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Update: The Kentucky State Legislature adjourned early Wed. (April 16) without voting to override any of Gov. Steve Beshear's vetoes, including Connect Kentucky's two-year, $2.4 million budget.
The original story is below:
While Connected Nation is expanding around the country, it hit a big snag at home.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) Monday let the world know what his administration thinks of the controversial Connect Kentucky program. He vetoed $2.4 million in funds for the organization, which was founded under his predecessor, Republican Ernie Fletcher. Background on the program is here.
Connect had tried to obtain a 26 percent increase in funding over the last budget cycle, and Beshear wasn’t going to let them have it at a time when there were severe budget cuts all over the state.
Beshear resisted the full-court press put on the legislature and his Administration by AT&T and its allies, but at the end of the day, CK’s vaunted program was found to be lacking.
Beshear said that the program was being rejected for state financing because it had asked for funds “without specifically indentifying any services to be rendered to the state or providing for any oversight, control or performance measures relative to the services being rendered.”
You can read the veto message here.
Connect still has some options open to it. It can rev up its lobbying operation to try to override the veto, and it can ask for more money from its private sector sponsors. Connected Nation, the new parent organization, is organizing in several areas of the country, obtaining some state and federal funds.
The governor's veto message supported the concept of broadband deployment and said that Connect should try to work out a "fiscally responsible" plan with state government to further what has already been done. Even so, there is some skepticism in Kentucky how that goal will be achieved.