budget cuts

J. Tyler Franklin

Due to a steep drop in money gleaned from taxes during the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky is bracing for a $457 million revenue shortfall by the time it closes its financial books on June 30th.

The shortfall will require Gov. Andy Beshear to make cuts to the current year’s state budget, the spending plan for a wide range of state services like education and health care.

Beshear hasn’t said what he will cut yet, but during his daily news conference on Friday he said cabinet secretaries will help decide.

Mary Meehan

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.

Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Some Kentucky schools canceled planned safety reviews in response to Governor Bevin’s state budget cuts. Bevin proposed the 6.25 percent cuts to most state agencies in response to a $200 million shortfall. One of the schools that canceled its safety review is Marshall County Elementary School, which is in the same district as the high school where a deadly shooting took place last month.

Simpson County Schools Facebook

Educators from across Kentucky will be at the state Capitol this week encouraging legislators to restore funding that’s been eliminated in the governor’s proposed budget. Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed eliminating funding for 70 state programs. More than 40 of those programs are related to education.

Wednesday is Education Advocacy Day at the Capitol, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association.

Jim Flynn is superintendent of Simpson County Schools and chair of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative that represents 43 districts.

J. Tyler Franklin

Leaders of Kentucky’s two largest universities warned lawmakers Thursday that Gov. Bevin’s proposed spending cuts would eliminate crucial programs and scholarships that benefit Kentuckians and attract businesses to the state.

Bevin has proposed cutting most state spending by 6.25 percent and eliminating 70 programs — many of which are in higher education.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said that combined, the cuts add up to a little more than $26 million and would be equal to the school’s state funding 23 years ago.

Flickr/Creative Commons/ NCSSM

A proposal by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin impacting the health coverage of retired teachers is causing alarm among many educators. Bevin has proposed eliminating $145 million in state funding for the health insurance of retired teachers.

After months of watching Kentucky lawmakers grapple with possible changes that could affect teacher pensions, the proposed cut in the upcoming two-year budget was another blow to retired educators.

Tim Abrams is executive director of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. He said teachers who have dedicated 27 years or more to students feel like they have not been shown much respect in pension and budgeting considerations.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has ordered budget cuts of 1.3 percent this fiscal year to meet a shortfall.

The Consensus Forecasting Group earlier this month revised the estimate of tax receipts this fiscal year and projected that General Fund revenues will be $156 million less than previously budgeted.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says the state will undergo a round of spending cuts in the upcoming legislative session to set aside more money for the struggling pension systems amid sluggish revenue growth.

In 2016, Bevin and the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate crafted a budget that set aside more money for the public retirement systems than ever before: $1.2 billion out of the state’s $21 billion biennial budget.