Beshear tells lawmakers state needs tax reform

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has made his case for reforming Kentucky's tax structure, saying the state's leaders must stop putting off uncomfortable decisions.

In a speech to a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday, Beshear said massive budget cuts over the past five years have hurt key government programs and that additional revenue is needed to undo the damage.

The second-term Democrat said anticipated revenue growth won't be sufficient. He called on lawmakers to think strategically and act courageously.

Kentucky has had to cut the state budget by $1.6 billion since 2008. That has meant cuts of up to 38 percent for some agencies.

A commission appointed by Beshear has proposed a list of tax reforms that would generate nearly $700 million a year in additional revenue.

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