Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Governor Bevin started his budget address with the famous words of Thomas Paine. In 1776 Paine said "These are the times that try men's souls…."  The analogy is clear. Kentucky is in difficult and trying financial times. His budget proposal allocates $1 billion into the state pension fund. And this means that other areas need to be cut. In fact, a total of 70 state programs will not be funded and most state agencies will face 6.5 percent across the board cuts. Many are already complaining about the budget cuts, but we need to remember that they haven't been enacted into law. That's up to the legislature. But the proposal to tighten the state's financial belt, keep its promises to retirees and live within its means is encouraging to those who care about the fiscal health of the Commonwealth.