By Tracy Goff Herman
The 2014 Regular Session of the General Assembly has finished its work with 1,486 bills considered with 145 bills and resolutions enacted.
The most important piece of legislation considered was HB 235, the state’s budget that covers the 2014-2016 biennium. Gov. Steve Beshear vetoed several budget measures, including language that required the Finance and Administration Cabinet to finalize end-of-year receipts early and language that limited flexibility for the executive branch in handling fiscal matters, including shortfalls and administrative matters. The legislature did not override the vetoes.
With little economic growth, Kentucky’s revenue situation isn’t much improved from the previous biennium. As such, the newly enacted budget reflects additional cuts to operating and program budgets. However, elementary and secondary education fared better than many other executive branch agencies, with funding restored to many K-12 programs.
Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding was increased by approximately $189 million to cover mandated certified and classified salary increases for school district employees (1 percent in FY15 and 2 percent in FY16). Continue Reading