Ky. House passes $23 billion spending plan

Ky. House passes $23 billion spending plan
Kentucky House Chambers in Frankfort. (Source: KETKY)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky House has passed the state’s $23 billion spending plan.

Three bills in the state budget were approved Thursday in committee moving the bill to the full House Friday.

Nearly 3 hours of discussion and debate, but there were mostly favorable comments about the spending plan.

The Republican-led House changed what the Governor proposed as many expected they would. It is still heavy on education, however, it takes the money and spreads it out in further places.

For example, instead of a larger, $2,000 raise for teachers, it adds a one percent raise for all public employees from people who work at the capitol to cooks and bus drivers in schools. Instead of 350 new social workers, 50 are added and existing workers will get a raise.

Not in the budget, is $34 million for the Kentucky Wired broadband internet program.

So, far there has been a lot of positive comments about the budget from both sides of the aisle.

"Pay raises a solution for people to stay longer, an incentive to help pensions,” said Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville.

“This is a step in the process," said Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Minority Floor Leader. "Does it do everything I like, no, I am happy to vote yes. This House needs to stand strong. Things will change when it gets to the Senate.”

Many lawmakers say they are also glad that the budget does not include painful cuts previous budgets have.

One thing mentioned also Friday morning by the budget chairman is the language in the budget regarding wanting to make daylight savings time permanent. We’ll have to see more about what that is about.

The budget now goes to the Senate and that body is also expected to make changes. It is expected the budget will end up in a compromise conference committee in the final days of the legislative session.

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