House Speaker Jody Richards today criticized Governor Ernie Fletcher for claiming credit for legislative successes in education that were accomplished during Richards' leadership in the House of Representatives. Fletcher's latest television ad enumerates several House Bills passed as part of the House Democratic Caucus' "Commitment to Kentucky Families."
"The Governor has forgotten that while these bills were being passed, he was trying to salvage his disgraced, scandal-ridden administration. He needs to be reminded that the General Assembly - not the Governor - is responsible for the higher teacher pay and increased funding for Kentucky schools," Richards said. "While he and others stood idly by, my House colleagues and I led the fight for better education in Kentucky."
The Fletcher ad also claims that he is " lowering taxes for almost everyone," citing his supposedly revenue-neutral 2005 tax modernization plan. The plan, however, has been widely criticized for its tax increases on certain commodities. Last summer, the General Assembly held a special session to correct the Alternative Minimum Calculation (AMC), a major component of Fletcher's tax plan that had a devastating impact on small businesses.
"I am the only candidate in this Primary who has successfully stood up to the Governor time after time," Richards said. "I fought for higher teacher pay, solved the teacher and state employee health insurance crisis when the Governor ignored it, protected small businesses from unfair taxes, and stood firm when the Governor wanted to pass right-to-work legislation. I've never abandoned those fights, and I won't stop fighting for Kentucky families."