Governor Beshear Holds Town Hall Meeting

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

Governor Beshear is traveling across the state to get feedback about how to deal with a nearly 500 million dollar budget deficit.

Hundreds of people listened to the governor's ideas at The Forum in Hazard and there was mixed reaction.

The demand for coal is keeping prices up and Governor Beshear says the state has received around 17 million dollars more in coal severance tax money than expected.

The governor says he wants to use that money to help balance the budget, but not everyone agrees.

Several coal miners were among those who packed the Hal Rogers Center in Hazard to hear how the Governor plans to balance the states budget.

Governor Beshear says Education, Public Safety, and Healthcare are areas where he hopes to minimize any more cuts.

To help make up the 456 Million dollar budget deficit the Governor is proposing a 70 cent tax increase on cigarettes and dipping into rainy day funds.

“We are looking for money anywhere and everywhere and there is a possibility that some excess coal severance money might be used to do that and I know people got a lot of concerns about that,” Governor Beshear said.

Those concerns were voiced loud and clear.

The Governors proposal can not move forward without the general assembly and state senator Brandon Smith says he is not confident the general assembly will go along with the plan.

“We want to help. We want to participate. But we want have some level of say about where this money goes and to make sure we are not forgotten about and wind up at the bottom of that stack,” Senator Brandon Smith said.

The coal miners also talked about the need to speed up the approval of Hollow Fill permits.

The governor told the crowd the permits were not intentionally being held up they are just working with less staff.

Governor Beshear is expected to be in Corbin Thursday morning to participate in the annual empty stocking fund event.

Around 650 children are expected to attend.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Billy Bob on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:51 AM
    Its socail programs you idoits.We are paying too many folks to sit at at home, and not work.Stop buying votes with our tax dollars.Stop all socail programs its not the bis of goverment to supply income to the lazy, and or the sick.We are being robbed, for the sake of the Democratic party. Now thats a fact.
  • by Seth Location: Harlan Co. on Dec 18, 2008 at 08:54 PM
    Senior Citizen, you can't mean that you support the Governor's idea to take 17 million dollars-worth of our coal severance tax money to help balance the budget. Your county, my county, and all the other coal-producing counties should not have to bear the unfair burden that the Gov. is proposing, when there are other taxes he could rally for that affects the statewide population.
  • by marie Location: hagerhill ky on Dec 18, 2008 at 05:08 PM
    taxing the cigarettes..most people will still smoke. especially the ones on welfare and medicaid. because everything is free to them.the working people pays for their cigs. their medicaid ins. and etc.they dont have to work.their children gets to go to headstart school.but the working people who makes pretty decent money pays for all of this but their children doesn't get to go to headstart because of their income..something is wrong with this picture.doesn't all children deserve the same grand daughter did not get to go to headstart or preschool this year because her parents work and pays taxes for all the others. how do parents explain to their children you can't go to school because mom and dad makes a little more money than we should. stop the nonsence.put some of these people on medicaid and welfare off their behinds..and tell them to get a job.
  • by Gordon Location: Topmost on Dec 18, 2008 at 02:55 PM
    Well, he could take some of the gone with the wind funds back out of the hide of his precedessor, and of course, the honor---- Hal, who handed out cash like it was falling off the trees of beautiful Eastern KY.
  • by Senior Citizen Location: Perry County on Dec 18, 2008 at 01:22 PM
    First I'd like to say GOD BLESS our coal companies and miners. The coal companies have really stepped up, giving to food pantries and families especially during the holidays. Too many people are ready to slander the gov. They are not standing in his shoes. He has a resposibility to the state has a whole not county by county. I do think that that these state employees that are here doing a that brings money into the state funds need to be supported and be allowed to travel to the their job effectively. We have state employees that write citation that brings money in for the state. I personally think that no one should put someone down for trying to do a job when they have never done the job themselves. GOD BLESS ALL OF AMERICA
  • by Reality Location: Kentucky on Dec 18, 2008 at 01:12 PM
    What else is new? This is just a forerunner of what's to come. WAKE UP EASTERN KENTUCKT. Wait a minute, Eastern Kentucky was awake in the last election.
  • by mj on Dec 18, 2008 at 11:48 AM
    they wont increase tax for the alcohol, because of the producers in KY lining their pockets with silver...
  • by COMMON SENSE Location: LEXINGTON on Dec 18, 2008 at 11:21 AM
    All they have to do is tax alcohol, cut the non-merit staff, cut out the state cars, etc. This would save millions. Its simple but for some reason they cannot realize that.
  • by Lou Location: Salyersville on Dec 18, 2008 at 08:55 AM
    How about taxing alcohol, that would bring in millions also, and stop all these silly meetings people are required to attend in Frankfort, conference calls???
  • by c Location: Pikeville on Dec 18, 2008 at 07:17 AM
    More coal severance money should go to the counties that produce the coal and not to Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville and Northern KY, can we get some of their liquor tax to be sent here.
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