Gov. Beshear talks jobs, National Guard security and same sex marriage at Capitol news conference
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Governor Steve Beshear is depositing more than $80 million into the state's savings account.
So why, does Kentucky now have money left over after years of cuts?
A growing economy, security for the National Guard and the continuing controversy over same sex marriage, Gov. Beshear addressed all those topics at a Capitol news conference.
When there's a business ribbon cutting or a ground breaking, you'll likely find Gov. Beshear.
For months, he has been highlighting the drop in unemployment and the rise in tax revenues. “We grew our revenues not by raising taxes. We grew them the old-fashioned way. We earned it. We earned it by growing our economy,” said Beshear.
Now Beshear says the state has a budget surplus, and he's depositing more than $80 million dollars into the rainy day fund for emergencies.
“That brings the so-called rainy day fund balance to $209.4 million,” he said.
That's the highest amount in almost a decade.
But while Beshear points to a booming economy and balanced budget, the state still faces a multi-billion dollar unfunded pension liability.
“There's not enough money in anybody's budget to solve this problem overnight. But we didn't get into the situation overnight, and it's going to take years to build our way out of it,” said Beshear.
And after five service members were gunned down in Tennessee, Beshear says he has reviewed security at National Guard facilities.
He says Kentucky has been proactive in allowing guard members to defend themselves.
“Our active Guard members, assuming that their commanding officer authorizes it, can already carry weapons,” he said.
Beshear again had a message for county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses in protest of the Supreme Court's legalization of same sex marriage.
“If you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfill your duties that you were elected to do, then obviously an honorable course to take is to resign and let someone else step in,” said Beshear.
When asked, Beshear again declined to give his own opinion on the same sex marriage ruling.
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