A survey of Kentucky's economy says lawmakers have a choice between reinvesting in services or making more cuts to government.
The report released Thursday from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy says $250 million in additional revenue won’t be enough to meet the state’s most pressing needs.
Center Director Jason Bailey says this is the worst outlook in recent memory, and lawmakers must find ways to raise revenues to reverse the negative effects of budget cuts.
“Lawmakers face a very stark choice, you know, between reinvesting in our future, putting us on sounder footing for our economy, for our communities and our quality of life; or retrenching further with more budget cuts, more underfunding of areas that would make Kentucky a stronger state," Bailey said.
He says in order for the legislature to fully fund priorities like education, public employee pensions and more, lawmakers will have to raise potentially $1 billion in revenue that the state doesn’t have. The alternative is to continue to fall behind other states that have made those investments.
Bailey advocates comprehensive tax reform as a major step in lifting Kentucky out of its economic funk.