If Tolls Are Out, How Would Bevin Fund Brent Spence Renovation?

Feb 19, 2016

A day after saying he'll support a bill to ban tolling on the Brent Spence Bridge, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is expanding on how he would pay for a replacement.

He says Ohio and Kentucky can come up with a billion dollars each using something called GARVEE bonds, and use that to leverage the rest of the funds from the federal government.

"The question is," he says "'Where does a billion dollars comes from?' There are bonds known as GARVEE bonds and they have been used, and we still have quite a bit of capacity to use them further. They are basically collateralized or secured by the federal highway trust fund dollars that this state gets."

He says the first step is to sit down with Ohio Governor John Kasich. "He's a little busy right now with other things, and that's all right, but there will come a time when we'll sit down and have a conversation as will our respective people and we will move on this."

Bevin also reiterated his plan to paint the bridge and improve the access to it.

Manufacturing

The governor was in Northern Kentucky to celebrate Gateway Community College's new Enhanced Operator certificate program. He says it will boost Kentucky's efforts to brand itself as a manufacturing capital.

"We are going to reinvent the way we sell Kentucky and what it is that we do and do well," says Bevin.

Referring to a t-shirt he was given stating "I made it in NKY," Bevin says "You are going to see that this is going to be something that will start to be a bigger part of the message that we send about Kentucky as a whole."

Pensions

Bevin says Kentucky's pension system has been kicked down the road for too long. "The pension problem is a huge, huge issue. And even what we've proposed to do, as significant as it is and as much angst as it has created among many people, as it relates to the cutting of budgets - we've exempted two-thirds of the dollars; we've asked for nine cents out of the remaining third, and you would think we've asked for peoples' right legs and first born. But the reality is we are going to have to cut somewhere."

Bevin goes on to say that that will still only scratch the surface. "We address it by actually taking it seriously and stop ignoring it. We have to start funding it. There will ultimately be a restructuring of the pension system for those that are not currently in it."