KENTUCKY SENATE PASSES STRUCTURALLY BALANCED BUDGET TO FUND PENSIONS, STRENGTHEN FINANCIAL FOUNDATION

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Cox
859-492-2963
John.Cox@LRC.KY.GOV

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 23, 2016) – Addressing Kentucky’s underfunded pension systems was the top priority in the Senate’s version of House Bill (HB) 303, the state’s two-year budget, which passed the Kentucky Senate Wednesday with 27 votes.

“The major difference between the House budget and the Senate budget is that the Senate’s budget is structurally balanced, meaning we do not use one-time monies to pay for recurring expenses,” Senate President Robert Stivers said. “We dedicated more funding to KTRS than was proposed by Governor Bevin, but we also dedicated more funding in addition to the ARC payments for KRS nonhazardous than proposed by Governor Bevin and the House combined.”

While Senate Budget Chairman Chris McDaniel noted that Kentucky’s state’s pension obligation to teachers is of major importance, it also is funded at about 50 percent, or approximately three times more than that of our employee pension systems (17 percent). The Senate also sets aside $250 million for a permanent fund similar to Governor Bevin’s proposal. Of that permanent fund, $3 million would be used to commission an external performance audit of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System, while holding the remaining $247 million to address the pensions upon completion of the audit.

“100 percent of the $250 million in the permanent fund will be used to fund our ailing pensions. The reason for waiting to spend this money is because we feel that an audit is necessary to adequately assess the issues that ail our systems,” McDaniel said. “We owe it to the taxpayers of this Commonwealth to bring in an outside party so that we can get an honest audit of this system and identify what systematic changes must be made to ensure this system is viable in perpetuity.”

The Senate budget also provides $372.5 million for the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, which is the highest amount in the Commonwealth’s history.

Additional highlights of the Senate’s budget (HB 303):

  • Included in the Kentucky Retirement Systems’ numbers is $15 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and $10 million in FY 2018 for Kentucky State Police Hazardous Retirement.
  • The Senate, like Governor Bevin, did not budget to 100 percent of the revenue estimate. The Senate provides for additional contingent contributions of $67.9 million to KTRS over the 2016-2018 biennium.
  • The Senate moved all coal severance funding to the top which includes funding for Operation Unite, Save the Children, Trover Clinic, the Family Residency Program at Owensboro, and other routine items funded with coal severance. The remaining dollars are directed to the LGEAF fund which goes directly back to the county judges and fiscal court.
  • There are no single county line-item coal severance projects in the Senate budget.
  • The Senate does not change the statutory allocation between General Fund and the coal severance fund. The split remains 50-50.
  • The Senate budget mirrors the Governor’s proposal and stays true to the HB 611 from the 2000 Regular Session’s statutory allocations.
  • Constitutional Officers – The Senate agrees with Governor Bevin’s budget stabilization reductions and in certain places increases restricted fund appropriations.
  • Pharmaceutical Settlement Funds – The Senate directs $7 million to Kentucky State Police for crime lab equipment and DNA testing, provides $2.5 million to community mental health centers for mental health services, and $8 million for KTRS unfunded health liability.
  • Debt – The Governor, House and Senate had a debt ratio of approximately 5.8 percent, however, the House budget gave complete bonding authority to the state universities for agency bonded projects without the authority of the General Assembly. That provision has the potential to significantly increase the Commonwealth’s debt ratio without input for the General Assembly. The Senate removed this provision but did include authorization for the restricted fund cash projects for the public universities and KCTCS.
  • Higher Education – The Senate agrees with Governor Bevin’s budget stabilization reductions and provides equity in funding beginning in FY 2018 for Northern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University. In addition, the Senate provided an additional $3.3 million each for the land grant match for Kentucky State University.
  • Justice Cabinet – In the midst of a heroin epidemic, the House reduced funding for heroin treatment by $12 million. The Senate restores that funding.
  • The Senate, like Governor Bevin, has a structurally balanced budget.

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Representative Hoover, Senator Wise Announce Funding for Water Extension Project in Cumberland County

SEAL

OFFICE OF REPRESENTATIVE JEFF HOOVER

OFFICE OF SENATOR MAX WISE

Contact:
Michael Goins
(502) 564-4334
Michael.goins@lrc.ky.gov

John Cox
(859) 492-2963
John.cox@lrc.ky.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Representative Hoover, Senator Wise Announce Funding for Water Extension Project in Cumberland County
More than $811,000 awarded to city of Burkesville for new lines along Kentucky 61

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 6, 2015) – House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, and Senator Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, announced today that more than $800,000 has been awarded to the city of Burkesville for extension of water lines along Kentucky 61 in Cumberland County. Representative Hoover and Senator Wise were notified by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority about the funding award.

“When it comes to economic development and quality of life, having excellent access to water and sewer is a cornerstone for recruiting businesses both large and small to communities,” said Rep. Hoover. “This award not only will aid in Burkesville and Cumberland County’s business development, but also provide a clean and safe reliable source of water for people in the area.”

“I was pleased to see these crucial investments made in water infrastructure in Cumberland County and Burkesville,” Sen. Wise said. “This is an opportunity to expand service to previously unreached communities, which will promote human health and economic development as well as improve the quality of life in the community. I am proud to support this project and will continue to work to promote Kentucky’s infrastructure and future.”

The Kentucky Infrastructure Authority approved $811,600 in funds from the Federally Assisted Drinking Water Revolving Fund loan to the city of Burkesville for what is known as the Kentucky State Road 61 Water Distribution Extension project. The funds will pay for installation of 9,600 linear feet of six inch water main lines along Kentucky 61, and 2,000 linear feet of two to six inch water line loops.

In addition the money will also provide for a new master meter to be placed at the end of the main along Kentucky 61 with the intent of providing an additional water source to the Cumberland County Water District. The city’s water utility produces around 200 million gallons of water each year, of which 80 million gallons are sold to the county water district.

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Commonwealth of Kentucky Senate Majority Office

MEDIA NOTICE OF PRESS AVAILABILITY 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 9, 2014
Contact: John Cox
Phone: 502-564-3120

WHAT:

Sen. Max Wise on Senate Bill 82

WHERE:

Capitol Annex Room 149 702 Capitol Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601

WHEN:

Tuesday, Feb. 10 – Upon adjournment of Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee Meeting (Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee meets at 9am in Annex Room 149)

SUBJECT:

Senator Max Wise, primary sponsor of Senate Bill 82, will be available to answer questions immediately upon adjournment of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Capitol Annex Room 149. Senate Bill 82 is an act relating to an income tax check-off for the pediatric cancer research trust fund, and making an appropriation therefore. Senate Bill 82 is the sole piece of legislation on Tuesday’s Appropriations and Revenue Committee agenda.

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This Week in Social Media (Jan. 19-23)

Tweets and Facebook postings from the Senate Majority Caucus (week of Jan. 19-23, 2015):

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