WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed January 18, 2006
Governor's Budget Address
Frankfort, KY – Lawmakers were digesting Governor Fletcher's proposed budget Wednesday morning.
One of his proposals Tuesday night could help end the $130 million shortfall that has plagued medicaid. Deputy state budget director Beth Jurek says the shortfall should be eliminated under the Governor's plan.
She cautioned, though, that medicaid has always been a volatile program and that sometimes unforeseen problems arise.
The budget plan earmarks a $109 million increase from the state general fund for medicaid next year and a $149 million increase suring fiscal year 2008.
Union workers protested outside while Fletcher unveiled a plan that would reduce hourly wages for blue-collar tradesmen who work on public construction projects.
Fletcher also proposed initiatives that would increase teacher salaries, pay for medical care for children and senior citizens, deal with severe prison overcrowding and build arenas in Louisville and Lexington.
The proposal to repeal the state's prevailing wage law could be a sticking point in later budget negotiations between Fletcher's Republican administration and the Deocrat contolled House. House Speaker Jody Richards has said the proposal will not pass.