Fletcher Pulls No Punches in State of the Commonwealth Address

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Kentucky's first republican governor in 30 years wasted no time in succinctly addressing the state's fiscal crisis during his first State of the Commonwealth address at the Capitol on Tuesday night.

"Let's not mince words, the government has problems at its very core," Fletcher said.

Fletcher and his administration have already formulated a plan to make up the more than $300 million budget shortfall for this year. The plan includes what Fletcher calls "painful cuts," such as an additional 2.5 percent in the budgets of public universities.

The governor said the state must completely overhaul and modernize its tax code, and do so all at once. Constitutionally, tax overhaul must begin in the Kentucky House, and House Speaker Jody Richards (D)-Bowling Green said the legislature would welcome and examine any tax modernization proposals. "But he (Fletcher) must propose it, promote it, and push it."