Kentucky faces a very difficult budget situation as lawmakers work to craft a new spending plan for 2018-2020. Nineteen rounds of budget cuts since 2008 have reduced investments in a variety of public services, and some areas of government face funding crises due to low salaries and overburdened caseloads. Revenue growth remains modest and inadequate to even maintain existing services due to a tax code ridden with too many holes. The governor’s budget proposal includes deep cuts to education, retired teachers’ health care and a variety of state services and eliminates funding for 70 programs. It puts additional dollars into targeted crisis areas including in social services and the criminal justice system and increases funding for pensions and the rainy day fund.
KCEP staff gave the following presentation on the state budget context and the governor’s proposal at the 2018 KCEP conference, “Commonwealth at Risk.”