Governor: Budget Shortfall Reaches $434 Million

By JOE BIESK
Associated Press Writer

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A budget shortfall of $434 million has left the state in financial peril, Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday.

At current spending levels, the state will run out of money before the end of June, Beshear said at a Capitol press conference.

"Although the construction and evolution of this problem occurred before I was elected, it is my job to solve it," he said. "We're setting about to do exactly that."

Beshear said he plans to announce specific spending cuts next week. He said his "utmost priority" is to sustain essential government services, especially for the state's most needy.

Last week, Beshear rescinded pay raises that had been given by his predecessor to members of the Kentucky Parole Board. Beshear said the shortfall made it unwise to give the raises.

Fletcher had issued an executive order on Dec. 10, the day he left office, to raise the pay for the seven parole board members by 20 to 27 percent. Under that order, annual income rose to $81,000 a year for members and to $82,000 for the chairman.

Meanwhile, financial problems have been popping up in a variety of state agencies, which have requested $166 million in additional funding to get through the fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

Beshear said the financial picture looks little better for the upcoming two-year budget cycle.

"We are facing nothing short of a budgetary crisis," he said.

Beshear said several factors have added to the state's financial difficulties, including a national economic downtown that has led to the slowest growth in employment in several years.

The state's $18 billion budget had included assumed revenue growth of 4.5 percent over the past year. Beshear said the actual revenue growth was less than 1 percent.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by a disabled person Location: Ky on Dec 31, 2007 at 12:32 PM
    Bill,Can you sit at your job? I cannot sit for more than 30 minutes. I cannot walk very far at all. I agree that "some" are drawing a check that probably could and absolutely should be working. I however am not one of them. I loved my job and I love to work.I am just saying that some of us that have worked all our lives deserve to get a check. The ones that have never even tried should be made to get a job.I don't go anywhere but the Doctor.So slice me some cheese with my wine.I will eat it and drink it while I wait on my check!!!I am broken hearted because I can't work.It isn't welfare,it is paid in by me from years of working. Where is the cheese line?
  • by steve Location: irvine on Dec 31, 2007 at 12:21 PM
    Well as soon as the liberals gets in its soup line America end of the road it is a shame they treat the greatest country in the world this way do anything you like or go anywhere. It will come back and bite them because they have peaple like me that will not go away we will hold them responsible and all so the liberal hay days are over. I am sure that Beashear can take some of the swindled bank money and get us out of debt and all this stuff he is yammering about is just another way to get gambling in the state. The liberals are so stupid they would vote Hitler in just to beat a republican most peaple that voted for Beashear thought it was a Ky game just to win ignorance what i call it. And to a legitimate disabled person i have no beef but i see peaple that does not need these checks its another form of welfare and to be quite honest all you have to be is a drug head or a alcoholic. Im tired of them taking my check to pay for these sorry skanks and peaple are looking at you libs.
  • by T. Location: Berea on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:14 AM
    The leadership of Ky. should start looking at bringing jobs to our state and start helping the residents of Ky. I have worked for 25 years and recently lost my job. Now I have searched daily and jobs are few and far between in the area I live. Take care of our state and let other states take care of their own. That goes for the United States also.Stop wasting money on political events and social events. Use the tax dollars more wisely. If it can't benefit each and every person who has been a contributor then we don't need to take action.
  • by Cheese w/ your wine? Location: Get a job! on Dec 31, 2007 at 07:38 AM
    Bill, you are a true American. To the back injured, check drawing, tax eating liberals, get a job. I hate supporting 98% of you that don't deserve benefits from the government. Vote Republican in 2008 and stop the Democratic social programs. Tax and waste...a democrat tradition!
  • by bill Location: lexington on Dec 31, 2007 at 05:28 AM
    to, a disabled person. for your information, i have had hip dysplasia. my entire life i am soooo sick of hearing about bad backs cry me a freakin river, i can barley walk yet i still manage to work 50 hours a week and support a wife and 2 kids. i even manage to do it without pain pills and govt paid medical. its all in what u want out of life and u want to sit home a draw a check.
  • by bluethunder Location: stanton on Dec 30, 2007 at 06:13 PM
    I AGREE TOO.GET THEM LAZY BUMMS OFF THEIR BUTS PUT THEME TO WORK.DISABILITY PEOPLE IS A DIFFERENT STORY,A LOT OF COMPANYS WONT HIRE THEM. THE WELFARE PROGRAM NEEDS UP DATED BEFORE WE GO BROKE,ALSO TAKE AWAY THE STATE VEHICALS THAT THESE PEOPLE DRIVE HOME EVERY DAY LET THEM USE THEIR OWN VEHICALS TO TRAVEL TO WORK.THESE WOMEN OUT HERE HAVING KIDS IF HAVE MORE THAN TWO KIDS AND THEY HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY FOR ANY REASON THEN THEIR TUBES NEEDS TIDE UP OR IF THEIR ON WELFARE PROGRAM AND STILL HAVING BABIES ,WE THE POOR CANT KEEP EVERYBODY UP THOUGH WE WOULD LIKE TO ,BUT WE DONT HAVE THE GOOD JOBS OR HAVE ANY GOOD CONNECTION AND IN KY ITS ALL WHO YOU KNOW.
  • by Don on Dec 30, 2007 at 11:18 AM
    There are legitimate people on programs anonymous. That should be at worst 5% of the population. The rest of the sorry (edited) should be pulled off of their couch away from the soap operas and Jerry Springer and forced to work. Taxes should not go to the lazy, lame, and stupid.
  • by Brenda Location: Somerset on Dec 30, 2007 at 10:42 AM
    To Ann of KY: I loved your statement in your comment "assist the children and the elderly" (they were our, and are our future). I am wondering about the Fletcher project to enhance a new 911 for the folks who would be affected by the Wolfe Creek Dam. Also, I personally stopped by the Dam and spoke with the secretary only to find out that a Corporation from Canada was awarded the job. Um..........Go figure.........
  • by johnny Location: ky on Dec 30, 2007 at 04:32 AM
    well the republicans is crying fletcher spent all the money but dont worry steve will get us out of this mess.
  • by Registered Democrat Location: But NOT for long on Dec 29, 2007 at 07:24 PM
    The sky is falling better build casinos, just look at all the money from lotto. that has gone to education. Democrats, dont trust them in your outhouse, even if they have a muzzle on!

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