Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beshear legacy: missing billions, hidden details

A newly released official report from Frankfort shows a $2.8 billion increase in budgeted state debt since Gov. Steve Beshear took office in December 2007, while another, more detailed financial report required by law to be released before Election Day remains hidden from the public.

The Semi-Annual Report of the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission indicates state appropriation-supported debt as of June 30, 2015 was $8.9 billion. On December 31, 2007, when Beshear was sworn into office, it was $6.1 billion. Another document, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), shows state government net assets declining from $17.3 billion in 2007 to $10.0 billion on June 30, 2014. The 2015 CAFR is required to be released by the end of September, according to KRS 48.800(3), but is nowhere to be found.

A state finance official stated on background that the report would appear after the November elections.

"Even after blowing $3.7 billion in federal 'stimulus' funds and ignoring billions more in accumulated unfunded pension liabilities, Governor Beshear has obliterated $10 billion in state assets since he has been in office, while annual revenues steadily increased," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "The Beshear legacy is not just one of fiscal mismanagement, but also of lying, spinning and hiding information Kentuckians need to judge whether to grant continued power to his political party or his family."