Recent state revenue receipts show that Kentucky’s real income is falling short of projections and will lead to a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.
Lower-than-predicted coal severance taxes, property taxes, road fund receipts and more have the state facing a nearly $28 million shortfall by the end of the fiscal year.
State Budget Director Jane Driskell says the state will have to raise revenues by about 12 percent to make up for a nearly $28 million hole that could grow larger if revenues continue to underperform.
Governor Steve Beshear says his administration is unsure just how big the shortfall will be, but promised that the budget will ultimately be balanced.
“The one thing I can assure is we’re going to end up balancing this budget. I’ve been here 14 times now in the last 61⁄2 years, rebalancing our budgets, but mostly because of the recession that we went through. But we’ll figure out the options and we’ll figure out how to do this.”
Beshear, who championed a restoration of education funding during this year’s General Assembly, says if spending cuts need to be juggled to make up for the shortfall, education spending should not be disrupted.
“I can assure you this: The investments that we are making in the next two years in things like education of our kids are not going to be touched. We’re not going to interfere with what great steps we have taken to move education forward in Kentucky.”
Beshear adds that funding for K-12 education -- a priority of his during the recent General Assembly -- will not be touched.