Beshear still against tax and pension reform, despite opinions from leaders of both parties

07/07/2011 09:16 AM

Despite calls from leaders of his own party and Republicans, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says he still isn’t in favor of pension and tax code reforms.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Beshear seemed more willing to work with members of the General Assembly on the two issues, but he repeated his positions from earlier interviews with Pure Politics on state pension and tax code reforms.

Last December, Beshear told Pure Politics that he didn’t believe tax reform was an issue to tackle and that the pension system was in good shape if the legislature followed a blueprint set in 2008.

Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein, of Lexington, recently said she had hoped the governor had changed his mind on those issues. Stein says she considered the two issues two of the biggest in front of the legislature. . (6:47 mark of video)

Republican State Sen. David Givens told Pure Politics that pension reform was the “most important” issue in the 2012 session.

Beshear said yesterday he believed reforms passed in 2008 that eliminated pension double dipping, and setting a schedule of funding and changing new-hire benefits have put the pension system on the right track.

Beshear said tax reform is deceptive, and usually includes tax increases along with tax decreases.

Both leaders of the General Assembly, Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Republican Senate President David Williams, who is challenging Beshear in this year’s governors race, have seemingly endorsed a plan to eliminate the corporate income tax.

When asked if he would support any moves to only eliminate taxes, such as the corporate income tax, Beshear repeated his earlier claims about tax reforms and said once again that he wouldn’t support anything that included tax increases.

But he said if legislators wanted to bring proposals to him that didn’t include tax increases, he’d be open to looking at the issue.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.