All the 2018-20 budget bills are disastrous to Kentucky’s future. Ignoring the need to find new funding and reduce expenditures, the legislature will cut other services generally (for the 20th time) by 6.25 percent, eliminate some services altogether, and raid rainy-day funds to the tune of $724 million.
The House budget raiding $467 million from the Kentucky Employees Health Fund and $150 million from the pension fund. This is unsustainable. What can be raided next time?
The House did make some lackluster revenue proposals: 50 cents on a packet of cigarettes, a 25-cent tax on dosages of painkillers for wholesalers, and a temporary stay on tax exemptions for the film industry. But the Senate did not support any new revenue. Will the legislature keep moving us backwards?
Kentucky needs better education, infrastructure, health and quality of life. Those bring jobs. All are under threat until we bring in more revenue on a fair basis. We need a just and adequate tax code so we can invest in the future and Kentucky can thrive.