In an update to its “Leaky Bucket” report, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says the state is making progress addressing some troubling trends.
The initial 2009 survey identified corrections, Medicaid, and public employee health insurance as areas where costs were growing far faster than the state budget. The update shows slowed growth rates in all three areas, but chamber president Dave Adkisson tells reporters there’s a storm cloud looming on the horizon in the form of teacher pension shortfalls.
He says the chamber sent letters to lawmakers during the 2014 session urging action.
"Even though there might not be the money immediately available, we at least let's do a bipartisan study of how we're going to address this. Basically our letter was ignored and unfortunately the answer was we don't have any money, so let's talk about it later," Atkisson says.
The teachers’ retirement system is only receiving about 70 percent of recommended contributions annually.
Adkisson says another fiscal hurdle could be on the way in the 2016-18 biennial budget as the state begins to take on more of the cost for Medicaid expansion.