Home » Bottom Line: General Assembly sends $2.7B in projects to governor

Bottom Line: General Assembly sends $2.7B in projects to governor

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House and Senate took a final vote to make $2.7 billion in major one-time investments projects in a bill passed late Thursday, the final day of the 2024 General Assembly session before the veto period.

House Bill 1 saw spending of $1.8 billion in its original version and then $3.5 billion in the Senate’s version. The legislation has since been in a Free Conference Committee and the compromise with a final spend of $2.7 billion was unveiled and passed Thursday.

The compromise maintains a large investment in infrastructure with a total of $450 million going to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to support the State Supported Construction Program and select construction projects in 2024-2026. There is also $344 million allocated for water and sewer projects.

There are also many projects included for local communities including $100 million for downtown Louisville revitalization, $35 million total for capital improvements at many of the state’s airports, money in Lexington for the Transformational Housing Affordability project, funds for construction of the Frankfort Convention Center, improvements to public riverports throughout the state, and more.

Investments in higher education are seen with $60 million for a vet school at Murray State University, $40 million to the University of Kentucky for energy research projects, $125 million to plan, design and construct a “Commonwealth Center for Biomedical Excellence” in Covington in partnership with Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky, and support for educational and workforce development programs.

Economic development was also prioritized with $50 million annually for mega-development projects and additional funding for industrial development and economic growth projects.

Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chair Chris McDaniel and House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chair Jason Petrie each emphasized the historic one-time spending is a direct result of thoughtful fiscal discipline by the legislature in recent years. The state had amassed a budget reserve trust fund balance of $3.7 billion. Determining how to utilize those dollars was one of the top issues heading into the 2024 session.

House Bill 1 now heads to the Governor. Over the next 10 days, he will be considering many bills passed by the General Assembly up to this point and decide to sign them into law, issue a veto, or let a bill become law without his signature. According to a press release about House Bill 1 from the House, the Governor does have authority to line-item veto things in this legislation.

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates.