Lawmakers Prepare to Deal With Another Budget Shortfall

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

With Kentucky’s 2010 legislative session just seven weeks off, budget-related activity is picking up in Frankfort.

Despite recent budget cuts and tax hikes, Kentucky is still facing a revenue shortfall of 161-million dollars this fiscal year.

But with legislative elections looming next year, House budget chairman Rick Rand seriously doubts the next biennial budget will include tax increases.

“We raised cigarette and alcohol taxes in February and I think the likelihood of us raising taxes again are very, very slim,” he said.

Rand made the comment at an AARP rally at the State Capitol that drew hundreds of Kentuckians concerned about possible cuts to social service programs.

Hearings on the next biennial budget are already getting underway at the capitol.