The Kentucky Youth Advocates organization is asking Governor Steve Beshear and state lawmakers to find new sources of revenue instead of cutting budgets to offset a projected revenue shortfall.
When he announced the $294 million projected deficit Thursday, Governor Beshear said budget cuts and tax increases may be required to bring the budget into balance. State programs already saw budget cuts earlier this year, when the commonwealth faced a more than $400 million deficit.
Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks says health and human services programs can’t endure more cuts, and it’s time to find new revenue streams for the state.
“I just think it’s incumbent upon leadership within the state to make sure that what is clearly a budget crisis doesn’t become a human crisis,” he says.
Brooks also wants the Governor to tap into Kentucky’s rainy day fund to help offset the deficit
“If we’re really going to avoid hurting families and children in this state, we really can’t go the route of tightening belts and pulling bootstraps up any more than we have,” says Brooks.
A state budget report says a large chunk of the rainy day fund was committed to balance the previous budget. Beshear plans to make a specific budget proposal in early December.