Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ky. House Democrats opposed to governor's spending cuts

(AP) — House Democrats say they likely will not approve $650 million worth of state spending cuts as outlined in Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's budget proposal.

The resistance sets up a budget battle one month ahead of four special elections that could shift the balance of power in the legislature.

State economists say Kentucky will have an extra $900 million to spend over the next two years. But a combination of ballooning pension debts and the rising costs of the state's Medicaid system led Bevin to slash the budget by 4.5 percent this year and another 9 percent over the next two years.

House budget committee chairman Rick Rand of Bedford says he does not understand cutting the budget when the state is projected to finish the fiscal year with a $200 million surplus.