General Assembly Approves 2-year Spending Plan Worth $105.1 Billion

Published 9:53 am Friday, April 1, 2022

FRANKFORT – The top priority for the General Assembly in even-numbered years is adoption of a two-year state spending plan, and that’s what they did on Wednesday, taking final action during day 58 of the 60-day legislative session on the 239-page budget document that totals $105.1 billion over two years.

The Executive Branch budget is by far the largest, and a conference committee met for nearly two weeks to iron out differences between the versions approved by each chamber. The final version appropriates $57.1 billion for the fiscal year starting July 1, and $48 billion the following year.

The Senate took up the measure first, Wednesday morning.

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During discussions, Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, called the budget a missed opportunity. “We have a record surplus now with $2 billion. We have record surpluses projected of $2 billion. This is our opportunity to make investments in the state that will reverberate 25 years from now.”

But Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, replied, “Just because we have a surplus, doesn’t mean we have to spend it all.

We have to remember where this money comes from; it comes from the taxpayers.”

It cleared the Senate 35-0.

In the House, Minority Leader Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, said he supported the measure, but with half of his constituency being public employees, added, “I would hope that this body, at some point, will address the issue of a group of retirees who have served us 30 or 40, or sometimes 50 years, and have not had a cost-of-living increase since 2011.”

House Peaker Pro Tem David Meade, R-Stanford, also expressed support.

“With record funding of education including all-day kindergarten, fully funding public employee pensions and projects across this state, that truly attracts new businesses, increases economic development, pay raises for state employees and state police. Many of us, even those who have been here a while, say this is the best budget they’ve seen come through this chamber.”

It passed 93-3, and now heads to the Governor.

You can read the document at: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/22rs/budget/HB1/FCCR1.pdf

Both chambers also passed the legislative and executive branch budgets for the next two years, which also head to the governor.

Tom Latek of Kentucky Today wrote this story.