by Adam Beam
by Deborah Yetter
by Ryland Barton
“The repeal of Kynect would be a big step backward on access to healthcare in Kentucky,” Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said. “It will create an even bigger hole in Kentucky’s budget, using at least $23 million to dismantle the national model for state exchanges that could be better spent on education, public safety or other essentials to thriving communities. We should be building on things like Kynect that are working so we can create a stronger Kentucky, not taking them apart.”
by Lexington Herald-Leader
According to law, 55 percent of lottery profits are supposed to pay for need-based scholarships (after $3 million is given to literacy programs). For years, though, millions of scholarship dollars have been diverted away from the College Access Program and the Kentucky Tuition Grant toward other priorities. The problem has worsened since 2014, and has received media attention. Without action in this year’s session, funds will likely continue to be taken from students who need them the most.
A comprehensive preview of the upcoming two-year Kentucky state budget confirms both a massive funding gap facing the state for the next two years and a need for reinvestment in many areas post-recession.
Authored by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP), the report notes that expected growth in state revenue the first year of the new budget will be at least $500 million less than basic new costs the state will face in pensions, corrections, Medicaid and school population growth alone. More resources will need to be found if Kentucky hopes to roll back cuts to services harmed by 15 rounds of reductions since 2007 or make new investments that could move the state forward.
With a more than $10 billion budget, one way to get back to building thriving communities with strong schools, roads and other necessities is to look at the more than $12 billion the state is giving away in tax breaks.
The 37-page report is broken into two parts – the first section dealing with Kentucky’s budgetary needs and challenges and the second with the state’s broken revenue system. A copy of the report can be found here.