Now that the General Assembly has finally settled on what it calls a budget, Governor Fletcher can approve it as written or veto selected provisions on a line-item basis.
Budgets are supposed to identify what's needed, and then figure out how it can be paid for with available resources. But the problem with this one is that we're almost 2.4 billion dollars short when it comes to paying for everything our legislators want. And everyone seems content to just say "charge it."
When money is this tight, spending should be restricted only to projects that are absolutely necessary or will generate enough revenue to pay for themselves.
So why have we budgeted two million dollars for a statue of Abe Lincoln on Louisville's waterfront? Or 1.7 million for something called the "Battle of Richmond Association?" And why did Lyndon and Middletown each get $250,000 they didn't even ask for?
If money trees were real, these would probably be fine things to support. But when there's not even enough cash to go around for essential services, expenditures like these simply defy logic. And believe me, they're just the tip of the iceberg.
I hope Governor Fletcher agrees, and that he has a very sharp pencil on hand as he exercises his veto power.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.