House and Senate leaders and key members met Tuesday morning to unveil their compromise on the state’s next two-year budget.
In presenting the final version of the budget, Senate Appropriations and Revenue Chair Chris McDaniel said the budget conference committee had resolved differences and focused on ensuring the state did not have an operational deficit and to make sure the budget works for the people of Kentucky.
House Speaker David Osborne said he was proud of the end result reached by the group and feels it is the best and most fiscally responsible budget he has been able to vote on during his time in the legislature with record education and pension funding, responsible use of ARPA dollars, and more.
Senate President Robert Stivers echoed the sentiments of the Speaker and said the budget ensures the best long-term policy for the state and invests in the natural beauty of Kentucky to bolster such great assets and bring people back into the state.
Key aspects of the compromise version of the budget:
- All state employees will see a raise
- $14 million is included to fund the employee child care assistance partnership established by House Bill 499
- Full funding for all-day kindergarten
- $500,000 to audit state sponsored workforce development programs
- An increase in K-12 SEEK funding
- Full funding for Kentucky’s pension systems with some additional funds in the KERS Non-Hazardous and State Police funds as well as the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System
- Social workers would get the raise received by all state employees plus an additional $2,400 salary bump
- Public defenders will also see a raise over and above what is going to all state employees with a $7 million pool to be used for salary schedule
- Two economic development funds available to help localities attract new investment
- $250 million to go toward major infrastructure projects
- $1 million for evaluations of individuals to decide if they should receive treatment or be incarcerated
- $75 million for tourism recovery fund
- A total of $175 million to the state parks for upkeep and then overhaul in the second year of the budget as well as funding for the state fairgrounds
Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for budget updates.