Stay Connected

Gov. Bevin’s first year has been a failure for Kentucky

Gov. Bevin’s first year has been a failure for Kentucky, a success for his politics

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2016) – Today the Kentucky Democratic Party released an end-of-year review of Gov. Matt Bevin’s performance in his first year in office.

Gov. Bevin scores an F on jobs

After a year in office, Kentucky ranks in the bottom of states that exhibit serious signs of fiscal distress. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked Kentucky 46th for fiscal condition in 2016.

Kentucky is losing jobs. According to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, from January 2016, when Bevin first took office, until June 2016, Kentucky lost, on average, 500 jobs per month. In June of 2016, Kentucky’s job deficit had grown by 20,000.

Kentucky is losing critical manufacturing and construction jobs. According to the Office of Employment and Training, in August 2016 construction sector jobs dropped by 400 and Kentucky’s manufacturing sector declined by 4,300 jobs compared to July 2016.

Recently, Gov. Bevin’s administration announced that unemployment had fallen in 82 counties. However, that is actually worse than the previous year, when unemployment fell in 109 counties during the same time period.

Gov. Bevin scores an F on education

Bevin is cutting education, and his policies are hurting Kentucky’s students and families who are trying to work their way to a brighter future and secure a steady job. His actions are jeopardizing the future of public universities.  

In September, the Kentucky Supreme Court agreed with Attorney General Andy Beshear that Gov. Bevin broke state budget laws and did not have the authority to cut nearly $18 million from the state’s public universities and community colleges. The Supreme Court had to order that Bevin return the money. While the case was in court, Bevin’s actions caused tuition increases for many college students, and hundreds of faculty members lost their jobs or were furloughed. 

Gov. Bevin removed funding supporting students who wanted to obtain a two-year associate’s degree when he vetoed House Bill 626. The Work Ready Kentucky initiative was part of the budget passed by the 2016 General Assembly. Gov. Bevin also vetoed $9.4 million to fund the scholarships to help Kentucky families.

Gov. Bevin denied need-based college tuition grants. The governor denied about $40 million in additional funding over the next two years to support Kentucky students in need.

Gov. Bevin broke state laws, and a judge had to issue a restraining order to stop his actions at the University of Louisville, which led to the university being placed on probation by its accrediting agency.

Gov. Bevin scores an F on health and wellness

Gov. Bevin’s plan to dismantle Kentucky’s successful health care exchange, a national model of success, and his roll-out of the flawed $100 million Benefind system, have had disastrous consequences, including lost benefits and crucial medical treatments for Kentuckians.

Under the previous governor, Medicaid expansion was credited with dropping the percentage of uninsured in the state by half and providing health coverage to more than 400,000 Kentuckians. In June, Bevin said if the federal government did not approve his changes to Medicaid, he would end expanded Medicaid in Kentucky. Kentucky’s current Medicaid system has had a positive impact on our economy, including more than $2.9 billion in impact for health care providers.

Gov. Bevin cut cancer screenings and other services for Kentuckians. He vetoed sections of the budget bill passed by the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly in order to remove a $1 million funding directive to support colon cancer screening programs in Kentucky; $1 million for women receiving breast and cervical cancer screenings; and $1.1 million for emergency shelter services for children.

Gov. Bevin scores an A on pay-to-play politics

Gov. Bevin used taxpayers’ money $500,000 contract to an Indiana-based law firm that has donated to Republican campaigns. The money is going to pay two of the firms’ attorneys, who work to support the Republican Party, to investigate people and offices that Gov. Bevin chooses.

Gov. Bevin is fundraising for his 2015 campaign, which owes him approximately $4 million. This means that his fundraisers can put money right back into his pocket.

Gov. Bevin scores an A on intimidation

Two state lawmakers have come forward to say Gov. Bevin and his chief of staff intimidated and threatened them along with at least three other Democratic lawmakers to switch political parties.

Gov. Bevin lied when he denied he met with lawmakers, screaming at a reporter that it was “an absolute lie” and had “no corroboration.” Later, the truth came out that the meeting did take place.

Gov. Bevin even left a threatening voicemail on one legislator’s phone implying political retribution if the lawmaker didn’t switch political parties. Later, a crucial road project was halted in the legislator’s district, costing taxpayers $625,000 for a construction company to do nothing.

Gov. Bevin made a misleading video claiming lawmakers weren’t in chambers doing their jobs. Lawmakers were actually working in the building next to Bevin’s office, and it became obvious Gov. Bevin’s video was a sham and a political stunt.

Gov. Bevin made a campaign vow that he’d release his tax returns after the election. So far, he has not. He lied to Kentuckians.

After Gov. Bevin said he supported the Real ID legislation that passed by the House and the Senate, he vetoed it. The law would have made Kentucky compliant with new minimum security standards for state-issued drivers licenses, fulfilling a recommendation made after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In October, the federal government denied Bevin’s request to extend Kentucky’s deadline to comply — and now Kentuckians may be forced to apply for and have passports to board domestic flights. This action is contrary to Bevin’s claim of cutting “red tape” in an effort to make government work for taxpayers and not against them.


The Kentucky Democratic Party is comprised of more than 1.68 million registered Democrats who support issues that enhance the fair treatment of all Kentuckians. Visit for more information.