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Kentucky lawmakers work to finalize new budget

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky lawmakers seem to be close to voting on a two-year budget.

Members of a conference committee formed to iron out differences and come out with a compromise plan unveiled what’s in the final draft Tuesday morning.

The final spending plan could be voted on Wednesday and is the culmination of what both the House and Senate passed earlier this year and the work of this conference committee that has been meeting for several weeks now.

The budget includes eight percent pay raises for state workers in the first year of the budget and 12 percent in the second. Social workers would get $2,400 across the board on top of that.

There is about 4,000 per pupil in SEEK funding (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) and, while school teachers are not specifically given a raise, leaders say there is more money in education funding so local districts can pass their own raises.

While it does fund all-day kindergarten, it does not include any funding for across-the-board preschool.

“I am most proud of, that the House and Senate in a very reasonable manner, say down and said what are the priorities of the commonwealth?” asked Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights.

“We hope that this budget takes advantage of the opportunity to make major investments in our people and in our future,” said Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

Lawmakers have been scrambling to get their major two-year spending plan adopted by the end of Wednesday to leave open the option to override any line-item vetoes made by Governor Beshear during the two-week break that starts Thursday.

Lawmakers will meet Wednesday, then return on April 13 for the final two days of the regular session.

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