Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Fischer’s Budget Address (AUDIO)

On Thursday, May 26, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer presented his first city budget to the Metro Council.

The mayor was able to close a $22.5 million shortfall by using a number of one-time stopgaps that his administration warned won’t be available in the future. During the address, Fischer compared Metro Government to a family that would disagree on spending priorities, but should share the goal of needed improvements through investment.

“Given the reality of where we are, this budget represents the best we can do this year. Most importantly, it puts us in a place where we can grown while we work through these tough times,” Fischer said. “And grow we must, or every budget from here on will be continued cutting.”

Here’s the full address.

Audio MP3
Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Council GOP Outlines Spending Priorities

Calling it a road map for real savings in the coming fiscal year, the Louisville Metro Council’s Republican caucus have presented Democrats with a list of their spending priorities for the city budget.

Revenue projections show little or no growth as Metro Government faces a $22 million shortfall. Mayor Greg Fischer is expected to present the budget sometime next week and has acknowledged layoffs and other cost cutting measures are being considered.

The GOP plan identifies certain agencies and areas that the 9-member caucus considers “mission critical” to the city such as the health and public safety departments, housing, library operations and attracting businesses.

Instead of across the board reductions, council Republicans have recommended spending in certain areas be cut. Those areas include community centers, Brightside, the Downtown Development Corporation and external contracts with Greater Louisville Inc., the city’s chamber of commerce.

Councilman Kevin Kramer, R-11, says they aren’t calling for slashes to any particular area by a certain percentage, but with limited resources the mayor and council must prioritize expenditures in tough economic times.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Rogers Proposes $45.7 Billion in Federal Spending Cuts

Setting up another budget battle for the coming fiscal year, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has offered a bill that proposes cutting another $45.7 billion from domestic spending and foreign aid.

The plan would slash almost every area of the federal government except for defense spending, which would give the Pentagon an additional $17 billion from current levels.

“Many of these cuts will not win any popularity contests, but these types of reductions are imperative to overcoming our unparalleled fiscal crisis so that we can get our economy moving, create jobs and provide future financial security,” Rogers told the New York Times.

Democratic lawmakers have already criticized the cuts to domestic programs such as college aid, food safety and public health as “draconian” measures. The federal government’s fiscal 2012 begins on Oct. 1.