Governor Steve Beshear on Monday offered a positive financial review to members of Kentucky’s higher education community. Beshear admitted he’s a bit envious of Kentucky’s next governor.
That envy comes as Governor Beshear predicts a bright revenue future. He addressed participants at the Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship. “It will be a matter of priorities," Beshear said. "It will be a matter of balancing. But, I’m hoping that the next governor has higher education as one of those priorities.”
Beshear says revenue forecasters are projecting a $219 million surplus by the end of the current fiscal year. Still, the outgoing governor says full tax reform is needed. Louisville Representative Darryl Owens says a solid financial picture may not help. “The good news is that, according to the governor, we’ve turned it around," Owens said. "The bad news is other folks will use that as an excuse not to do tax reform."
Owens agrees with Beshear, it’s not about raising individual taxes, but rather broadening which services and goods are taxed.
Meanwhile, Beshear says economic uncertainty in other parts of the world like China doesn't cause worry about a slowing global economy or long term negative impacts in the Commonwealth.