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Senate pushes spending plan calling for state worker raises

Bryan Woolston/AP
FR171481 AP
FILE - Kentucky Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel listens to testimony during a State and Local Government Committee meeting at the state capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 19, 2020. Senate Republicans unveiled a tax-relief proposal Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, that would deliver income tax rebates to Kentucky taxpayers in the latest proposal aimed at offering relief from rising consumer prices. The legislation would grant state personal income tax rebates of up to $500 per individual and up to $1,000 per household, Sen. McDaniel said. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

Senate Republicans have pushed forward their version of Kentucky’s next two-year spending plan. It includes pay raises for state employees and
directs money for improvements at state parks and state fairgrounds. Karyn Czar reports from Frankfort.

HB 1 passed through a Senate panel Wednesday morning and the full Senate late in the afternoon. The budget includes raises for state employees, KSP troopers and social workers; funds to shore up the state pension system and additional money specifically for police pensions. The plan also includes the tax rebate plan and the possibility to cut income tax. Republican Senator Chris McDaniel.

“Inflation is just crushing Kentuckians. This is their money. They sent it to us. We didn’t expect it to come in. It needs to go back to them.”

All the budget plans that have been touted this session include raising funding for schools. However, the Senate plan does not include raises for teachers and full day kindergarten is cut from this version, a sticking point for the Governor and fellow Democrats like Senator Reggie Thomas.

“We don’t fund universal pre-K, which we would have enough money to do that Mr. President for twenty years,” Thomas said.

And some Democrats voted no because they weren’t given enough time to read the entire bill.

Senator Morgan McGarvey, “The reality is that we were not given a printed copy of the budget until this morning during committee at 9:00 am. Here we are on the floor voting the document out the same day.”

Senator McDaniel quipped, “Well I think this document’s perfect. They outta (sic) just approve it and we’ll go home.”

The deadline for lawmakers to finalize a budget is April 14th.

Karyn Czar joined the WUKY News team July 1, 2013, but she's no stranger to radio.