When I launched my first campaign for governor, I posted these issues on my website as some that matter the most to me and to our Commonwealth. Now, after our first four years, it is rewarding to see the progress we have made in each area. At the same time, I want to use our second term in office to finish what we have started:
SHRINK THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT
Our nation was founded on a bedrock of individual liberty, limited government, and constitutional principles. We recognized that bloated government is not unique to the federal level and that we would need to shrink the size of government at the state level and that we would need to shrink the size of government at the state level as well. That's why I launched our "Red Tape Reduction Initiative" which was modeled by the White House for a similar effort on the Federal level. Through that program, we have cut over 500 burdensome regulations with more to follow.
In addition, we have cut the size of state government by 10% and made it more efficient and responsive. We have cut hundreds of millions of dollars in wasteful spending.
These efforts have kept my original campaign promise but we are far from finished.
During my first campaign, I was the only candidate willing to state clearly and forthrightly in writing my intention to meet Kentucky's public pension crisis head on. I knew that Kentucky's unfunded pension liabilities were a threat to public safety, education and other viable government services.
That's why I've never wavered from my original promise to give everything I have, including my expertise as a successful businessman in the arena of retirement investments, to fix this problem. It's why I was willing to take the slings and arrows of those who would kick the can down the road and withstand the political pressure that tried to convince me we couldn't afford to fully fund our pension system. I did so because it was the right thing to do.
Now we need to move forward with to complete the fix of this system. I have proven that I am a leader who will not cave to the groundless accusations of those who helped create this crsis. Instead, I won't rest until the pensions are sustainable and can be counted on by our teachers and other public employees.
One of my first acts as governor was to put a stop to the unethical practice of "sweeping" lottery funds to programs unrelated to education. I ensured that 100% of Lottery funds go toward the education system where it was promised.
Also as promised, I have supported school choice and signed the legislation into law to provide that choice.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
As promised, my administration disbanded the enormously expensive Kynect program. We have requested and successfully defended in court a Medicaid 1115 waiver that will be a model for the nation when implemented. This innovative plan will give Kentuckians the input they deserve into their healthcare decisions, provide better health outcomes and result in a healthier Kentucky. Here too, however, our work is not done. We will continue the implementation of this plan in our second term, resulting in millions of dollars of savings for Kentucky taxpayers.
LABOR LAW REFORM
We promised to modernize our labor laws and the fulfillment of that promise is already showing results. By signing laws like Right to Work and Paycheck Protection we helped make Kentucky much more attractive to job creators. The result? Over $18 billion in new investments in our state and 50,000 new jobs created.
PRESERVE KY'S ENERGY SECTOR
We promised to fight against the EPA's war on the energy sector in Kentucky, particularly the relentless attacks on the coal industry. And we've presided over a step change in Kentucky's relationship with EPA. The Trump EPA and Kentucky's Environment and Energy Cabinet have formed a much better working relationship. Both these organizations recognize the essential value of Kentucky coal as an ongoing part of our energy portfolio while fully appreciating and protecting the magnificent environment of this state.
that an "all of the above" energy strategy includes coal and that our commitment to a clean environment for all Kentuckians never wavers.
I promised to update and simplify our antiquated tax code so that we can better compete economically with surrounding states. We've made excellent progress by lowering our individual and corporate tax rates by 17%.
Here too there is more that we can do, more that we will do in our second term to raise the revenue necessary to run our state government effectively and efficiently while leaving as much of Kentucky's wealth as possible in the hands of those who produce it.