Kentucky Lawmakers Approve $20 Billion Budget
By Mike Perleberg
(Frankfort, Ky.) – A budget bill making cuts to a number of state agencies is heading to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.
On Monday, lawmakers in Frankfort approved a two-year spending plan that includes $20.3 billion for education, Medicaid, pensions and other state government services over the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.
According to Capitol News, the Executive Branch budget agreement adds around $189 million in guaranteed base SEEK per pupil funding for schools, protects funding for Medicaid, PVAs and prosecutors, and adds $743 million in new General Fund debt and $721 million in new agency bond debt mostly for postsecondary education.
State employees and teachers will receive raises if the bill is signed into law. State workers will see a raise of at least two percent over the biennium. Teachers will receiver a one percent raise in 2015 with another two percent increase in 2016.
Under the proposed spending plan, many state agencies will see their budgets shrink by five percent. The budget bill also includes 1.5 percent funding cuts for public universities. Lawmakers had originally considered a 2.5 percent cut.
Northern Kentucky University will see $3 million less in funding, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. However, the bond debt authorization does pave the way for NKU’s planned $97 million Health Innovations Center to house healthcare programs.
Kentucky lawmakers have ended their legislative session, but are set to return briefly on April 14 to consider any bills vetoed by the governor.