Kentucky’s budget priorities for 2015 could require nearly $1 billion in revenue that the state doesn’t have. House Speaker Greg Stumbo told a group of business leaders earlier this month that the cost of funding priority issues like education, public employee raises and more could total an estimated $800 million.
"It would probably be more of a number like seven to eight-hundred million, some would argue larger than that," says Stumbo. "It just depends upon how big a bite of the apple you want to take, but I don't think we can do that."
Stumbo says that it’s unlikely the state will have that money until Kentucky fully recovers from the 2008 recession. But, it’s coming.
“Kentucky is coming out of it, but it’s going to be probably another two to three years before we get back to -- assuming we don’t change our tax code, assuming everything stays status quo -- probably another two to three years before you see that, you know, four to five percent growth that we had been experiencing pre-recession.”
Governor Steve Beshear has pledged to reinvest in education, and will present his budget proposal to lawmakers next month.