Pointing to strong tax collections, state budget officials say Kentucky will likely avoid another budget shortfall.
Revenues are expected to increase more than 3 percent in the budget year that ends June 30.
The state ended the 2014 budget year $90 million in the red. While the revenue picture this year is much brighter, House Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards says there are a lot of pent up needs.
“We have not been able to fund public education properly,” Richards said. “Certainly haven’t been able to fund our universities properly. The retirement systems are very challenging.”
House Minority Whip Jim DeCesare of Warren County says the 2016 General Assembly will face challenges in crafting a new two-year budget.
“We’re going to have to deal with the teachers’ retirement system and at some point, we’re going to have to deal with the Kentucky employment retirement system as well,” DeCesare said. “Plus this is going to be the first year that we’re going to have Obamacare payments.”
Despite more revenue, Richards says it will be difficult to balance all the needs as lawmakers form a new two-year budget next session.