Williams calls for joint interview with Gov. Beshear and talks of state higher education funding

06/07/2012 01:08 PM

Republican Senate President David Williams said his beef with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear isn’t personal. Instead, he said he’s disappointed that the governor hasn’t done more while in office.

“Why didn’t he put out a broad agenda? And the reason is that he’s trying to divert attention from the fact that he doesn’t have an agenda. He has very little accomplishment. And he has very little reason to have optimism about gaining control of the Senate,” Williams said (4:40) before calling for the joint interview with Beshear.

Specifically, Williams said Beshear has avoided doing more to address the unfunded liability of the state employee pension system or work on reforming the tax code. However, Beshear created a blue ribbon commission to look into changing Kentucky’s tax system and will make recommendations by Thanksgiving. Williams said that’s not good enough.

“The governor has excluded the consideration of local taxation from the blue ribbon commission. And he also does not have a plan to draft an actual bill moving forward,” he said. (1:40)

During the governor’s race, Williams suggested creating a tax commission that would hammer out a plan that could be voted on by the legislature either up or down — but couldn’t be altered through amendments. Williams answered questions about why he preferred that to allowing the General Assembly more control. (2:05)

Williams also answered questions about the future of higher education funding in light of the University of Kentucky’s announcement of “significant layoffs,” as the Hearld-Leader reported.

“I’m very concerned about the level of tuition. I’m very concerned about some of the universities wanting to build bricks and mortar (buildings) at the same time as not giving raises to faculty,” Williams said (6:40).

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