$1.3 Billion in State Contracts Not Unusual, Says Ky. Lawmaker
A Kentucky state government committee approved $1.3 billion worth of contracts this month. The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission points out that the contracts have been approved at a time when the state is experiencing a $91 million revenue shortfall.
State Sen. Sara Beth Gregory is a Republican from Monticello. She co-chairs the Government Contract Review Committee, which votes on the contracts.
“$1.3 billion is more than we typically have in a month at a contract review meeting, but that’s largely due to the fact that, July and March, the ending of the fiscal year and the beginning of a new fiscal year, so many of those contracts are things that come up on an annual or biannual basis," Gregory said. "They are not things that come up every month.”
The commission reports that most of the contracts were awarded to out-of-state companies, with the largest contract of $98 million to Tennessee-based Correct Care Solutions, which provides health care for 12 Kentucky prisons.
Gregory says certain contracts that don’t pass the "smell test" are ones that budget higher-than-usual amounts for some services. She said most contract review meetings occur without members of the public or the media present.