State Budget Is Ready For A Vote

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

After working on a new budget for more than a week state lawmakers finally have one ready for a vote.

It's an issue legislative leaders have been dealing with behind closed doors for days.

WYMT's Dara Rees talked with Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo about the budget proposal and what it could mean for eastern Kentucky.

The proposed budget includes funding for a number of projects designed to improve the state like bucks for brains attracting researchers to Kentucky.

Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo says people could still feel a pinch in their wallets.

The Lt Governor says the current state of the nation calls for some compromise in Kentucky's budget.

“We don't have the revenues when you have national economy that's where it's at today, people are going to suffer. We all have to be ready to tighten our belt. We have to be aware that there are going to be some difficult time ahead over the next couple of years,” Lt. Governor Mongiardo said.

Mongiardo says they tried to implement smaller cuts across the board, nevertheless, he says social services, Medicaid, mental health programs, and education, among others, will likely be impacted.

“There's going to be some cuts to higher education. There's not going to be any cuts in K through 12, which we really wanted to make sure there weren't any cuts in K through 12,” Lt. Governor Mongiardo said.

It is not a total loss for educators in the proposed budget.

“Teachers are going to get one percent pay raise,” Lt Governor Mongiardo said.

Lt. Governor Mongiardo says the new budget will impact every county in the commonwealth.

The Lt. Governor says it’s not a great budget, “It's not a great budget. It is the best that we can do in the time that we have with no new sources of revenue.”

As the state learns to live within its means, the Lt. Governor hopes the national economy will soon turn around.

Lawmakers say they're trying to deal with a nearly 900-million dollar shortfall over the next two years.

The full legislature is expected to vote Wednesday on the 19 million dollar... two year budget.

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