Some of the state's top economists are forecasting that modest growth in Kentucky's economy will add nearly $500 million in revenue to the state's General Fund budget by 2016.
Revenue will swell from more than $9.5 billion in the 2014 fiscal year to nearly $9.8 billion in 2015 before hitting $10 billion for the first time in 2016.
The economists, serving on a government advisory panel known as the Consensus Forecasting Group, reviewed the latest economic trends during a four-hour meeting Thursday, concluding that Kentucky will continue on a path of recovery.
The panel's chairman, Eastern Kentucky University professor Frank O'Connor, described the predicted growth as "just modest, not robust." O'Connor said he expects more spending on big-ticket items like automobiles as the economy continues to improve.