Thu December 11, 2008
State Reacts to Beshear's Budget Plan
By Tony McVeigh
Frankfort, KY – Reaction is coming in to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's budget-balancing plan. For one thing, the governor is calling for three-day furloughs for state workers. Beshear says if lawmakers would approve them, furloughs could save the state eight million dollars this fiscal year. Lee Jackson of the Kentucky Association of State Employees says furloughs beat layoffs.
"I think we're going to have to educate state employees about the severity of the budget situation. Because I think a lot of them just don't totally get it right now. And so, furloughs at this point would be more acceptable in my mind than layoffs."
Other aspects of the governor's plan include a 70-cent increase in the cigarette tax, 147-million dollars in spending cuts and a raid on the state's Rainy Day Fund. The governor will take his plan to the people in coming days, with town hall meetings in Hazard, Henderson, Dry Ridge and Ashland.