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.
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.
Negotiators for the Senate and House have started talks to work out disagreements on spending priorities for a new state budget in Kentucky. A group of Representatives and Senators held their initial meeting this morning on the two year, 19.5 billion dollar budget.