Henley supports tax increases

Murray, KY – Kentucky state representative Melvin Henley says he supports generating much-needed state income through increasing cigarette and alcohol taxes. Henley says though such increases would be politically unpopular, they could help shield key areas from budget cuts. Governor Steve Beshear has said without state revenue enhancements, cuts to K-12 education, Medicaid, mental health and retardation services, student financial aid and other social service areas are inevitable. Henley says legislators should make protecting such social services a top priority because they serve the state's most vulnerable citizens. He says it appears most state house members support revenue enhancements, but state senators appear resistant to such measures. Kentucky is facing a 456 million dollar budget shortfall. The 2009 Legislation Session convenes next month.