Budget

The shaky economy has led to cutbacks in government at all levels, from the federal budget all the way down to the city of Murray. In a meeting this week, Murray Mayor Bill Wells proposed completely gutting various special appropriations from the city’s 2012/13 budget. The drastic step would help fill a half-million dollar gap for next year, caused by increased expenses and declining revenues.  Half a dozen projects receive special appropriation funding, including Murray Main Street. MMS Director Deana Wright says city funding is an important part of their budget.

Less than 25 people have offered comments at public meetings on budget cuts to Land Between the Lakes national recreation area. LBL officials have held two meetings to discuss a 50% cut to the park's maintenance budget which totals around $750,000. The park hosts almost 2 million visitors each year.  12 people attended the last meeting, LBL Public Affairs Specialist Nicole Hawk says she thinks public awareness is increasing.

Kentucky lawmakers are returning to Frankfort today to begin a special session called by Governor Steve Beshear.

Beshear has ordered lawmakers to take up a funding bill for the state's road plan and one addressing prescription pill abuse.

Those were the two major bills that died in the final hours of the 2012 regular session last week.

Beshear says passing those bills should only take lawmakers five days.

The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area could see a change in services in the coming months as federal maintenance funds for the park are cut in half. At a public meeting last night, Forest Service officials met with area residents to determine what park users don't want to lose... and what they can live without. LBL Area Supervisor Bill Lisowski says the cuts were made to the park maintenance account. Lisowski says the maintenance fund covers everything in the park from roadwork to campsite upkeep.

lbl.org

The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area could see a change in services in the coming months as federal maintenance funds for the park are cut in half. At a public meeting last night, Forest Service officials met with area residents to determine what park users don't want to lose... and what they can live without. LBL Area Supervisor Bill Lisowski says the cuts were made to the park maintenance account:

LBL Forest Service

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area officials are looking to the public for ways to cope only half of their normal maintenance budget. Tonight is the first of a series of public meetings on maintenance budget cuts.  LBL spokesperson Jan Bush says the meetings will help Forest Service staff determine how to distribute the park’s limited resources.

“We get ideas from everybody ‘cause this is a serious thing that we’re going through, we’ve lost 50% of our maintenance budget, that’s quite a bit, and we don’t see it improving anytime soon.”

Haslam: Decision on evolution bill likely Tuesday

Apr 10, 2012

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says it will probably be close to the deadline before he decides whether to sign a proposal protecting teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories, such as global warming.  The deadline is today.

Governor Steve Beshear has signed more bills that passed the General Assembly this session.

Lawmakers will return to Frankfort Thursday to try and override any potential vetoes, but so far, the governor hasn’t vetoed anything. He has, however, approved more than a dozen bills since lawmakers left Frankfort late last month.

LRC Public Information

Kentucky lawmakers busted a myth late last week when they reached agreement on a $19 billion state budget without retreating out of public view.  In the past, negotiators have worked out details of the Commonwealth's budget behind closed doors with shades down, hallways roped off and state troopers standing guard.  Negotiators this year allowed Kentucky Educational Television cameras to run throughout the proceedings.

An effort by Governor Steve Beshear to expand preschool services in the commonwealth did not make it into the final state budget.

Beshear put a $15 million appropriation for preschool in his budget proposal. The House cut that figure in half and funded other education programs with what was left. The Senate struck all the money, saying it wouldn't be right to expand some programs while slashing others. And after days of budget talks, the Senate won the argument.

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