Gov. Steve Beshear has vetoed part of a bill that appropriates money from the state’s settlement with tobacco companies.
The bill had set aside money to fill an estimated $26.6 million shortfall to fund agriculture, lung cancer research and early childhood programs.
The governor deleted the line that would have appropriated $26.6 million, saying that the shortfall has grown to $37 million.
“Taking this action now provides a solution to this late-breaking problem and avoids budget cuts to the very same programs for which the General Assembly, in this bill, provides additional funding for next year,” Beshear said in his veto statement.
The bill restores funds to several programs that are funded by a multi-state, multi-million dollar settlement stemming from a 1998 lawsuit against tobacco companies. Additional money for the programs comes from a smaller settlement Attorney General Jack Conway secured from tobacco companies last year.