Ky. Lawmakers Preparing For "Bare-Bones Budget"

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers were making preparations Friday for a "bare-bones budget" to carry state government through the next two years as they continue to squabble over proposed revenue-generating ideas.

House and Senate lawmakers negotiating a new two-year approximately $19 billion state spending blueprint were split over a proposal to raise Kentucky's cigarette tax by a quarter. They also did not agree on a House plan to restructure the state's debt and a Senate proposal to collect more revenue from the state lottery.

"At the moment we're working on a very reduced revenue picture," House Appropriations and Revenue Committee chairman Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, said. "And, we'll have a very bare bones budget, it appears at this point."

Kentucky is facing a $900 million revenue shortfall over the next two fiscal years due to sagging revenues and soaring costs.

Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal called for significant cuts throughout state government; it would have cut funding by 12 percent for public universities and various government agencies and programs. Beshear later endorsed a cigarette tax hike of 70 cents a pack, and called for using revenue to finance hundreds of millions in bonds.

The Democrat-controlled House also proposed restructuring the state's debt as a way to generate up to $300 million over the next two years. The Senate disagreed.
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  • by kay Location: louisa on Feb 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM
    I understand the need to raise money but disagree with such a high tax on tobacco products. Taxing alcohol would make a lot more sense. I neither drink or smoke but I don't recall reading or hearing about anyone getting killed by a smoker driving by. Course I guess our governor and higher ups like their liquer. Notice they didn't hit it as hard with taxes. If they worked more days with longer hours and less pay maybe things would change. They need to learn what a budget really is. Money is allotted for certain expences, when it is spent , it is gone till more is earned. No borrowing against what you don't have. Simple. Guess it's too simple for rich folks.
  • by c Location: fkt on Mar 29, 2008 at 05:38 AM
    They need a "bare bone budget", just like the rest of us already have! Stop all the special projects & you might save some money! Don't give a dollar to anything that is not a necessity. That's the way we citizens have to live these days & the government isn't one bit better than we are! Elementary & High School needs the available funds because only a minority of students get to attend college anyway! Besides colleges could cut some of their own waste to save money! Construction of new buildings every year is a waste! Repair the olds ones..just like families have to repair their houses instead of building news ones these days! There's alot of ways to save money, but if the government continues to hand them millions every year, then why should they stop their wastefullness? I would love to see lawmakers do the right thing for just once! Live on what you have, not on what you hope to have! The citizens do it everyday, so why can't you? Don't raise taxes until you can stop the waste.

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