Gov. Beshear outlines budget for Kentucky

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Gov. Andy Beshear gave his full budget address Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Frankfort.

Kentucky’s future is now a tale of two budgets. Beshear is confident his proposal is affordable but has big boosts across the board.

The GOP however, isn’t ready to draw conclusions just yet

“We are in a transformational time, whether you’re referring to COVID or our economic boom it is clear things are going to be different moving forward,” said Beshear.

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The governor laid out his vision for Kentucky’s next two years

Kentucky teachers and schools would receive extra pay raises, something else going out to state workers, the governor going tit for tat to match the GOP’s offer.

“The House budget includes a 6% raise though on a later date, on an employees anniversary date, but you know what our state workers deserve the very best let’s give them the full 6% for everyone,” said Beshear

The governor is hopeful the investment in education produces a better workforce too.

“My budget aims to pair record funding for public education with key investments so we can turn these last two great years of economic momentum into 20 years of economic prosperity,” said Beshear.

The GOP’s response

The GOP is open to the governor’s proposal, but with all, it’s asking they want to take a closer look.

You know there’s a promise of a chicken in every pot tonight,” said Senate President Robert Stivers. “I’m not going to comment on it because I want to see what the details are, what’s his rationale for spending.

Stivers applauded Beshears job-creating investments but is not sure how they’d work.

“We’ve yet to see the people to fill those jobs,” said Stivers.

When will it pass?

Lawmakers said they are confident they can get the budget passed well before the veto override session begins, possibly as soon as February.

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Gov. Andy Beshear will be giving his full budget address Thursday at 7 p.m. in Frankfort.

All week the governor has previewed parts of his proposal like universal pre-k, completing major highways, addressing the nursing shortage, fully funding Medicaid, and more.

The big picture should be revealed completely Thursday, with specifics about what he’s recommending to the General Assembly.

Whether or not any of those recommendations move beyond tonight’s speech – rests in the hands of the Republican supermajority.

In the house a budget bill is already filed, an untraditional move to happen before the governor’s budget address, but one the GOP said will move the process along quicker.

Beshear is banking on the pitch that his budget proposal can do more than the GOP’s and still save money.

“We have significantly more recurring revenue than we do recurring expenses,” said Beshear, “So we can actually afford everything we’ve seen to do every piece of the budget recommendation and everything that the house may fund at a higher level.”

Republican leaders will be responding to the governor’s budget address as soon as it wraps up.

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