A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Campbellsville University promotes Greensburg native Tim Judd to vice president for finance

Campbellsville University has announced that Tim Judd has been promoted to vice president for finance, chief financial officer. “Tim has been a valued member of our financial staff serving in several roles until the recent vice president position,” Campbellsville University President Michael V. Carter said. “He has led the Office of Business Services with integrity and dedication. We are proud...

EKU budget for 2018-19 strives to maintain academic quality, affordability, student success

A steadfast commitment to academic quality and student success amid declining state appropriations, political uncertainties, rising fixed costs, maintenance needs on some older facilities, and a slight decline in expected enrollment (tuition revenue) factored in the development of Eastern Kentucky University’s 2018-19 budget. In its regular meeting on June 25, EKU’s Board of Regents approved a...

WKU Board of Regents approve $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from last year

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents last week approved a $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from the current budget. “This has been a challenging budget to build as we strive to correct our own structural imbalances and prepare for decreasing state appropriations and increasing pension obligations,” WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said. “This budget serves as...

2018 legislature: Big winners — children in foster care, crime victims; the rest — losers and questions

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2018 General Assembly is now history and while there are some obvious winners and losers, there are two other categories to consider: “both” or “too soon to tell.” Children in foster care, or awaiting adoption, is one area that is an obvious winner. A bipartisan working group named on the final day of the 2017 session by then-Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown,...

A look at some of the new laws passed during the Kentucky General Assembly 2018 regular session

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2018 regular session ended Saturday evening, capping off a session in which lawmakers approved the state’s next two-year budget and numerous other measures that will affect people throughout the state. Most new laws – those that come from legislation that don’t contain emergency clauses or different specified effective dates – will go into effect in mid-July. A...

Bill Straub: Kentucky is the Jack Benny of the states; tries to run the government on the cheap

Kentucky is forever trying to get by on the cheap, making it the Jack Benny of the 50 states. You can bet that the only time the state will spend money to provide the sort of services necessary for the 21st Century is when it’s absolutely forced into a corner. Even then, like Benny when a robber threatened him with “Your money or your life,’’ it will offer a long, pregnant pause before responding,...

Gov. Bevin explains veto of budget and tax bill, says Kentucky’s financial future requires tough decisions

For many months, we have been working to resolve the toughest financial crisis Kentucky has ever faced, a crisis that began many years ago and that previous governors and legislators either negligently handled or ignored. It is now snowballing out of control. Nothing about this process has been easy. That does not, however, take away from the present reality that we are facing, or from the difficult...

Conference Committee of 20 men pour over state budget, to meet Monday; legislature about Tuesday

While most members of the Kentucky General Assembly are enjoying a recess until Tuesday, a group of 20 House and Senate members are trying to hash out an agreement on a state spending plan for the next two years.   The Budget Conference Committee began work shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, going line by line over the budget documents. In the past, the media and public have been kept out of the proceedings,...

This Week in Frankfort: With just eight days remaining, legislature still has budget issue looming

The first piece of legislation to pass a legislative chamber this week dealt with making playground equipment accessible to all children. One of the final bills of the week to advance through a chamber focused on the mental health of students. In between, lawmakers cast votes on a range of topics including bike safety, health care, prayer, and teen marriage.   It was a particularly busy week at the...

The week in Frankfort: Deadline passed for new bills; House passes budget, pensions; and more

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2018 session passed a couple big milestones this week as the deadline to introduce new bills arrived in the House on Tuesday and in the Senate on Thursday.   Capitol observers now have a complete view of the subjects that will be considered this year on major issues like education, taxes, and health care as well as on lesser-known matters like shark fins, nail salons,...

House passes two-year budget plan with help for pensions, historic SEEK funding, some new taxes

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a funding package with cigarette and opioid taxes and increased funding for SEEK and public pensions by a vote of 84-8. The total spending plan is about $22.5 billion for the next two fiscal years, which begins July 1. The two-year budget plan, presented on the House Floor by Appropriations & Revenue Chairman Rep. Steven Rudy, is a comprehensive plan...

Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne says ‘Incredibly difficult budget’ taking longer than expected

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, said he expects action on a public pension reform plan “soon,” and vowed to get the budget bill to the Senate faster than usual. “The last I checked with our budget director, the last scoring has not yet come back that we requested,” he said. “I hoped it would have been back by now, but I still haven’t seen it.” House...

Kentucky’s General Fund receipts grew by 2.9 percent in December; Road Fund falls by 13.4 percent

The Office of State Budget Director reported that December’s General Fund receipts rose 2.9 percent compared to December of last year, an increase of $28.4 million. Total revenues for the month were $1,025.2 million, compared to $996.8 million during December 2015. Receipts have increased 3.3 percent for the first six months of the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2017. Second quarter collections...

Speaker Stumbo files lawsuit challenging legality of Bevin’s vetoes, bill signing

Looking to the courts for clarity on whether Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent vetoes—and another bill he signed into law – were done properly, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Franklin Circuit Court. “I believe the governor’s actions go against the letter and spirit of Kentucky’s constitution, but case law is silent in many of the areas being called into question,”...

Bevin issues vetoes, says budget ‘restores fiscal responsibility,’ flexibility to manage resources

Gov. Matt Bevin exercised vetoes on items included in the budget passed in the final hours of the General Assembly session. The vetoes will stand because the legislature cannot re-convene. See the governor’s veto messages here. Bevin said the final budget “invests an unprecedented amount of dollars into the state’s ailing pension systems and restores fiscal responsibility in state...

Budget talks break off again without an agreement; end of legislative session may come without deal

Negotiations between state House and Senate leaders over the 2016-18 budget broke down late Sunday without an agreement, leaving open the possibility that the 2016 session may end without a spending plan in place. UPDATE: House leaders say budget talks will resume Tuesday and the final day of the 2016 General Assembly will be Friday, April 15. Legislative leaders convened at 2 p.m. Sunday, took a break...

Mike Denham: House budget proposal protects education from most severe cuts

In one sense, Kentucky’s budget doesn’t change much from year to year. A little more than half of every state dollar, for example, goes to our schools, colleges and universities. Another fourth is dedicated to Medicaid and other health services, about a tenth is spent on criminal justice and the final dime goes to everything else. While there is relatively little discussion in the General Assembly...

Commentary: During budget deliberations, don’t lose sight of UK’s continuing positive contributions

By Eli Capilouto Special to KyForward On Wednesday evening, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved its version of the state budget. The House sustains Kentucky’s existing financial commitment of $280 million to the University of Kentucky in the current fiscal year. That level of state support would remain stable in 2016-17. The House version then calls for a task force on performance funding...

Mike Denham: With new budget proposal on the horizon, two economic indicators provide good news

As Kentucky House leaders were putting the final touches on a proposed two-year state budget last week, legislators received not one but two reports of good economic news. On Thursday, state officials said that revenues have grown 4.3 percent so far this current fiscal year, all but guaranteeing a surplus with less than four months to go. The sales tax – one of the state’s major revenue sources...

Mike Denham: State revenues are on the increase, but so are Kentucky’s financial obligations

Like the first day back to school, the first week of any new legislative session brings mixed emotions – anticipation and excitement, apprehension and hope. To me, it’s also an exceptionally humbling time as I consider the great responsibility you have vested in me as your representative for the 70th District. I serve in Frankfort to be an active, accessible voice for the people of Bracken, Fleming,...