Governor Announces Sweeping Budget Cuts

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear outlined his plan to
rein in state spending Friday, including restrictions on state
hiring and travel, attrition of state employees and a reduction in
travel expenses.
Beshear said that without the cuts, the state would be short
about $300 million in the current budget that runs through June 30.
"There's going to be pain," Beshear declared at a crowded
Capitol press conference.
Beshear's plan whittled down about $78 million from the more
than $430 million expected shortfall in the current budget year.
The governor said he's also authorizing the state to use about $145
million left over from the previous fiscal year and about $42
million in unbudgeted or excess funds to cover the gap.
The remaining deficit must be dealt with by the legislature,
Beshear said, because it includes new state spending for expenses
such as Medicaid and corrections. The General Assembly begins its
budget session next week.
Still, Beshear says the larger problem looming for lawmakers is
expected money problems in the coming two years. State revenue next
year is expected to fall short of the current spending levels by
about $525 million, Beshear said.
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said after a
morning briefing with Beshear that he doesn't consider Kentucky's
budget woes a crisis. Rather, he considers the current financial
crunch an opportunity for the state to "tighten its belt,"
Williams said.
"There are always challenges in the budgeting process, but I
don't particularly think that this is a crisis," Williams told
reporters earlier outside Beshear's office. "You know, it's an
opportunity for state government to tighten its belt."
Beshear announced last week the state was facing a $434 million
shortfall. With a carry-over surplus from last year, the state must
make up about $290 million or risk not being able to pay its bills,
Beshear said.
State agencies and public universities were told to suggest ways
of slashing their current budgets by 3 percent, Beshear said.
The university spending cuts this year would amount to about
$34.5 million, according to the Council on Postsecondary Education.
The University of Kentucky, which receives about $335 million in
state funding, is facing the largest single cut of more than $10
Universities were considering a range of options to cope,
including hiring freezes, pay and benefit cuts and a reduction in
travel. They're also considering tuition increases.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by steve on Jan 9, 2008 at 03:01 PM
    Skyhawk i would have no problem voting for a democrat if they had some common sense and get off this stupid global warming junk thats stupid. My moms side was democrats my dads side was republican and beleive me my democrat grandpa would roll over in his grave if he seen how ignorant the dems are now. Skyhawk your party has been hijacked by antiwar kooks and fruit cakes you guys need to throw these nuts under the bus and get back to common sense. Thats what i cant under stand the way the dems treat god fearing peaple and the military thats just trying to protect them and the media trying to talk the economy down like its soupline america. I dont get it this is the greatest country in the world i am a optimistic person every one should be im not being a jerk about this peaple just needs to hold their own partys feet to the fire i sure hold the republicans and i am dissapointed at them to skyhawk as a conservitive. We dont work for them they work for us gooday Skyhawk.
  • by Vanessa on Jan 9, 2008 at 11:42 AM
    In response to what "Concerned" wrote, I say this. Parents would rather spend money on nice cars, fancy dinners, exotic vacations, etc. rather than their children's education. Huh, imagine that. I have worked in the school system and yes, there is room for change. But, it's time that EVERYONE stood up and accepted responsibility for the kids. Parents seem to want to lay blame on everyone else. It's a shame too. Our country is going to hell in a handbasket.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2008 at 07:14 AM
    Budget cuts are definitely going to hurt. I say when education funds are cut, why don't they cut the number of people in high office positions in the school systems first and leave the cuts on learning to very last? I live in a school system where there are five (YES FIVE!!) assistant superintendants! Why in the world do they need five?? The superintendant makes $90,000 a year, plus drives a gas hog SUV everywhere he/she goes in which the taxpayers' money pays for. There are way too many people making way too much money for the things that they do, which is absolutely nothing. School board members and site base councils make the majority of the decisions. Every year, there are more and more teachers hired in central office positions for more money and there is no excuse for that. Quit creating superficial jobs for superficial people and put education back where it belongs. Look around at what Kentucky youth are learning in our schools. Absolutely nothing!!
  • by skyhawk Location: Lexington on Jan 9, 2008 at 06:31 AM
    steve, the Republicans have been in power for 28 of the past 40 years in the Whitehouse so do you feel the same way there? If what you stated earlier is true then you will be voting for whatever Democrat that gets the nomination for President, but I highly doubt that you would. Rose colored glasses, YES!
  • by Concerned Taxpayer Location: Paris on Jan 9, 2008 at 06:04 AM
    As a taxpayer, mother and school volunteer, I would like to know where did the Millions of dollars (in excess) go, that our last Gov. said the state had, not too long ago? How are we now over $500 Million in debt/trouble? Where is all of the "problem solving LOTTERY money" that was suppose to save our state and SAVE OUR SCHOOLS????? Can our new Gov. answer these questions? If the Lottery has not helped our state, how in the world does he think expanded gambling will help/save us! I think it is time we as a state get some real HONEST answers to these questions and the TRUTH about the economic situation our State is in. The parents of K-12 are already helping to fund our childrens education. We can not afford to fund more, given our economy today. It is time for our State Reps. & new Gov. to really step back and take a good look at what this state really needs and be honest with the citizens of our fine state who support them. Expanded gambling is NOT the answer!
  • by johnny Location: ky on Jan 9, 2008 at 04:51 AM
    i agree with spike lee beshearsis is not changenthe give him a chance he is trying to fix the mess that fletcher left him.and i am not for people getting welfare if they are able to work.but if they have kids then we know thes kids cant help it they haft to be taken care of.i agre steve has made to many cuts in the wrong places.but the govner has said maby one year or two things would get better.but we all no this whole country is in one big mess and things are going to only get worse.
  • by gambling steve beashear on Jan 8, 2008 at 05:49 PM
    To lexington steve your boy crying budget cuts because he wants to get his gambling cronies in here have you seen who has donated to him he needs to go back to church if you ask me. Problem is now you guys will not get away with it like you used to we have you pegged boys your boy will be a four year flop.And we will not go away just like you clowns done us goooday.
  • by steve on Jan 8, 2008 at 05:39 PM
    skyhawk he was in ernie power for only 4 years not 40 no rose colered glasses here bud i see stalinist dictatorship i dont want to see no party in power for that long.
  • by Corrections Officer Location: Bell on Jan 8, 2008 at 05:02 PM
    Governor Steve Beshear Addresses Budget Shortfall For This Fiscal Year and Projections for Next Two Fiscal Years “We must find additional dollars for our Corrections Department,” he added. “Moreover, several other areas of state government, including Mental Health/Mental Retardation, State Police, Parks and Public Advocacy face challenges we must address.” “Concurrently, public safety, government efficiency and other factors bearing on what is best for all Kentuckians will dominate our decision-making,” Beshear said. Dallas - Bell Co. Kentucky Department of Corrections needs more Corrections Officers hired, we are very short staffed. We have different training programs and we need to continue our training and add more training days. Overtime and Money should not be an issue when it comes to serving the commonwealth by protecting the public. I know Governor Beshear will do the right thing and make the right decision to find additional dollars for the Corrections Department
  • by MR. BROOKS Location: BELL on Jan 8, 2008 at 03:41 PM
    No Andy, we don't live in the same Ky. If you see different, than I am am glad for you and I wish you well. You have'nt walked in my Boots or Seen what I've Seen and Heard what I have Heard or Do what I Do, If you did, then you would think different. Just because you think that everything is perfect in your world, does'nt mean it's perfect in everybody elses. I know you just wanted to voice your opinion and I appreciate that, but sometimes if you don't have a clue about what your talking about, sometimes it's better just to stay silent, Because I don't know if you realise it or not, but you not the only person living in Kentucky. "You Must Be A Higher Up"


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