Bevin’s proposed budget cuts for current fiscal year would be illegal, Beshear says

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Spending cuts being considered by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration would be illegal, his Democratic political nemesis has claimed. Attorney General Andy Beshear told reporters at a Capitol press conference Tuesday that two statutes and a recent Kentucky Supreme Court decision bar Bevin from forcing the state agencies to make the cuts. “One part of his...

Ashley Spalding: Five things to keep in mind as college students head back to school

By Ashley Spalding In colleges across Kentucky, students are beginning their fall semester — some for the first time, some returning to complete a degree. Here are five things about higher education in our state to keep in mind as the new school year begins. State budget cuts have continued Kentucky ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation for per-student higher education funding cuts since 2008,...

Commentary: Year-end state revenue shortfall underscores need for correct actions on tax reform

By Anna Baumann Special to KyForward Kentucky ended the 2017 fiscal year with $138.5 million less in General Fund revenue than economists predicted would be collected. The shortfall puts slightly more pressure on investments in our schools, universities and community colleges, health and human services and other building blocks of Kentucky communities. And its details reinforce the need to generate...

Rural Blog: Trump’s federal budget proposal cuts many programs that benefit rural areas, like ARC

Many federal programs that help rural areas would be eliminated or reduced under President Trump’s proposed budget, released on Thursday. Some of the losers “may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power,” writes Peter Baker of The New York Times. Proposed changes; click on image to enlarge (Washington...

Judge upholds Bevin’s higher education budget cuts; Beshear will appeal to Supreme Court

Gov. Matt Bevin acted within his power earlier this year when he ordered current-year cuts in the higher education budget of 4.5 percent, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled Wednesday. Bevin later amended the cuts to 2.5 percent following an agreement with public university presidents. The universities will also face cuts of 4.5 percent over each of the next two years. Attorney General...

Capilouto tells UK board budget issues provide both challenges and opportunities

The University of Kentucky budget for 2016-17 will be marked by challenges, but also by a relentless resolve to continue the institution’s remarkable momentum of the last five years. That was the message that UK President Eli Capilouto conveyed Tuesday to the Board of Trustees as university officials continue putting the finishing touches over the next month on a proposed budget as well as tuition...

Mike Denham: Final budget addresses public pension crisis while maintaining momentum in education

We succeeded last week in passing a two-year, $22 billion biennial budget for the Commonwealth that restores funding for some of our most effective programs in K-12 education, lessens the blow of deep cuts the governor proposed for our public colleges and universities and at the same time takes major strides toward addressing the pension crisis. Throughout the negotiation process, the House fought...

Commentary: Partisan rhetoric aside, Bevin’s higher education budget cuts just aren’t legal

By Andy Beshear Special to KyForward I ran for Attorney General to address child abuse, better protect seniors, seek justice for victims of rape and find solutions to Kentucky’s drug epidemic. Not to sue the governor. But on Jan. 4, I put my hand on my family Bible and made an oath to support the Kentucky Constitution and Kentucky law. I take my responsibility to the constitution and the law...

Morehead State will furlough without pay faculty, staff during five-day spring break due to budget cuts

Morehead State University has announced the unpaid furlough of employees, including all faculty and staff, for a five-day period. MSU President Wayne D. Andrews made the announcement Thursday in a communication to the University community. Dr. Andrews expressed that the current budget situation and mounting pressure added by Gov. Bevin’s proposed cuts to higher education have resulted in this decision. In...

Capilouto tells budget committee proposed cuts would create ‘chilling effect’ on UK momentum

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto told state lawmakers Thursday that tens of millions of dollars in proposed cuts to state funding would have a “chilling effect” on the institution’s momentum and would stunt progress in student success, research, health care and service that touches every county in the state. “At this very moment, we should be retaining and recruiting...

Mike Denham: Legislators have more questions, not enough answers about details of proposed cuts

Just as it is often said that games are won or lost during practice, a similar principle applies as well to legislation. Before a bill can clear the House or Senate, it has to make it through a committee first. That groundwork is especially crucial when it comes to the budget, which Gov. Bevin proposed late last month and the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee began reviewing in-depth last...

New Report: Kentucky can take more balanced approach to tight budget with new revenue options

Kentucky has good options to fairly generate new revenue and put an end to year after year of deep cuts to vital public investments, as outlined in a report released by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP). The report, “Revenue Options that Strengthen the Commonwealth,” identifies more than 30 options to clean up Kentucky’s tax code, raise new revenue and restore and sustain...