Budget

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.

A scholarship program intended to serve college students in far eastern Kentucky has been expanded. What was originally called the Appalachian Scholarship Fund has been expanded to all coal-producing counties in Kentucky, including those in the western portion of the state. The program applies to students in the last two years of their education who attend a university, public or private, in a coal-producing county. The intent was to keep eastern Kentucky students from leaving the area for college.

Both chambers of the General Assembly have approved budget bills and a conference committee has been meeting since Monday to work out the differences. One major point of disagreement is funding for school construction. It's a priority for the House. But Senators were not ready to haggle during a Tuesday morning session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the issue is so important to his chamber that a disagreement could derail budget talks.

LRC Public Information

As the 2012 legislative session winds down, lawmakers aren’t touting a long list of accomplishments.  They say that’s not due to a lack of work, but mainly a lack of extra money to fund new programs or expand others.  Instead, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the main highlights will be a three-bill attack on Kentucky’s drug abuse problems and passing general and road budgets before the end of the session.  In recent years, lawmakers haven’t even been able to pass budgets on time. So Stumbo says this year is a return to normal.

 House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber's priorities for the next two-year budget are not that different from the Senate's.

Both chambers have passed their own budget bills for each branch of state government. The two sides must now work out a compromise. Stumbo says he doesn't have many concerns with the Senate's changes and he expects a conference committee to hatch a compromise quickly.

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