A budget proposal to be unveiled by the Kentucky House of Representatives will closely resemble the $20 billion biennial budget outlined by Governor Steve Beshear.
House Appropriations and Revenue chair Rick Rand says that chamber’s budget will be virtually the same as the governor’s, specifically in the area of education funding. It will largely preserve Beshear’s requests for the funding formula known as SEEK and implementing raises for teachers.
“There wasn’t any new money, it’s just we like it line-itemed in the budget, so many of those things were our recommendation to go back and do that," said Rand. "I think that when you get these things, if you see there’s recommended additional funding, that’s where some additional funding will be recommended.”
He says that the biggest differences between the House’s proposal and the governor’s plan include rejecting new fees for county property valuation administrators, as well factoring in pay hikes for Legislative Research Commission staff despite cuts to that agency.
“The challenges we had to face were twofold," said Rand. "One was the PVA issue, which obviously we didn’t accept. And then we really felt that, you know, with the governor just took the LRC budget and cut it five percent, it didn’t allow for state employees pay raises, or LRC employee pay raises, or increased cost of retirement, so we added those in.”
Rand says that the A & R Committee will ideally pass the budget bill tomorrow, and send it to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday. After that, it will head to the Republican-led Senate.