Advocacy Group Tracks Stimulus Money

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A citizens advocacy group in Kentucky plans to keep close tabs on how federal stimulus dollars are spent in the commonwealth. 

Kentucky’s share of the federal stimulus package is about three billion dollars. Around 650-million of that can be used for the state budget, but 82-percent must be earmarked for education. 

With Kentucky facing an almost one billion dollar budget shortfall, Richard Beliles of Common Cause says the citizens advocacy group wants to make sure that happens. 

“Some of this stimulus money may be placed and driven toward areas that wasn’t the intent of the national law,” says Beliles. “So, I think it’s something that we’ve really got to watch.”

Beliles says Common Cause hopes to occasionally produce a Kentucky “report card” to track how stimulus dollars are spent in the commonwealth. 

The federal funds are already a hot topic as lawmakers prepare for a June 15th special legislative session that Governor Beshear intends to call to address the state’s huge budget shortfall.