House Gives Final Passage to $20.3 Billion State Budget

Apr 1, 2014

FRANKFORT—After a marathon negotiation session this weekend, the Kentucky General Assembly gave speedy passage to a slew of budget bills that gave raises to judicial employees and restored funding for K-12 education while also reducing safety inspections for mines and possibly prohibiting the commonwealth from funding local implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo praised the Senate for its willingness to compromise with his chamber, and called the process — including the 14-hour closed-door session of budget talks this weekend — “democracy in its purest form.”

“You saw people of different convictions, different ways to view things," Stumbo said. "It was democracy in its purest form. But it worked. And that’s what made, to me, all these years here worth spending.”

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Kentucky lawmakers have a month remaining in the 2014 legislative session, and in that time they must pass a new state budget.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee has approved a series of bills, including a modified version of the governor's proposed $20.3 billion, two-year budget.


The Murray City Council has approved a $44.6 million  budget despite failed attempts to amend the spending plan. Discussions lasted well into the night yesterday because of what Councilman Danny Hudspeth says was his obligation to bring forward the four amendments.

Hudspeth entertained cutting a two-point-five-percent salary increase for all city employees, the hiring of a new storm water and drainage technician, money for building a scenic trail and a $50,000 allocation to Murray State University for an alcohol education program.


Come January, a new woman will be in charge of the Kentucky budget for the Governor’s Office. Since 2007, Mary Lassiter has been Governor Steve Beshear’s budget director. And in 2009, she took a promotion as Secretary of the Cabinet as well, serving both roles. But Beshear has now hired Jane Driskell, a longtime budget director for state and local government, as his new state budget director.

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam wraps up budget hearings for fiscal year 2013-2014 tomorrow. Despite improving state revenues, Haslman has asked state departments to develop plans for a fallback 5 percent spending cut.

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From NPR: For most of us, Election Day marks a welcome end to months of relentless political ads and partisan bickering. But in an age when the rules about when it's OK to express one's political opinion seem to have frayed, what if someone decides the line at the polling station is the place to talk politics?

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is starting the annual state budget hearings for the next fiscal year this week in Nashville.

Kentucky Reports Increased Tax Revenue

Oct 10, 2012

Kentucky’s General Fund receipts increased by more than 5 percent in September, thanks in part to a big increase in corporate income tax revenue. Those receipts increased by more than 26 percent. Lottery and individual income tax receipts also rose by more than 8 percent. State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says those increases helped offset losses in property, cigarette, and coal severance tax revenues. She says the coal revenue fell about 19 percent due to a downturn in the state’s mining industry.

"Money" by Tax Credits, Flickr Commons, (CC BY 2.0)

State budget officials say they are paying close attention to revenue as the state budget sees a flat growth at the start of the fiscal year.

Budget director Mary Lassiter says in her monthly briefing that August revenues ticked up, helping make up 2 percent of losses in July. But that leaves revenues flat, while forecasters had expected an almost 3 percent growth this year.

Lassiter says while warning alarms aren'’t going off yet, steady declines in income and sales taxes is giving her office causes for concern.

Hopkins County school clinics may be the latest casualty in a series of budget cuts to the County Health Department.