A state budget plan awaiting action by a Kentucky House panel sticks with the governor's recommendation for a funding increase for elementary and secondary education.
The House version outlined Monday drops a recommendation by Gov. Steve Beshear that would have let county property valuation administrators charge new fees to special taxing districts. The House plan provides an extra $2 million in operating funds for PVAs.
The House budget committee could vote on the plan Tuesday. The full House is expected to take up the budget this week.
The House plan closely mirrors Beshear's proposal to increase funding for the state's main funding formula for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms. Rep. Kelly Flood says the proposal will result in better education.
The House plan includes funding to hire more social workers and provide pay raises for court employees.
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.