House Passes Budget Supporting Education, Workforce and Jefferson County’s Critical Needs

Kentucky_State_CapitolLast week the House of Representatives passed a balanced budget, investing in education and workforce development. All 53 Democrats voted in favor of this budget while Republicans abstained from voting.

Highlights of this budget include:

  • Restoring cuts to K-12 and postsecondary education
  • Fully funding ARC for KTRS and KERS retirees
  • Largest rainy-day fund ever
  • Less debt than Governor Bevin’s proposed budget
  • Funds Kentucky Work Ready scholarship program to boost workforce

For Jefferson County, specific projects and programs are included in the House budget:

  • Night Courts Okolona and Middletown
  • TAPP Funding $227,900 each year
  • QCCT Language and Funding
  • Waterfront development $450,000 each year
  • Fairground FY 15-16 $2.3M, 16-17 $4.3M, 17-18 $4.9M; Debt service new roof $8M
  • West Louisville Food Port $4.1M
  • Read to Achieve $4M
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts FY16-17 $1M, FY 17-18 $1M
  • Home of the Innocents Emergency Assessment $550K/yr
  • Poison Control Center at Kosair Children’s Hospital $729K/yr
  • Family and Children’s Place safe visitation center $50K
  • Lung cancer research at our two research universities, UK & UofL $10K to show state’s commitment to research funded by a multi-million dollar private grant – the LEADS project
  • Retirement contributions for mental health centers, public health departments, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and child advocacy centers
  • Kinship care (start up costs for families that take in relatives for foster care) $1M
  • Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening program $500K/yr
  • Increased breast and cervical cancer screenings $1M in 2018
  • Childcare assistance for working families at or below 160% FPL $10.6M each year
  • Foster Home reimbursement rate equity $1.6M/yr
  • Waiver slots for Michelle P. and SCl same as Governor Bevin recommended, and added Acquired Brain Injury slots proportionate to the others to try to move as many people off these waiting lists as funds will allow
  • Social worker pay increases per the Governor’s recommendation

Health & Human Services items benefitting Jefferson County appearing elsewhere in the budget:

Attorney General’s Budget

  • Volunteers for American Freedom House $500K this year and $100/yr of biennium (Freedom House provides residential substance abuse treatment for pregnant women and delivered more than 100 drug free babies last year. A baby born with neonatal abstinence syndrome will have minimum healthcare costs of $250,000)
  • Maryhurst Alternative School, Louisville KY $300,000 in fiscal year 2015-2016 and $100,000 in each fiscal year of 2016-2018 fiscal biennium
  • $3.6M Justice for Rape Victims Fund (expert witnesses, motel protocol development, training and resources for prosecutors and victim advocates)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates $1.5M

The Justice Cabinet budget contains appropriations for:

  • Substance abuse treatment $10M/yr (especially for pregnant women)
  • Monies for community mental health centers

The K-12 budget provides for:

  • Expansion of the preschool program to 200% FPL, and designates $7.5M in preschool funding to create a grand program in collaboration with CHFS to incentivize public-private cooperation in the development of full-day programs for children eligible for assistance from CCAP.

Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs budget provides for:

  • $100,000 each year to both the Brain Injury Alliance and the Epilepsy Foundation

The Postsecondary budget provides for:

  • QCCT – NGE of $4.5M year one and $6M, with city contribution of $2.5M year one and $5M year two

The House budget  will now be considered by the state Senate.  After that chamber votes, House and Senate leaders will work on a compromise that, if approved, will be sent to the governor for his signature.

The legislative session is scheduled to end in mid-April.