On the eve of automatic military budget cuts, Fort Campbell's garrison commander said the installation's 8,000 civilian employees could face up to 22 unpaid days off this year.
Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger told reporters Thursday that Fort Campbell's leaders are making budget decisions sometimes on an hourly basis to prepare for $55 million in budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday.
The installation in southern Kentucky is hosting town hall meetings in the coming days with staff and soldiers.
Dellinger said they have to balance providing training for thousands of soldiers who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan this year, while finding savings in areas like civilian employee salaries, maintenance and other operating costs.
The superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park says she's prepared to carry out the first cuts that would take place under sequestration. If Congress and the White House don't work out a deal by Friday, all national parks have been instructed to prepare for five-percent budget reductions.
"Those measures would include a variety of things, including not filling some permanent positions, such as the park electrician, and a variety of other seasonal positions," Sarah Craighead told WKU Public Radio Wednesday.
The Barren County native says the first change the public would experience if sequestration happens would be a delay in the opening of Houchen's Ferry, which had been scheduled for March 10th. The ferry shuttles vehicles across the Green River near Brownsville.
Craighead says hiring will be delayed for at least 11 seasonal positions unless a deal to end the sequester happens soon. Some of those seasonal positions would be for cave guides this summer. The Grand Avenue and Snowball cave tours would also end unless a deal is reached.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he doesn't expect a tax reform package to be brought up for a vote in the current legislative session.
Stumbo told reporters Tuesday that such a package doesn't have the 60 votes necessary to pass in the House.
A special commission appointed by the governor proposed reforms that could generate about $690 million a year in additional revenue.
Stumbo said one of the proposals made by the commission could surface in days ahead as a method of shoring up Kentucky's weakening pension system for government retirees. That proposal calls for raising the cigarette tax from 60 cents to $1 a pack, which could generate $100 million for the pension system.
Legislation to bar state General Fund debt from exceeding 6% has been approved by the full Senate. Republican Senator Joe Bowen of Owensboro has been pushing the measure since last year when a similar measure passed the Senate but died in the House.
Bowen said Kentucky now has $6.3 billion in debt and that, he says, translates to $14,589 in debt for every man, woman and child in Kentucky.
Bowen said lawmakers need to do the right thing by putting a limit on the legislature's credit card. The bill now goes to the House where it faces a shaky future.