Beshear, Cameron talk economic plans at Kentucky Chamber of Commerce meeting

(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:39 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron took the stage to break down their plans for the Commonwealth’s economy at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

Each candidate had a half hour to answer questions from a moderator about their economic plan ahead of the general election.

Back in July, the Kentucky Chamber released what it’s calling “Kentucky’s Winning Strategy,” a 10-point plan that outlines goals for everything from tax reform to economic development.

The candidates were asked about many of those topics at the forum Wednesday.

When asked about his plan for tax reform, Cameron zeroed in on eliminating Kentucky’s income tax.

“I will be the only candidate here tonight that will tell you I want to eliminate Kentucky’s income tax,” Cameron said.

Beshear defended his decision to veto a bill that would have lowered the income tax and criticized what it would take to get to a 0% income tax.

“He could only do it one of two ways,” Beshear said. “First, he would dramatically increase the sales tax and apply it to things like groceries and medicine because you can’t come up with enough revenue otherwise, or gut public education, public safety, and healthcare.”

Both candidates emphasized that their administration will have a focus on public education, with Beshear pointing to his Education First Plan and Cameron pointing to his Cameron Catch Up Plan.

“He shut our schools down for nearly two years,” Cameron said. “Our kids have significant learning loss because of it. Because of that learning loss, our kids could, based on the reports that are out, lose out on tens of thousands of dollars of earning income and potential.”

“Our Education First plan would provide an 11% across-the-board raise for every public school employee,” Beshear said. “It would allow us to hire enough bus drivers to make sure that every child is safe and every child can get to school.”The candidates also addressed how they plan to tackle the state’s worker shortage and grow the workforce.

Beshear said his plan would begin by recruiting high schoolers into the workforce and improving access to childcare.

”The first way is to make sure we don’t lose a single graduating senior from any of our high schools,” Beshear said. “Childcare is a huge issue and the fastest way to get those that are out of the workforce back in, we saw it in Washington D.C, is to fund universal Pre-K for every four-year-old in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Meanwhile, Cameron re-emphasized his plan to create work requirements in order for able-bodied Kentuckians to receive Medicaid.

“One of the things I will do as the next governor of Kentucky is apply for a waiver with CMS to have those work requirements as it relates to able-bodied participants,” Cameron said. “I want to establish a culture of work here in Kentucky and I think it’s unfortunate that over the last three and a half years, Andy Beshear has in many ways established a culture of dependency on government.”

To learn more about the candidate’s platforms, you can visit Cameron and Beshear’s campaign websites.