Damnit to hell. You try to host a fancy party and get sucked into working because the Governor and everyone else in Frankfort try to bury the bad news on Friday evening. How original.
Here’s Steve Beshear’s complete statement about the projected/alleged $996 Million budget shortfall and the special session he’s calling for June 15th:
“The Consensus Forecasting Group has made clear today the significant budgetary challenge before us. We now face a $996 million shortfall for the General Fund and a $239.1 million shortfall for the Road Fund next budget year, beginning July 1, 2009.
It is the largest budget shortfall in modern Kentucky history. And it represents the third year in a row that projected revenues have not met projected needs in our state – also an unprecedented occurrence. It is our responsibility to address this challenge and do so quickly. Agencies and departments throughout state government that provide vital services need time to adjust their budgets. School districts have to make decisions before the start of another year. Universities and other areas that depend on us need time to plan.
By law, the legislature and I must approve a new budget. So, I will be a calling a special session, starting June 15, to take on that challenge. In the next few days, I will be issuing the official call for the special session and announcing my budget proposal for the General Assembly’s consideration. There will be pain associated with further spending reductions, on top of the nearly $600 million we’ve already cut in the past 18 months. But that’s no different than what families across the Commonwealth also are facing. Our priorities will be holding the line on taxes for working families already struggling to make ends meet; maintaining investments in our school children; preserving commitments to the health care needs of our most vulnerable and the safety of our people.
Now, once again, is the time for us to come together as leaders, regardless of party label, position or branch of government. We must make tough decisions that are fiscally responsible, while being mindful that tough times will not end with this budget. The consensus group’s planning estimate for the next biennium makes clear that we are in the midst of a significant three-year budget challenge. How we handle this coming year’s budget will, in large part, determine what resources we have to deal with future budget challenges.
I’m confident that, as before, we will come together in the best interests of our state and our people.”
Never to be outdone, here’s Greg Stumbo’s statement about the same:
“Today’s forecast should not be a surprise, given the extended downturn in the nation’s economy. The main hope is that economic conditions are beginning to improve and we can now begin the long, slow climb back to prosperity. Fortunately, the federal stimulus money will help cushion the impact of this deficit, though no one should expect the next two years to be easy. Our goal in the House is to continue doing all we can to maintain essential health services and education spending, and we will try to do just that during the special session. As I have said before, now is not the time to raise taxes on Kentucky’s working families; just as they have had to tighten their belts, so will we as a state.”
Don’t even have the energy or desire to bitch and moan about this. Because we all know it’s a flustercuck waiting to happen.
So. You do it. Commence the bitching and moaning.