Quick Takes

House Republicans unveil two-year state budget with over $1.7 billion in one-time spending

By: - January 16, 2024 7:24 pm

A state budget bill will likely be filed in the House this week, Speaker David Osborne told reporters soon Tuesday, the first day of the 2024 regular session. (Getty Images)

Republican leadership in the Kentucky House of Representatives filed bills representing a much anticipated two-year state budget Tuesday with over $1.7 billion in one-time expenditures, legislation that lawmakers in the GOP-controlled legislature will discuss and craft over the coming weeks. 

House Bill 1, filed by House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chair Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, lays out the one-time appropriations earmarked by Republicans in their two-year budget proposal while House Bill 6, also filed by Petrie, lays out a 251-page two-year budget for the state’s executive branch. 

“The General Assembly’s commitment to growing the state’s budget reserve trust fund provides us with an opportunity to make a big impact in several areas of opportunity and need,” Petrie said in a provided statement. “While we know there are those who would like to see us spend in more politically beneficial ways, we’ve chosen to make substantial investments in targeted areas that will improve the quality of life for Kentuckians today and strengthen the state’s fiscal position for the future.”

Some advocates representing various interests from housing to education have called on the General Assembly to make substantial investments into the state’s needs, ranging from tackling the state’s housing shortage to investing in education, using the “rainy day” fund.

House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, in a statement said keeping a “strong base in the budget reserve trust fund is critical” to “continue to lower the individual income tax, provide the day-to-day, necessary functions of state government, and look for ways to invest in our future.”

The one-time appropriations proposed by House Republicans include $950 million to pay down state pension debts, $150 million for water and wastewater grants and $450 million to help fund matching dollars for federal grants received by state and local governments. 

House Democratic Caucus leaders in a statement said they were just starting their review of the budget proposal, and it was “too soon to offer a reaction.” Leadership for the minority of Democrats instead pointed to House Bill 114, legislation filed representing Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s budget proposal

“It’s fiscally responsible while investing heavily in education, infrastructure and the economy,” leaders said in their statement. “That will be tough to beat.” 

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Liam Niemeyer
Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.