Governor Bevin: Budget Makes Historic Commitment to Pensions, Restores Fiscal Responsibility

Governor’s actions maximize flexibility to manage scarce resources and eliminate unfunded mandates


Jessica Ditto

Amanda Stamper

Link to Veto Messages

Governor Matt Bevin today issued final action on a historic budget that invests an unprecedented amount of dollars into the state's ailing pension systems and restores fiscal responsibility in state government.

“We are delighted that this budget makes a historic commitment to our ailing pension system and restores fiscal responsibility in state government,” said Governor Bevin. “All of the goals that we outlined in January to repair our financial foundation have been achieved. First and foremost, we are being good stewards of the hard-earned dollars that are entrusted to us. We are committing funds to address the backlogs of untested rape kits, dedicating the lottery proceeds entirely for education, putting resources directly into workforce training, strengthening the fight against substance abuse and keeping the promise made to our teachers and other retired state workers. Today’s action will create economic opportunity and provide benefits to generations for years to come.”

The budget meets the goals Governor Bevin laid out in January:

  • Strengthens Kentucky's financial foundation by signing the most fiscally conservative budget in decades. 
  • Keeps promise to Kentucky’s public servants, teachers and retired workers and dedicates $1 billion to our pension system. More money to our pension system than any previous budget.
  • Invests in workforce development by establishing a $100 million bond pool to support workforce training initiatives statewide. 
  • Protects the SEEK formula while holding the per-pupil funding harmless from any reduction.
  • Dedicates all available lottery proceeds entirely to education, as originally promised to Kentuckians.
  • Provides increase in investment to front-line members of Kentucky’s law enforcement, including pay raises for Kentucky State Police.
  • Makes additional funds immediately available to begin addressing the backlogs of untested rape kits and other types of forensic testing in order to bring justice to the victims.
  • Bolsters the fight against substance abuse by fully funding the 2015 anti-heroin legislation. 
  • Redirects an unprecedented amount of coal severance funds back to the counties and communities where the coal industry has been hit hardest.
  • Invests in infrastructure for the future.
  • Creates a permanent pension fund to address the ongoing need to fix our unfunded pension systems.

Governor’s targeted vetoes give additional flexibility to ensure we are fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars:

  • Commits funding for Work Ready Scholarship program
    • The Governor preserved funding for the Work Ready Scholarship program in the second year of the biennium so the program can be effectively designed and implemented.
  • Ensures efficient and effective use of agency resources
    • With the Commonwealth facing significant fiscal constraints, agencies must retain maximum administrative flexibility to effectively deploy agency resources.
  • Preserves more than $90 million per year for the Preschool Programs and dedicated $7.5 million each year for grant programs to develop high quality, full day quality programs for children.





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