Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says a projected revenue shortfall of at least $28 million shouldn’t require state funded agencies to give money back to balance the state’s budget.
Sen. Stivers' comments came during a visit to Murray State University Wednesday.
The Republican says an exact deficit amount will not be determined until July. He says until then, he expects Gov. Steve Beshear has a way to manage the shortfall.
"They’re going to take steps like what we call vacancy credits, unfilled positions," Stivers said. "They just won’t fill them - they’ll restrict travel, they’ll restrict purchases. That will be their easiest targets and then they’ll have to see where they are in that point in time."
State Budget Director Jane Driskell blames the shortfall on meager growth in state income tax collections.
Meanwhile, Stivers says it is too early to say who will replace 2nd District Sen. Bob Leeper as the chairman of the powerful Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Leeper is leaving the Senate after representing Ballard, McCracken and Marshall counties for more than two decades. Stivers says it will take some time for the Republican-controlled Senate to select new leadership.
“One of the things and one of the reasons we are out here is that we have a large delegation in my caucus from western Kentucky and one of the things we hear is that we don’t make trips out here," Stivers said. "But we want to make sure everyone has a good voice at the table and as of now, until we see the numbers and the personalities are coming back in January, it’s premature to say who will be where.”