Panel Predicts $1 Billion Shortfall; Beshear to Call Special Session

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A panel of economic experts agrees with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear; the state could be facing a deficit of almost one billion dollars.

After analyzing current and projected state revenue receipts, the Consensus Forecasting Group is predicting Kentucky could be facing an almost one billion dollar shortfall next fiscal year. The forecast options were optimistic, control or pessimistic, and the panel went with a 50/50 blend of control and pessimistic.

“Some argued 50/50, there was one 75/25, one 25/75, so it was pretty much the consensus feeling that we’re not as optimistic as the control forecast would suggest,” said chairman Larry Lynch.

Lynch says the projected shortfall in the road fund is $239 million. Immediately after the meeting, Governor Beshear issued a statement indicating he will call a special session beginning June 15th to address the budget shortfall.