By TCHAD MCCOY
50th District State Representative
Monday January 10, 2022 – The Kentucky General Assembly has come a long way in a few years. For decades, the legislature waited for the governor to present his spending plan before starting to work on a state budget. The governor’s office would literally give them a budget, they would file it, and then they would start working to identify areas that could be changed. The State House is constitutionally obligated to develop a budget, and I am glad to see us take this obligation seriously – even if it is contrary to the precedents.
I want to use this week’s update to present the budget we tabled as HB 1, but I also want to stress that this is the next step in a process that still involves a lot of work. . While we have spent months meeting with community leaders, public and private businesses, and state agencies, we will always hear the governor’s recommendations and work with the Senate.
However, the current version of HB 1 is a carefully designed Balanced Budget that does just that while meeting our financial obligations and reasonably funding our growing responsibilities. Some critics ask why the legislature is not spending more money since the state is sitting on historic budget surpluses and an unprecedented amount of federal dollars. We’re committed to doing what’s right for Kentucky and we have to get it right the first time. After all, you can only spend a dollar once, and those dollars belong to the hard-working people of that state.
Hope you find a moment to browse our plan below:
K-12 EDUCATION FINANCING
- Increases the SEEK base guarantee to a record $ 4,100 in the first fiscal year and $ 4,200 in the second fiscal year. Every SEEK dollar is raised translates into an additional investment of $ 800,000 in public school districts.
- Doubles state funding for full-time kindergarten in both fiscal years to cover full costs
- Increases transport funding from about 51% to a minimum of 70%, with some districts at 100%
- Increases funding for eligible Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCS) from approximately $ 184 to $ 220, for a total of an additional $ 12 million each year
- Fully funds the Kentucky Teachers’ Pension System at the actuarial contribution required rather than that required by law. The legally required contribution would be $ 438 million, this plan allocates approximately $ 1.067 billion in the first year and $ 1.084 billion in the second year.
- Reimburses all old teachers’ cost of living adjustments and sick leave pay to KTRS, totaling $ 479 million
- Fully funds the state’s share of health insurance for retired teachers under 65
- Fully funds vocational education transportation to the tune of an additional $ 5.4 million
- Provides certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists the same salary subsidy as certified teachers
- Funds a new healthcare workforce initiative to the tune of $ 20 million annually from the budget Fully funds the grant needed to pay the portion of retirement benefits owed under HB 8 / 2021RS
- Provides a total of $ 350 million each year from the budget to create asset preservation funds at each public post-secondary institution and KCTCS to maintain buildings and facilities. Funding will be made available to these institutions based on the square footage model of facilities established in the performance-based model.
- Fully funds a trust fund for workforce participation in each KCTCS institution
- Endowment funds match the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville with $ 15 million each year to spur research (Bucks for Brains)
- Provides an additional $ 42 million annually for planned growth each year for the College Access Program (CAP), Kentucky Scholarship Program, and the Ready-to-Use Scholarship Program
HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES.
- Provides the funding needed to implement the Public Health Transformation Act (HB 129/2020) to ensure that public health services are financially able to continue serving communities
- Allocates $ 2.5 million to health education centers in the region
- Increase salary and institute retention payment for social workers totaling approximately, this is an increase of $ 25.6 million in year one and $ 61.7 million in year two
- Funds 100 additional social worker positions each year from the budget for a total of 200 and provides a method of tracking the implementation of the increase in staffing
- Increases reimbursement rate for 1915c (Michelle P, Home and Community Based Services) exemption services by 10% of budget each year
- Fully finances the increase in the reimbursement rate for EHPADs
- Provides pilot program to deliver mental health services to rural communities through expansion of mobile crisis services
- Provides funding for Medicaid growth and reduced federal reimbursement, totaling approximately $ 1.024 billion in fiscal year 23-24
- Offers $ 15,000 salary increase for Kentucky State Police (KSP) soldiers and motor vehicle inspectors
- Offers $ 8,000 salary increase to carriers
- Provides over $ 1 million in increased funding to the Medical Examiner’s Office
- Allocates funds for a salary increase for forensic laboratory staff and replacement equipment
- Provides funds for additional staff in Attorney General, Commonwealth and County Prosecutors’ offices
- Offers 6% increase to deputy clerks of circuit courts
- Allocates $ 215 million to KSP retirement fund to reduce employer contribution rate from 141% per employee to 100% Finance purchase of integrated body camera systems for KSP
- Plans the third phase of a radio purchase for KSP
- Allocates $ 28.5 million for a training facility in the Criminal Justice Training Department at Eastern Kentucky University
- Increases County Jail Per Diem from $ 4 to $ 35.34
- Provides $ 38 million from the General Fund to complete the implementation of e-filing in courts
- Provides $ 200 million for the state-required counterpart for the federal infrastructure package
- Provides $ 10 million annually for a grant pool available for the state’s 52 general aviation airports
- Replaces more than $ 180 million of allocations previously charged to the road fund with dollars from the general fund and transfers this amount to the maintenance account
- Provides a 6% increase for public employees in fiscal year 22-23 and requires the secretary of personnel to develop a plan to review the classification and remuneration of funding in the second year
- Allocates $ 350 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to clean water and sanitation projects to be allocated to each county by population
- Brings UI fund back to pre-pandemic levels by allocating $ 312 million in ARPA funds
- Eliminate the practice of bonding to pay for maintenance and repair projects through agency maintenance pools
- Provides cash, not bonds, for capital projects under $ 3 million
- Allocates a total of $ 10 million to a population-based grant pool under the Department of Local Government that would allow each representative and senator to award grants to local governments, educational units and quasi-government agencies
- Funds the operation of the Bowling Green Veterans Care Home
- Provides $ 500,000 annually from the budget for the Raising Hope Initiative, a farmer suicide prevention program that will be transferred to the Department of Agriculture
- Provides additional funding for the Bluegrass State Skills program
- Allocates $ 10 million annually to a rural product development initiative for the development of commercial sites
- Fully funds the actuarial contribution required for the Kentucky pension system to the tune of $ 1.2 billion per year
- Fully funds the actuarial contribution required for the Kentucky Teachers Pension System at an estimated $ 1.067 billion in year one and $ 1.084 billion in year two. ($ 629 million in year one and an additional $ 646 million in year two)
- Provides $ 215 million to Kentucky State Police Retirement Fund to reduce employer contribution rate from 141% to 100%
- Fund HB 8 grant for regional postsecondary institutions to the tune of $ 2.2 million to ensure universities pay their actual share of pension debt
Our caucus will continue to fight to meet the needs of our Commonwealth so that Kentucky can become what we all want: the best state to live and work in. For me, this commitment is clear in this budget plan. I hope you will feel free to contact me over the next few weeks. You can reach me by dialing 502-564-8100, via the toll-free message line in Frankfurt at 1-800-372-7181, or by email [email protected].