Despite a number of Republican abstentions, a Kentucky House committee has given its approval to a $20.3 billion, two-year budget.
The spending plan largely mirrors the governor’s proposal, boosting funding for elementary and secondary education. Still, not all of Gov. Beshear’s ideas were included. House budget committee chair Rick Rand says the committee trimmed close to $10 million in preschool and textbook funding from the governor’s proposed increase.
"When we lost the PVA issue and the way the legislative budget was presented, it created about a $40 million dollar hole and that's one of the ways we were able to accomplish that," Rand says.
The spending plan maintains a 2.5 percent cut for colleges and universities while funding raises for state employees, teachers and other school employees.
A handful of Republicans abstained or voted no on the budget. One Democrat, Louisville’s Jim Wayne, also expressed frustration with the result.
"This is a good budget if you accept the limitations. I don't accept these limitations. I think we have failed to unleash our potential as leaders to create a better Commonwealth," Wayne told his colleagues before voting against the spending plan.
If passed by the House, the budget will move to the Senate for consideration this week.