kentucky budget

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Republicans in the state Senate have proposed keeping most of the budget cuts sought by Gov. Matt Bevin, while rejecting House Republicans’ plan to raise about $500 million through taxes on cigarettes and pain pills.

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  A liberal leaning policy institute is suggesting the state focus more on raising revenue and less on cutting social programs.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

West Kentucky lawmakers offered their thoughts on ‘the big three’ potential agenda items when lawmakers convene in Frankfort for the regular session beginning in January: pension reform, tax reform and the budget. Republican State Senator Stan Humphries and Republican State Representative Kenny Imes spoke at a recent Chamber luncheon in Murray. In addition to the major items they touched on other issues, including the long-awaited expansion of Highway 641 South and funding for higher education.

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Kentucky taxpayers can expect a shortfall of more than $155 million after a panel of state economists have revised the state's official revenue forecast. In August, the Consensus Forecasting Group issued a preliminary estimate predicting a shortfall of $206.2 million.

Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons

  Kentucky's Republican governor wants to slash some spending by more than 17 percent this year to prevent a $200 million shortfall and protect the state's credit rating. Gov. Matt Bevin's state budget director sent a letter to some state agencies on Friday.

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  State officials say Kentucky is likely to have a small budget shortfall when the fiscal year ends June 30. Tax receipts for March fell 11.4 percent compared with last year.

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  Kentucky Budget Director John Chilton says the Commonwealth’s tax collections in July were up nearly 5 percent from a year ago.

Wednesday is the last day for Gov. Matt Bevin to veto all or part of bills that passed on the final day of the legislative session, including the state budget.

Ryland Barton,, via Twitter

Lawmakers are hammering out what they hope will be a final version of the state budget this week.

The bill will need to pass both legislative chambers before it heads to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk.