Kentucky House passes Democrat-backed budget proposal Wednesday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky House passes Democrat-backed budget proposal Wednesday

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The battle of the budget was taking place Wednesday afternoon, before the Kentucky House voted to approve its version 53-0 -- with all Republicans abstaining from the vote.

The House version of the budget, which has the backing of the Democratic majority, is different from the one proposed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

First, it restores the 9-percent cut to higher education. University presidents said the cuts could lead to tuition increases, and possible layoffs.

The House budget also restores the governor's proposed cuts to K-12 education, including the school-based Family Resource and Youth Centers, as well as preschool programs.

It also restores cuts to all the constitutional offices, including the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.

The House Democrats' plan also funds the required contributions to the state's public pension systems without borrowing money -- and it creates $33 million in so-called work-ready scholarships to help graduating high school seniors attend state community and technical colleges.

All of this is paid for by reducing most of the nearly $1 billion the governor had set aside for future pension payments, and for the state "rainy day" fund. Democrats also do away with the governor's plan to borrow $100 million for workforce development.

Of course the Senate will likely make its own changes. Then negotiations begin to find a budget both sides -- and the governor -- can agree upon.

After today, the session has 11 working days left.

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