By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
In a letter to state officials sent Friday, the Bevin administration asked constitutional officers and cabinet secretaries to cut spending in most state agencies by 17.4 percent this fiscal year as the state faces $200 million budget shortfall.
The cuts would not affect SEEK, the state’s school funding formula; universities; Medicaid; the Department of Corrections; and debt payments, Bevin communications director Amanda Stamper told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The cuts will serve as a way to make up for the anticipated $200 million budget shortfall which began July 1 as well as a way to restore funding to the state’s emergency Rainy Day Fund. Combined with the money needed to address the revenue shortfall, the spending cuts will need to total $350 million, according to the letter.
State Budget Director John Chilton wrote in the letter that Kentucky “must start preparing for the ongoing financial challenges facing the state” and come up with a budget reduction plan by Sept. 25.
State cabinet secretaries, constitutional officers, legislators and the judicial branch are all being asked to make the cuts.
“While challenging, the current fiscal constraints present a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of programs within state government,” said Chilton. “Limited resources must be allocated to programs providing critical services and a strong return on investment.”
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