Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bevin Goes For the Gold: No Government At All

No highways, bridges or local airports.  No parks.  No services for veterans.  No public hospitals. No state police.  No funding for local government - firefighters, rescue squads - at all. Prisons, though.  Lots and lots of private prisons sucking up the tax dollars we will still be paying for no government.

Jack Brammer and John Cheves at the Herald:

A conference committee of Kentucky lawmakers worked into the night Tuesday to craft a two-year, $21 billion spending plan for the state.

They had motivation. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said earlier in the day that he wouldn’t call a special session of the General Assembly in coming months if lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget by the time they adjourn Friday.

Only the governor may call a special session and set its agenda. Lawmakers determine how long it lasts, at a cost to taxpayers of $62,000 a day.

“I will not reward the inability to do a job,” Bevin said.

Without a budget in place when the next fiscal year begins July 1, there would be severe limits on how Bevin could spend money. Nobody knows exactly what those limits are, but a 2005 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling against then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher indicated a governor operating without an approved budget could appropriate funds only for items covered by a statutory, constitutional or federal mandate.

Examples listed in the Supreme Court’s decision included salaries for the governor, lieutenant governor, lawmakers, judges and commonwealth’s attorneys; “an efficient system of common schools,” as the state’s 1891 Constitution refers to K-12 schools; old-age pensions; prisons; and a state militia. State spending on more modern items, such as social services and parks, don’t appear to be covered. And it’s not clear how the state universities would be affected.
The first rich businessman who ran for governor on a "run government like a business" platform was John Y. Brown Jr., who ran the state so far into the ground that Kentuckians lost their minds and elected a woman to succeed him.  Martha Layne Collins actually did a great job of boosting the state's economy by luring Toyota here, but her lite guv Steve Beshear lost the 1987 primary to another "don't know nuthin' 'bout gubmint" bidnessman: Wallace Wilkinson.  We're still living with Wally's destruction.

But both John Y and Wally were technically Democrats, who had the sense to stop short of eliminating state government all together.

Repug libertarian fuckhead Matt Bevin doesn't give a shit about anything but making himself and his billionaire buddies even richer by gutting Kentucky and sucking up the remains.

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