Mine safety workers could lose jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Some state mine safety workers could lose their jobs after the state Legislature cut the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing's budget.

Lawmakers approved a state budget earlier this month that cuts the agency's budget by 30 percent. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday he is considering layoffs as a way to cope with the budget cuts.

State House and Senate leaders said the budget cuts are justified because the number of coal mines in Kentucky has dropped to 283 from 626 in 2008.

State Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman Dick Brown said the agency has 145 employees. Beshear said he will make a decision in the coming months after reviewing recommendations from cabinet officials.

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