|Senate Republicans stand behind Senate President Robert Stivers, as he makes a statement on the state budget.|
Since day one of this session, Senate Republicans have been focused on a budget that pays down our pension debt in order to keep our promises to public employees and teachers and to protect future generations. Today the Senate agreed to restore 100 percent of K-12 funding, restore 100 percent of university funding for this year, and reduce post-secondary education cuts for the next two years by 50 percent. Also, the Senate proposed restoring the Judicial Branch budget to 100 percent funding and restore funding to various programs offered throughout the state.
However, despite our willingness to negotiate, House leadership walked away from this offer. Instead they insist that universities should not experience any cuts at all and cling to the idea that the state should offer free community college.
No one can deny that the funding levels of our public pensions are the number one problem facing this Commonwealth, and Senate Republicans refuse to continue to kick this can down the road. We will not jeopardize employee/teacher retirements in the name of free community college or special projects in House districts (which include golf courses, swimming pools, etc.).
Negotiations between the Senate and House will continue, and we have until the 60th day of the session, April 12th, to try to reach an agreement.
If the Commonwealth’s future is important to you, I encourage you to call House Leadership at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them you want a fiscally responsible budget passed by the 12th!
As always, if you would like to discuss this further, feel free to e-mail me at Wil.Schroder@lrc.ky.gov. Thank you for the e-mails I have received thus far.