state budget

Ryland Barton

Attorney General Andy Beshear said there are “significant legal problems” with Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent request for most state agencies to cut their budgets by more than 17 percent.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Beshear said that Bevin can’t make the proposed $350 million in cuts because state law only allows a governor to unilaterally cut budgets if there is an estimated budget shortfall.

“These are the restrictions on what the governor can or can’t do,” Beshear said. “I’m just applying the law as it was passed by the General Assembly.”

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has made a combination of spending cuts and fund transfers to fill a more than $152 million budget shortfall after the state didn’t bring in as much money as predicted last during the last fiscal year.

In a news release, the governor’s office said spending in the three branches of state government would be reduced by $59.3 million.

State agencies will also be required to transfer $77.3 million in restricted funds—money collected through fees, tuition or other charges—to the state’s general fund.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s state agencies will cut 1 percent from their budgets to help avoid a $113 million shortfall. State Budget Director John Chilton ordered the cuts in a letter sent to state cabinet secretaries last week. The letter is in response to economists’ projection that the state will not collect enough money in taxes to cover its expenses by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Chilton said in the letter he was discussing with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin “about any official actions that should be taken to address the budget shortfall.”

Kentucky State President Raymond Burse to Resign

May 23, 2016
Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse is resigning at the end of this week.

In a statement released Monday, Burse says he decided that the "further demands and challenges of Kentucky State must be undertaken by new leadership."

A Harvard-educated lawyer, Burse was named Kentucky State president in October 2014 after a short interim period and made headlines when he gave up $90,000 of his presidential salary to boost the wages of university workers. Burse also served a term as president of the traditionally African-American university in the 1980s.

The university was spared from a recent round of funding cuts imposed by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Burse says in the statement he decided to leave the job after nearly six months of personal assessments and evaluations. His last day is Friday.

Beshear: Budget Shortfall Won't Affect Education

Jun 12, 2014

Recent state revenue receipts show that Kentucky’s real income is falling short of projections and will lead to a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.

State Budget Director Jane Driskell says the state will have to raise revenues by about 12 percent to make up for a nearly $28 million hole that could grow larger if revenues continue to underperform.

But Gov. Steve Beshear, who championed a restoration of education funding during this year’s General Assembly, says if spending cuts need to be juggled to make up for the shortfall, education spending should not be disrupted.

“I can assure you this: The investments that we are making in the next two years in things like education of our kids are not going to be touched," said Beshear.  "We’re not going to interfere with what great steps we have taken to move education forward in Kentucky.”

Beshear says his administration is unsure just how big the shortfall will be, but promised that the budget will ultimately be balanced.

Kentucky Senate Passes New Two-Year Budget

Mar 24, 2014

The Kentucky Senate by a vote of 25-2 has passed a $20 billion, two-year state budget that differs from the House-passed plan on some key points. Eleven senators passed.

The version that emerged Monday significantly reduces the amount of bonded projects.

The proposed Senate version restores a 2.5 percent cut in operating funds for universities included in the House's budget.

But the Senate plan removes a number of bonded construction projects for the universities that the House backed.

Kentucky LRC

A budget proposal to be unveiled by the Kentucky  House of Representatives will closely resemble the $20 billion biennial budget outlined by Gov. Steve Beshear.

House Appropriations and Revenue chair Rick Rand says that that chamber’s budget will be virtually the same as the governor’s, specifically in the area of education. It  largely preserves Beshear’s requests for the funding formula known as SEEK  and implements raises for teachers.

He says that the biggest differences between the House’s proposal and the governor’s plan include rejecting new fees for county property valuation administrators, as well factoring in pay hikes for Legislative Research Commission staff despite cuts to that agency.

“The challenges we had to face were twofold. One was the PVA issue, which obviously we didn’t accept. And then we really felt that, you know, with the governor just took the LRC budget and cut it five percent. it didn’t allow for state employees pay raises, or LRC employee pay raises, or increased cost of retirement, so we added those in.”

Rand says the committee will likely pass a budget bill Tuesday, and he expects the full House to approve the measure on Wednesday.

After that, it will head to the Republican-led Senate.

Commissioner Jonathan Gassett has spent more than $71,000 to attend meetings across the country during a time of financial belt-tightening across state government. That's far more than even the governor's chief industrial recruiter whose job requires extensive travel.

State spending on courthouse buildings is going up even as Kentucky's judicial system struggles to pay for its daily operations.

Tennessee general fund revenues have beaten projections by more than a half-billion dollars with one month left in the budget year. State Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes says collections came in at $130 million above estimates in June, which reflects economic activity from the previous month.