Frankfort, KY – Right now, there are more than seven thousand children in foster care in Kentucky. Half are in the care of private agencies. But Governor Beshear's budget-balancing plan is slashing funding to the agencies by four-point-five million dollars. That will also result in a loss of three million dollars in federal funding. It's too much, says Ralph Risimini (rizz-uh-MEN-ee) of St. Joseph's Children's Home in Louisville. "We're down to the point where there isn't any fat. The fat went away a year and a half ago. Now, were getting down to muscle and we're getting awful close to bone."
With the 2009 legislative session resuming in Frankfort, the agencies want Kentucky lawmakers to restore their funding. But it's a tall order, because lawmakers are trying to fill a 459-million dollar hole in the state budget.