From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
Kentucky House and Senate leaders are now signaling it’s likely going to require new revenue sources to balance the state budget this fiscal year.
After caucusing for two hours, House Democrats gave their leaders the green light to talk taxes with Senate leaders. All options remain on the table, says Speaker Greg Stumbo.
“We believe that further budget cuts to the level that would be required with no new sources of revenue, that it would be devastating to Kentucky’s families,” Stumbo said Tuesday.
Senate President David Williams agrees. “It appears to me at this juncture that there will be a need for some revenue,” he said.
Neither side will say how far they’re willing to go, but Governor Beshear’s budget-balancing plan includes a 70-cent increase in the cigarette tax. The problem they’re trying to fix is a $459 million state budget shortfall in the current fiscal year.