Senate approves budget that targets lieutenant governor's housing allowance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bare-bones budget proposal approved by the Kentucky Senate late Thursday would cut spending in multiple ways.

Among them: It would eliminate the lieutenant governor's housing allowance, take away proposed scholarships for Appalachian college students, and scrap cost-of-living increases in the monthly pension benefits of some 200,000 government retirees.

The Senate approved the two-year, $19.5 billion state budget late Thursday on a 32-4 vote.

The proposal would eliminate a $30,000-a-year appropriation to provide a housing allowance to Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. He receives that in lieu of living in the mansion provided for him and his wife.

The budget measure now returns to the House for consideration.

The Senate plan also strips a proposal to create the Kentucky Appalachian College Completion Program, which would provide grants of up to $6,000 a year to students attending a handful of private colleges in the mountain region. The cost would have been about $6.5 million over the next two years.

Even the state and local government retirees would take hits to help balance the budget. The Senate and House erased proposed 1.5 percent cost-of-living increases in their pension checks.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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