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Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo today announced that they would each take a 10 percent reduction in pay for calendar year 2009.
Several senior members of the Beshear administration – Executive Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes, Chief of Staff Adam Edelen, Deputy Chief of Staff Vince Gabbert, General Counsel Ellen Hesen and Communications Director Jay Blanton – will also take 10 percent cuts in pay for 2009.
“The lieutenant governor and I feel strongly – as the top two elected officials in the state – that we have an obligation to make tough decisions. If we are to cut and reduce state government, the two of us – and our senior team – must signal that we are willing to share in the sacrifices that will and must be made,” Gov. Beshear said.
“The two of us believe that we should not ask of others without making some personal sacrifice,” he added. “Today’s announcement reflects our desire to let the people of this commonwealth – and our employees throughout state government – know that we are in this together.”
Gov. Beshear said he recognizes that the action will not substantially affect the $456.1 million shortfall confronting the state in this fiscal year. Gov. Beshear said he will put forward a proposal to address the shortfall in the next few days after more analysis with his budget team and the chance to discuss options in detail with legislative leadership. Without question, that plan will include additional spending cuts, but might also include a proposal for additional revenue if cuts are so deep that they “threaten to send the state significantly backward in critical areas of basic services,” Gov. Beshear said.
Above all, though, the governor said the reduction in pay for 2009 reflects his desire to demonstrate a sense of “shared sacrifice” with employees in state government and families across the commonwealth who are faced with difficult decisions each day and the need to make priorities.
“Today’s announcement reflects our desire to let the people of this commonwealth – and our employees throughout state government – know that we are in this together,” Gov. Beshear said. “Together, we will experience pain. Together, we will face what only can be called tough choices.
“But, together, we will survive. I am as confident of that today as I have ever been. And by making those tough choices together, we will position our state for better days ahead.”