a train wreck, but never underestimate his political skills.
Fourth, actually know exactly what you want out of the session before you start and make sure everyone else knows what the game plan too. People can be convinced raising taxes is necessary, but not if it’s just to pour money into a black hole.
Take the issue to the public and show them graphically what an underfunded state government really means to them personally.