A second state budget secrecy bill could be headed to Kentucky and its success in another state exemplifies why Kentucky needs a stronger state Auditor, said Linda Greenwell, Republican candidate for Auditor of Public Accounts.
Yesterday, the Texas legislature passed a bill that would allow that state to ignore new federal accounting regulations meant to prevent governments from hiding pension deficits. It should never have happened there, Greenwell said, and we can't afford for it to happen here. Greenwell said the public needs to be aware of this move before Kentucky legislators try it, and a competent state auditor would make sure they were.
"The current Auditor said nothing when Rep. Harry Moberly (D-Richmond) tried to shut the public out of the entire budgeting process earlier this year," Greenwell said. "There is no reason to expect her to stand up to a fancy trick to pretend state pensions are just hunky-dory now. This is the taxpayers' money and I think they deserve more than political games from their Auditor."
Kentucky taxpayers are swimming in a sea of red ink because Frankfort politicians have fought for three decades any efforts to clean up what is now an $18 billion tidal wave of unfunded pension liabilities for state workers and retirees. Recognizing the problem and not covering it up is what Kentucky needs and offering active oversight is the reason Greenwell said she is running for Auditor.
"The Auditor can't just sit back and wait till it is her turn to run for governor," Greenwell said. "We should all know by now the old way of doing things doesn't work anymore. Governor Fletcher has tried to change the culture in Frankfort, but he can't get over the hump these next four years with an Auditor who is primping for her next race."