A liberal leaning policy institute is suggesting the state focus more on raising revenue and less on cutting social programs. A new report shows that over the past decade the state has had 19 rounds of budget cuts. The governor’s proposed budget includes across the board cuts, as well as reduced funding to some social programs and educational resources.
The report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy says the state could raise revenue by limiting income tax breaks, taxing online purchases and repealing some tax exemptions. Executive director Jason Bailey said lawmakers seem more willing to look at taxes as an option for raising revenue than they have been in the past.
“Not true that we have to cut. We do have another choice we could make, which is to generate some revenue to create a more balanced approach to the issue,” he said.
Bailey said one of the few areas the state needs to look at cutting costs in is the criminal justice system. But he said in the immediate future the state will have to spend more on jails and prisons because of overcrowding. He said certain investments are needed in order to develop Kentucky’s economy.
“Some of the goals around the economy that the governor wants to see in terms of job growth actually require that we invest in those things, that we have a strong education system, that we have a modern infrastructure, that we have a good quality of life. All those things require public services,” he said.
Bailey said the state has already made several cuts aimed at eliminating what have been described as unnecessary government expenditures.