Five Things to Know Today
Bevin administration says Kentucky faces $1.1 billion budget shortfall over next two years
Gov.-elect Andy Beshear could inherit an estimated $1.1 billion budget shortfall over the next two fiscal years, according to a memo from Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget director.
The Monday memo from John Chilton comes as Beshear, a Democrat, faces a tight deadline for drafting his proposed two-year budget to present to the General Assembly, which is controlled by Republicans. Beshear must submit his proposal by late January for a budget that runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2022.
It’s likely to spark a contentious legislative session in 2020 as lawmakers take up the spending plan with little new revenue, rising costs and a host of competing demands for funding, including public pensions, state employee pay, Medicaid, education, social services and a thus-far unfunded school safety bill adopted in 2019. (Courier-Journal)
Kentucky Board of Education weighs 2020 priorities despite uncertain future under Beshear
Kentucky Board of Education members unanimously approved a legislative agenda Wednesday that they may not be able to see through. Included in their plan is getting funding for full-day kindergarten. (Forward Kentucky)
Bevin, still claiming election fraud, says liberals are ‘good at harvesting’ urban votes
Gov. Bevin said on several radio shows that he lost reelection because of liberals’ success in “harvesting votes” in urban areas, which is illegal. (Forward Kentucky)
With new secretary of state, Kentucky should prepare for voting rights fight
Secretary of State-elect Michael Adams may have pulled off the biggest upset of the 2019 Kentucky election when he handily defeated Heather French Henry in November. On the campaign trail, the 43-year-old election lawyer was known as a wonky contender nicknamed “Niles” — the fussy younger brother on the TV sitcom “Frasier” — by allies.
But Adams is raising the antennas of civil rights leaders and voting rights advocates now that he will oversee the 2020 reelection of his political mentor: Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Courier-Journal)
Kentucky Chamber CEO: ‘We need to raise the gas tax’
Ashli Watts said it plainly: Infrastructure is one of the major challenges facing the state, and to deal with it, we need more funding. (Forward Kentucky)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
[new] Legislators talk bipartisanship in Frankfort – Even though Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly, numerous legislators say they are hopeful for a bipartisan approach in KYGA20. (read)
[new] 🔥Jeff Hoover blisters GOP’s ‘asinine’ bid to limit Democrat Gov.-elect Beshear’s powers – Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover fired off a blistering email Monday saying it would be foolish for the lower chamber to adopt a measure giving the Senate confirmation powers over the governor’s transportation chief. (read)
[new] Rocky Adkins passes on U.S. Senate bid and takes job in Andy Beshear’s administration – Rocky Adkins will join the Beshear administration as a senior adviser, ending months of speculation whether he would challenge Amy McGrath for U.S. Senate. (read)
Want to hire and keep teachers? Keep their defined-benefit pension protected. – Defined benefit pensions are a major factor for retaining teachers in KY, and worries about those pensions are making it hard to hire new teachers. (read)
McGrath, McConnell raise millions — but from where? – Amy McGrath and Mitch McConnell have already raised millions of dollars for the 2020 election. Where are they getting it from, and what does that mean? (read)
🔥 How will Beshear’s first term go? Three viewpoints from three analysts – We asked three different political analysts across Kentucky to give their opinion on how Andy Beshear’s first term as governor will go. And, as luck would have it, we got three fairly different viewpoints – one pessimistic, one moderate, and one optimistic. (read)
[new] Don’t buy the “centrist” argument! – You’re going to hear this argument endlessly from now on: You need a centrist (read corporate Democrat) to beat Donald Trump. Don’t you believe it! (read)
Trump’s fast-food fake out – Don’t be fooled by Trump’s high-brow/low-brow image. It’s a carefully crafted one, meant to impress his supporters – but it’s a fast food fake out. (read)
[podcast] An interview with Sam Newton, Beshear comms director – This week’s show features Sam Newton, comms director for the Beshear campaign. Lots of insights and stories from the campaign trail! Meredith Scalos sat in for Jazmin, who was away. Robert and Meredith spoke about Matt Jones opting out of a run for U.S. Senate as well as the Beshear administration’s transition team. Also, discussions include Louisville Metro’s surplus and a report from a committee looking at public assistance in Louisville. (listen)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
( 🔥indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Pro-impeachment group goes after Mitch McConnell with new TV ad in Kentucky (2,000+ shares)
- Beshears invite all Kentuckians to free Dec. 10 inaugural events, including two balls (859 shares)
- 🔥 Bevin, still claiming election fraud, says liberals are ‘good at harvesting’ urban votes (490 shares)
- Under Trump, LGBTQ progress is being reversed in plain sight (460 shares)
The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.
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