For decades, Republicans have predicted that Kentucky was becoming a Red State.
The prediction seemed more reliable than ever late last year, when Matt Bevin was elected governor. Bevin, a Republican businessman, promised reforms seen currently in much of the conservative South.
“I think Kentucky is now moving into that red column, and we are joining our neighbors to the South,” said Steve Robertson, then the chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky.
Bevin, who was supported by Tea Party factions in the Republican Party, promised to scale back the state’s expansion of Medicaid — which he started working on Wednesday — as well as setting his sights on other welfare programs in the state.
Among his proposals was a plan to drug-test welfare recipients. Bevin said during the Republican gubernatorial primary he would also take aim at what he calls “New Deal-type” programs.
The broad spectrum of plans from the new governor means Kentucky could start looking like the state’s southern neighbors, and welfare for low-income people could be scarcer than it’s been in the past couple decades.