House panel advanced budget bill

It sailed through the House budget committee this morning…but few said it had anything worth celebrating.

“I do not like this bill. It does not address the needs of our Commonwealth,” said Rep. Royce Adams, D-Dry Ridge.

Yet Adams and 23 others voted to advance House Bill 1…or the bill detailing how taxpayers dollars will be spent over the next two years.

“I can tell you…I think it’s a budget of fear…instead of hope,” said Rep. Mike Denham, D-Maysville, who also voted for the bill.

The budget would give the Governor the ability to furlough state workers if need be. Education is spared from drastic cuts, yet local school districts would have to pick up the tab of one day. There is no bonding money to pay for the replacement of aging, “category 5” schools, as previously supported by Gov. Beshear.

There were 2 representatives who voted against the bill, including one who says the lack of a budget during the regular session was one of the main reasons he lost in last week’s primary election.

Charles Siler of Whitley County also voted against the first House budget last winter.

“But there’s been no major change, in the economic status of the state since then. My vote was a protest vote…..I also said it was sour grapes,” said Siler, R-Williamsburg.

Representative Fred Nesler cast the other no vote. The bill now goes on to the full House, which is expected to pass the bill on Wednesday.

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