The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice is feeling the strain of the state’s pension woes.
Commissioner Hasan Davis briefed the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and the Judiciary Tuesday.
Davis says under Governor Beshear’s proposed budget, the department will have to start contributing money, known as “ARC,” toward the state’s underfunded pensions.
It’s putting a major strain on the agency, he says, which now employs its lowest number of full-time workers since 2008.
“What looks like an increase in our budget because of the ARC dollars there are dollars that we can’t actually access because it’s only for that pension," Davis said. "And so when you look at those numbers and drop back down beyond that, you realize that we’re actually at a lower level than we’ve been in years and really jeopardizes our ability to do the good work that we’re here to do.”
Davis says he hopes the legislature can alleviate some of the pain by allocating additional money to the department when lawmakers craft their own state budget proposal.
The Governor’s plan also cut’s Davis’ budget by 5%.
“After we take our cut, he also allocated dollars for each agency to take care of the ARC for their employees," Davis said. "And that brings us back up close to what our original budget was, but it’s dollars we can’t access except for to take care of that.”
Davis says that further cuts will mean more layoffs and less programs.