Governor Matt Bevin held a public forum in Cynthiana Friday and spoke on a variety of issues. But, the governor spent more than 20 minutes explaining his position on pension reforms. That was met with strong reaction from public educators on the front row.
Retired social studies teacher and Harrison County School Board member Mary June Brunker talked about transportation and extended school service cuts. Bevin said there’s not enough tax money to pay for past pension promises. “Everything has to be paid for by somebody, it does. And when we take a dollar from one place and put it somewhere else, somebody else doesn’t have that dollar. So, yes things have been cut. Of course they have, because we’re actually paying our bills,” said Bevin.
In the middle of the hour plus, sometimes contentious, community forum, Harrison County Judge Alex Barnett welcomed Bevin to Cynthiana. He added that opening up such a session to any question is what he labeled, “brave.”
Brunker believes Bevin is more interested in boosting the economic than addressing public education needs. “And if he had a higher bond rating then his economics can be better placed through the state. Of course my passion and my emphasis is on is what he’s doing to education through the cuts,” noted Brunker.
Bevin cited Tennessee and Indiana, each with roughly two million more people than the commonwealth. He said if Kentucky could see that type of population growth, more tax money could meet many needs. The governor said attracting more people comes with lower taxes.