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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  • by Earwig Location: Prestonsburg on Apr 2, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    You will fund what you value...Not giving the teachers a pay increase ( 1% is as good as nothing)won't cause good teachers to be any less effective but it will turn away potentially great candidates from becoming teachers.
  • by James Location: Salyersville on Apr 2, 2008 at 08:27 AM
    Do you think these measures will bend the public into allowing the governor's gambling houses to open now? Enough starving will convince a lot of people to look away from decency in return for a piece of bread!
  • by SoFar on Apr 2, 2008 at 07:40 AM
    So far, the new governor is making Governor Fletcher look pretty good to me! At least he seemed to understand the need to properly fund education, not underfund it in order to pass his own agenda of casino gambling!
  • by Teacher2 on Apr 2, 2008 at 06:46 AM
    What kind of message does it send to educators when you tell them, "We know your bills are skyrocketing, but we're not going to give you enough of a COLA to make up for it, thanks for the hard work!" We are basically telling our kids that their education is inconsequential because we are not willing to FUND teacher salaries appropriately! This governor needs to get his head out of the sand and FIX our economy, not create more problems by underfunding education!
  • by terri Location: east ky on Apr 2, 2008 at 06:03 AM
    it's a sad day for education----------just when we were actually starting to move from 49th place in the nation and now this-I say lets vote them out as we did the last administration.
  • by teacher on Apr 2, 2008 at 01:36 AM
    Teachers always get the short end of the stick with the budget. Kentucky ranks 38th in the nation in what they pay teachers and a one percent raise really helps things! Thanks a lot KEA, you really fought for us on this one! You are a joke!


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