Two weeks ago it was the State of the Commonwealth. Tonight, Governor Steve Beshear carries the heavy burden of a huge budget deficit and his ideas on how he will solve the state’s money woes to the General Assembly.
His remarks will be carried live on KET at 8:00/7:00 pm Central.
Kentucky’s state revenue picture is not pretty. To borrow an oft-used phrase from last year’s presidential campaign, it’s going to be awfully hard for the governor to “put lipstick on a pig” and make this address to a joint session of the Kentucky House and Senate a cheer leading session for better days ahead. The state coffers are a mess and, it appears, will be that way for some time. It will be interesting, no, fascinating to hear what the governor has outlined.
Some have speculated that he will include expanded gambling in his address tonight as part of his method to pay the bills for the next several years. I don’t think so. I believe Beshear will be forced to look at a continuation of cuts to programs and agencies across the Commonwealth though he has always said he would do his best to avoid deep cuts to education, social services, and public safety.
Our KET coverage begins at 7:00. I’ll be with Mark Neikirt, executive director of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at Northern Kentucky University. Mark will offer his professional analysis before and after the speech. Renee Shaw will take up her post in the House chamber and will have interviews with key lawmakers following Beshear’s address.
Also tonight on KET, at 9:00, we begin the first of four programs examining the details of Senate Bill 1 — the education reform legislation that was passed last year by the General Assembly. There’s a lot to know and understand about how this could possibly change the face of education, teaching, and learning in the Commonwealth. I hope you’ll tune in!