The Kentucky Senate will likely restore funding to conduct coal mine inspections in the state budget.
Currently, mines get six state inspections a year. A previous draft of the budget cut the number to two. Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber will likely restore funding for six inspections.
But that doesn't mean Stivers wants to keep the amount of money exactly the same. He says the House budget didn’t address the reduction in the number of coal mines, which he argues requires fewer inspections.
“They funded it at the level that it has been without recognition of closures and loss of jobs,” Stivers said. “So it’ll be a function of that, looking at closure and loss of jobs and seeing what’s actually out there.”
The Senate’s budget initially reduced the number of mandatory mine inspections from six per year to just two, prompting criticism from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, which said in a statement that further reductions in its budget would put coal miners at increased risk.