Only one veto day is left in this year’s session of the Kentucky General Assembly, but their main goal is on the Governor’s desk.
A $19.2 billion two-year state budget that will reduce spending by around $300 million, restrict new bonded debt, and preserve funding in critical areas like Medicaid and base funding for public schools over the next biennium has cleared the Kentucky General Assembly and now goes to the governor to be signed into law.
The spending plan passed the Senate 36-1 and the House 81-7 Friday.
Much of the budget, which was negotiated by the House and Senate in recent days, is unchanged from the governor’s budget proposal unveiled in January. It includes no state employee salary increases or retiree cost of living increases, 8.4 percent cuts to most agency budgets with the exceptions of Medicaid, Corrections, teacher’s retirement, and a handful of other areas.
Lesser cuts of around 6 percent are made to to state university budgets, and even smaller cuts of 2.2 percent to the Kentucky State Police biennial budget.
The budget also includes limited additional spending proposed by the governor, including $21 million to hire 300 more state social workers and $4 million to enhance the state prescription monitoring KASPER system.
The House and Senate have adjourned for the governor’s 10-day “veto recess”—a period during which the governor will consider vetoes to the budget and other bills. Both chambers will then return to Frankfort on April 12 and reconvene for that day only to wrap up the 2012 session.