Forecasters: Kentucky Budget Deficit Growing

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky’s projected budget deficit for the current fiscal year just got bigger.

Gov. Steve Beshear has been looking for ways to trim around $80 million from the state budget this fiscal year, but now it looks like he may have to double that. The Consensus Forecasting Group, chaired by Larry Lynch, is predicting a deficit of almost $161 million.

“Look at your sales tax receipts and income tax receipts. Withholding has been very bad. Nothing much has turned around. Nothing much has improved.”

The panel of economic experts that advises the governor and legislative leaders is also predicting a shortfall of $195 million in the next biennium. These are preliminary figures. The panel meets again in December to finalize its projections for the 2010 General Assembly.