Really, using excess coal severance tax funds to help balance the state’s budget?
LOUISVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear defended his plan Friday to divert about $17.5 million headed for coal counties to help address a $456 million state budget shortfall.
But the Democratic governor added that he was “open” to discussing the move with state legislators.
House Speaker Jody Richards and several state lawmakers and officials from coal-producing counties oppose using excess proceeds from the coal severance tax to balance the state budget.
Richards, D-Bowling Green, said it would be unfair to impact particular geographical regions of the state. Coal counties, particularly rural areas in Eastern and Western Kentucky, have come to rely on coal severance tax receipts as a major source of their revenue.
Let’s just talk about this for a second.
Has the Governor ever stepped foot in some of these counties in eastern and western Kentucky? Does he realize there’s a reason that Appalachia, in particular, is the most impoverished region in the United States?
We thought the idea of Beshear’s public tour was to make him seem more “in touch” with reality. And. Um.
What the heck are these people thinking?