FRANKFORT, Ky.: According to a comprehensive research study, Kentucky is one of the seven best-managed states in the country.
Governing magazine today issued its Government Performance Project’s (GPP) “Grading the States 2005,” the nation’s only comprehensive, independent analysis of how well each state is managed.
“We made a commitment to the people of Kentucky that we would be good stewards of their money,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said. “Taxpayers can be assured that we are continually searching to find ways to become more efficient and remember our duty of fiscal responsibility. It’s also a testament to the hard work and dedication of our state employees who are working every day to make a difference and improve the important services provided to the people of Kentucky.”
Kentucky was one of five states to receive a B+ score. No state received an A, and only Utah and Virginia had an A-.
The study noted that “Governor Ernie Fletcher has reorganized state government to introduce ‘modern efficiency.’ Agencies are engaged in comprehensive strategic planning that focuses on the long-term goals of programs.”
In addition, despite the absence of a legislatively enacted budget, Kentucky received a B-plus in the category of money.
“The Fletcher administration faced difficult circumstances during the first month in office,” State Budget Director Brad Cowgill said. “We managed a $300 million shortfall and instituted a $110 million budget stability initiative – without raising taxes and without cutting services.”
The state received praise for many other programs and policies, including:
- Maintaining a thorough capital planning process that is increasing its emphasis on public input;
- Making it easier for citizens to access state services and information over the Internet;
- Creating a strong management structure to improve intergovernmental cooperation and resources, especially through the Governor’s Office for Local Development and the Local Initiatives for a New Kentucky (LINK) program;
- Spending nearly twice the average amount on training per employee; and
- Reaching out to colleges, universities and high schools to promote the benefits and opportunities of public service.
Kentucky also received a B+ in 2001, when the last study was completed.
The new GPP report provides state-by-state information, analysis and tools to compare each state. All 50 states received grades in the GPP’s report, which can be found on http://results.gpponline.org and in the February issue of Governing magazine. The project is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.