Four years ago, our Commonwealth was faced with an immediate $300 million deficit; Medicaid faced an immediate $500 million shortfall and was cutting eligibility for programs like senior care; and Kentucky's tax code was outdated, which treated the poor more harshly than most any other state in the union.
We, as citizens of Henry County, understand that when we overspend our family budget, everyone in our family has to make drastic changes to ensure financial sercurity and that it takes sacrifices on everyone's part. This is what Governor Ernie Fletcher had to ask us as citizens to do. As a result, Governor Fletcher was able to balance the budget and to cut personal income taxes for 78 percent of working Kentuckians.
As with all past Governors, Governor Fletcher has made mistakes but his results outweigh any negatives that we may hear about his administration. During the last four years, his administration has achieved the following:
1. Kentucky has gained over 100,000 jobs between January 2004 and July 2007.
2. Promoting Tourism increased revenue by 23.8 percent and added 6,000 jobs to the state economy.
3. Negotiating the hosting of World Equestrian Games for 2010 will bring at least 500,000 people and this gives Kentucky the opportunity to showcase our state for greater economic development.
4. Creating ICARE (Insurance Coverage Affordability and Relief for Small Employees) provides small businesses assistance to offer affordable insurance coverage for their employees.
5. For Health Care Reform, Governor Fletcher has directed changes in several laws designed to bring choice and competition to Kentucky's insurance market.
6. Medicaid is being analyzed to improve effectiveness and to eliminate waste and abuse so that eligible Kentuckians can receive the needed services. The process has made our Medicaid a national model.
7. Infrasturcture Development has included expanding broadband access to nearly 90 percent of Kentucky and in 2007, Governor Fletcher's comprehensive Energy Strategy was passed by the legislature to bring energy projects to Kentucky.
8. Ending the Patronage System: Governor Fletcher worked hard to eliminate the patronage bosses who would determine where the infrastructure funds were spent instead of the local officials. Henry County received more than $61 million during the last four years, even though our county judge-executive is not republican.
Reflecting over the last four years, Henry County and the Commonwealth have benefited greatly from Governor Fletcher's Administration. He definitely has placed an emphasis on our needs more than on party affiliation. My family and I supported Governor Fletcher four years ago and we will continue to support this governor who is willing to make tough decisions and who keeps Kentuckians foremost in his decision-making. Thank you for thinking about the information that we have offered.
Homer, Nellie and Jeff Druin