Steve Beshear on Government Reform



Smart Government: sell surplus land, buildings and vehicles

The biggest challenge is finding the resources we need to strengthen our core. After inheriting a global recession, we spent five years bringing common sense to state spending--and we've done so in three ways:
  1. Cuts. We reduced the state budget 13 times in five years, cutting spending by $1.6 billion and trimming the state workforce to its smallest size in nearly four decades. Some agencies have been slashed up to 38%.
  2. We found more efficient ways to run daily operations. Through our multi-year Smart Government Initiative, we've realized both one-time windfalls and annual savings by selling surplus land, buildings and vehicles, consolidating offices, renegotiating contracts and bids, and changing how we buy goods and services.
  3. And we made revolutionary changes to huge budget drains--closing a state prison as part of a wider Corrections reform, privatizing Medicaid and reining in benefits for public employees.
Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Kentucky Legislature , Feb 6, 2013

6-day furlough for state workers; cut top staff salaries 10%

Talking about shrinking government is easy. Actually doing it requires courage and commitment. Faced with crushing shortfalls, we have balanced Kentucky's budget eight times in three years, slashing over a billion dollars in spending.

We have reduced the executive branch to its smallest size in decades, including a reduction in the so-called non-merit work force by an additional $5 million, starting at the highest levels. In my own office, six of the most important jobs--including budget director and chief of staff--are being performed by three people. Perks like take-home cars are a thing of the past. And when we made the tough decision to save $24 million by furloughing most state workers for 6 days, we included my entire staff. I'm taking the 6 days without pay myself, & I also voluntarily cut my own salary an additional 10%--as have my top staff and cabinet secretaries. My message to the people of the state is this: We are in this together. We will share your sacrifice because we work for you.

Source: 2011 Kentucky State of the State Address , Feb 1, 2011

Comprehensive ethics package to restore trust

It is critical that trust and credibility be restored if we’re to accomplish anything else. That’s why I announced just last week a comprehensive ethics package that includes a Constitutional amendment to limit a Governor’s power to pardon. It reduces th Governor’s influence in making appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and requires more disclosure of donations to a public official’s legal defense fund while banning lobbyists and those doing business with the State from contributing.
Source: Kentucky 2008 State of the State Address , Jan 14, 2008

Campaign spending limits with reduced TV rates

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Other governors on Government Reform: Steve Beshear on other issues:

KY Senatorial:
Alison Grimes
Matt Bevin
Mitch McConnell

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Matheson(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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