Gov. Andy Beshear pictured at a March 23, 2020 press conference.
Washington, DC CNN  — 

Kentucky’s governor on Saturday said he “strongly disagrees” with Mitch McConnell on the Senate Majority Leader’s comments that declaring bankruptcy might be best for state and local governments.

Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, in an interview with CNN’s Ana Cabrera, took an opposing view to McConnell’s previous remarks about the financial situation in states amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, calling the option of bankruptcy “disastrous.”

“But I very strongly disagree with them here as does every other governor in the country regardless of party. I hope those comments were off the cuff. I hope they were in reference to something else because bankruptcy for a state would be disastrous,” said Beshear on CNN’s Newsroom.

Beshear was responding to comments McConnell made Wednesday against more funding for state and local governments in the wake of the coronavirus, saying that Republicans are not interested in “revenue replacement for state governments” or “solving their pension problems.”

McConnell’s words came a day after the Senate approved a $484 billion bill to help small businesses and hospitals respond to the outbreak. The measure did not include funds for state and local governments, despite Democrats arguing they are hard hit by the disease and the corresponding economic fallout.

Instead, McConnell, a Republican, has suggested in interviews that Democrats are trying to get the federal government to essentially bail out state and local governments for decisions they made related to public pension obligations and other sources of expensive debt.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” McConnell told Hugh Hewitt in a radio interview. “It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

Beshear went on to say that bankruptcy would leave states’ fiscal problems in the hands of the judicial system which could lead to cuts to critical sectors of their governments.

“(R)emember, that puts you in the hands of a federal judge and that judge could do anything from raise taxes on your people, which we can’t handle right now, to making disastrous cuts, to law enforcement and education and health care. So we must, must have federal support for state and local budgets,” Beshear added.

CNN’s Ted Barrett and Manu Raju contributed to this story.