The thaw that matters most has occurred in Frankfort, where Senate President David Williams now agrees that state government needs more revenue.
This is a welcome development, because Mr. Williams controls the legislative agenda. His support will be crucial if the General Assembly is to do its job, which is funding the programs and services that Kentuckians need and financing the educational system our future demands.
It is clear, beyond the ability of anti-tax zealots to dispute, that the state budget problem is real. Mr. Williams continues to talk about the need for cutting, and he's right that an honest effort to find operating efficiencies and justifiable reductions is always wise. But it's not possible for lawmakers to responsibly cut -- or tax -- their way out of this dilemma.
The tension is between (1) cutting mercilessly and raising only enough new revenue to balance the books, or, (2) persuading Kentuckians to accept a little extra sacrifice, to position the state for real progress when economic recovery eventually comes.
What's needed is a courageous and forward-thinking choice...