Kentucky Political News Headlines

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lawmakers will face a $1.19 billion question

The Herald-Leader has a good article today that further lays out the budget woes the General Assembly and Governor will grapple with in the 2010 session.

Lawmakerswill face a$1.19 billionquestion: "When lawmakers return to Frankfort in January, one number will loom large: $1.19 billion.

According to preliminary estimates, that's how much money lawmakers must find in the couch cushions of state government to continue spending at current levels through June 2012.

The state still has $485 million of federal stimulus money to throw at its budget gap, but bridging the remaining $705 million shortfall could create headaches for just about everybody, including students, state workers, the poor and the sick.

Despite the state's money woes, proposals by two lawmakers from different ends of the political spectrum to overhaul Kentucky's tax system won't likely gain approval in the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington, and Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, have re-filed separate and very different plans for systemic tax reform. Although different in most ways, both plans call for extending the state's sales tax to services ranging from manicures to engineering work."