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Since his first election in 2015, Governor Matt Bevin has been a positive force for freedom and liberty in Kentucky. Always looking out for his constituents and walking the walk he talks, Bevin has acted consistently in line with the platform he laid out in his “Blueprint for a Better Kentucky” before his first term. Taking a quick look back to these promises reveals that Bevin has gone above and beyond his call of duty as governor.
Enacting Pro-Business “Right to Work” Legislation: In January 2017, Governor Bevin signed into law right-to-work legislation that, as he noted in his 2019 State of the Commonwealth address, contributed to “$17.7 billion in new private capital investment in our commonwealth the last three years, along with 49,870 jobs.”
Modernizing Kentucky’s Tax Code: In April 27, Governor Bevin signed into law comprehensive tax reform legislation that lowered individual and corporate income taxes to a flat 5 percent and eliminated many unequal deductions and credits in the code. As a result, Kentucky now has the 10th lowest income tax in the country.
Resolving Our Pension Crisis: In July 2019, Governor Bevin signed into law a pension reform bill that addresses the wobbly quasi-government pension program in Kentucky, representing a step in the right direction for addressing the remainder of the pensions.
Reforming Kentucky Government: Since he took office, Governor Bevin has made it a priority to cut red tape in Kentucky. As of June 2019, of Kentucky’s 4,700+ administrative regulations, 628 have been repealed and 693 have been amended. In total, 27 percent of the commonwealth’s regulations have been repealed or amended, creating immense relief for businesses to grow and lifting up all Kentuckians with the ensuing economic growth.
Modernizing Kentucky’s Education System: In 2017, Governor Bevin helped the commonwealth prioritize its education spending to best equip its students for the economy they live and work in. Investing in the Work Ready Skills Initiative and the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship aligns Kentucky’s educational system with its workforce.
Improving Kentucky Healthcare: In 2016, Governor Bevin led an effort that resulted in Kentucky becoming the first state to have its Section 1115 Medicaid waiver approved to substantially reform its Medicaid system. This waiver was reapproved in 2018 with work requirements, meaning that some adult beneficiaries must work or participate in “community engagement” activities to remain eligible for Medicaid.
Fighting Federal Government Overreach: As a firm believer in federalism, and in keeping with the constitutionally-outlined balance of power between levels of government,, Governor Bevin has fought at every turn for less federal involvement in state and local issues. From opposing Common Core education standards to blasting the largesse of the Environmental Protection Agency, Governor Bevin has been a powerful force in Kentucky for supporting the Commonwealth’s right to act in its own interest.
In addition to making great strides in each of these seven areas from the “Blueprint for a Better Kentucky,” Bevin has been a standout governor on other issues as well. Namely, he has made criminal justice reform a key priority in his administration, for the good of his entire state.
Since 2015, Kentucky has enacted smart-on-crime criminal justice reform to build on its initial foray into sentencing reform, probation and parole reform, as well as prison reform. Governor Bevin has signed into law multiple bills promoting second chances and rehabilitation, which include implementing record expungement for certain ex-offenders, eliminating some prohibitions on occupational licensing, ending imprisonment for failure to pay certain court fines and fees, and enacting further probation reform surrounding technical violations.
Furthermore, he used his executive power to work within the legal structure of the Commonwealth to enact fair chance hiring via executive order within the government and challenged the private sector to do the same. Employment is a top predictor of recidivism for ex-offenders, and Governor Bevin has shown immense leadership in not only recognizing but also in acting on ways to reduce unemployment rates among returning citizens.
Evidently, Governor Bevin has done worlds of good for the Commonwealth of Kentucky through nothing more complicated than sticking to his promises and following through on the principles of liberty he believes in. It is clear that these principles are effective and that Kentucky will be better for his hard work now and into the future.