The Richmond Register

State News

January 21, 2014

Highlights from Beshear’s budget plan

(Continued)

FRANKFORT —

HUMAN SERVICES: The budget restores cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program which subsidizes day care costs for working poor parents. It does not restore similar cuts to the Kinship Care program which helps to place children removed from homes with parents rather than with foster parents.

EASTERN KENTUCKY: The budget will extend broadband services throughout the state with emphasis on the eastern part of the state. Single county coal severance taxes will fund $4 million for a regional development fund for eastern Kentucky, based on model in Minnesota Iron Range. In the road budget, Beshear would complete the four-laning of the Mountain Parkway over six years.

CUTS: Most agencies will see a 5 percent cut on top of cuts over the past six years. Cumulatively, those cuts amount to as much as a 41 percent reduction in some budgets for constitutional offices and important agencies. For instance; Environmental Protection has been cut 37 percent over that time; Juvenile Justice, 17 percent; universities 17 percent; and constitutional offices from 35 to 41 percent. Most of the constitutional offices’ costs are in personnel.

Beshear said that means some agencies could see layoffs or lose federal funds for lack of state matching money and the public may see service delays.

AREAS EXEMPTED FROM CUTS: Those include K-12 education; corrections, public health, prosecutors and public defenders; and debt service. The Kentucky State Police faces a 2.5 percent cut.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

 

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