FRANKFORT, Ky. — With a record budget surplus, the largest Rainy Day Fund in state history and very good economic conditions, Gov. Andy Beshear started to outline his budget plan, which includes more funding to support law enforcement officers and boost public safety.
The plan includes moving all statewide law enforcement officers back to defined pension benefits; boosting salaries for Kentucky State Police again; boosting local law enforcement officers’ training stipend to an all-time high; making part-time local law enforcement officers eligible for the training stipend and providing grant funding to upgrade body armor.
The Governor’s 2024-2026 budget proposal includes:
- Moving all statewide law enforcement pension plans back to defined pension benefits (State Police, County Employees-Hazardous, Kentucky Employees-Hazardous), increasing pension income for retired Kentucky State Police troopers and local jurisdictions in those pension plans. Better pension benefits are needed to improve both the recruitment and retention of our front-line public safety employees.
- Boosting pay for law enforcement with an additional $2,500 raise for all KRS Chapter 16 employees, which includes all troopers, vehicle enforcement officers and a few other job classes. This builds on the historic $15,000 per year pay pump the Governor signed into law in 2022, the 6.5% salary bump these employees received on July 1, 2023, and a $300 increase in the training incentive stipend. If passed, today’s proposal would build on the efforts from the past two years, which resulted in at least a $18,875 pay bump.
- Support for training for local law enforcement officers by raising the current $4,300 training stipend to an all-time high of $4,800, building on the $300 increase that went into effect in the current budget.
- Support part-time local law enforcement officers by making them eligible for the training stipend, as they must meet the same training requirements as full-time officers.
- Providing grant funding to upgrade body armor to protect local law enforcement officers, inspired by KSP Trooper Billy Ball, who fully recovered after being shot while on duty due to his body armor.
KSP has approximately 895 troopers serving and protecting Kentucky’s 120 counties. On Aug. 11, KSP will graduate the next round of cadets, bringing the sworn trooper numbers up to roughly 940. This is the highest number of troopers the agency has employed since 2006. KSP is accepting applications for Cadet Class 104 and has received over 700 applicants, the highest number received since 2017. Cadet Class 104 is scheduled to start at the academy at the beginning of 2024.