FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear says there is "a lot of good" in Kentucky's 2022-2024 budget bill, but also says it "isn't the best it can be."
The governor made the announcement Monday in Frankfort, saying he has issued some partial vetoes. The bill focuses on the details of Kentucky's budget—which totals about $73 billion dollars—for the 2022-2024 fiscal years.
Legislative leaders revealed the two-year plan at the end of March after long negotiations. For the first time in a long time, the budget is not full of cuts.
The state spending plan calls for pay raises for state employees and more spending on education.
Gov. Beshear believes the budget could’ve been better when it comes to education. He doesn’t like that teachers were excluded from raises and universal pre-K was not funded.
However, there’s a lot in this budget he’s excited about. For example, the raises for state workers. Many would receive an 8% raise in the first year. They're also expected to receive another raise of up to 12% the following year. Social workers and state troopers could receive even more. The budget also funds full-day kindergarten.
This budget also pumps money into state parks as well as the state fairgrounds. It also supplies public pension systems with extra cash to help pay off unfunded liabilities.
As the governor goes over his action on the budget, the Republican Party of Kentucky sent out this statement.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) April 11, 2022
“…Governor Beshear stands at a podium painting a picture of his leadership that doesn't match reality…”@LEX18News pic.twitter.com/Da8NdDeu0b
The governor says he has also vetoed an 8% pay increase for Kentucky lawmakers. He says he’s doing the same for the governor and other constitutional officers and that in a budget that doesn’t give teachers a raise, the legislature shouldn’t give itself a raise.
Lawmakers have said they didn’t feel comfortable mandating raises for teachers because teachers are employees of local schools boards, not state employees. Gov. Beshear believes that’s just an excuse. He says the state has issued raises for teachers before.
Lawmakers return this week for the final two days of the legislative session.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) April 11, 2022
The governor was asked what bills he would like to see passed. He immediately lists two:
- medical marijuana
- sports betting
Governor says the majority of people want this. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/rYhhesWP2A