Committee Pushes $20 Billion Budget to House Floor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -- Not all lawmakers agreed, but nonetheless the two year, $20 billion budget is moving on to the House floor.

"I would argue that much of the Governor's budget bill is intact. There haven't been wholesale changes like a couple of the budgets I've done before," said Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford.

As many thought, this budget looks a lot like Beshear's with a focus on re-investing in Kentucky.

This means a boost in K-12 education and giving Kentucky state workers a raise.

"For employees making up to $27,000 a year it's a 5% increase, for employees making from $27,000-$36,000 it's a 3% increase, from $36,000-$50,000 a 2% increase and for employees making above $50,000 it's a 1% increase," said Greg Rush, Deputy Director for Budget Review.

To do this meant a 5% cut to several areas.

"The 5% reductions were in areas such as the Governor's office, finance cabinet, cabinet level administrative areas, constitutional officers, council on post-secondary education, juvenile justice, energy and environment, military affairs and labor, agencies like that," said Rush.

WKU and Kentucky State Police are seeing a 2.5% cut.

This budget bill had support and opposition from both parties.

Two other budget bills were approved today including legislative and judicial. Area lawmaker Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green is concerned about the judicial budget.

"I'm going to vote yes, but I do think in effect, we are cutting the request of the Chief Justice and I hope that money can be found as the process moves forward," said Richards.

Which is exactly what all these budgets are doing, moving forward.

The house could discuss and debate the budget bills this week.

The senate will get a chance to make changes as lawmakers are coming down the stretch here in the 2014 session.

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