In her regular email to persons on her email list, state Senator Denise Harper Angel included a bullet-list comparison of Governor Beshear’s budget to the one released by the House, along with some comments of her own. We thought it was worth sharing.
(from the Denise Harper Angel newsletter)
In the latter portion of week two, the Governor delivered his annual Budget Address to the commonwealth. In an unprecedented, disingenuous move, the House decided to put out its spending plan before the Governor released his. When reviewing the two, there are some notable differences.
Gov. Beshear’s Pre-K – 12 Education Budget Comparison to House Budget:
- SEEK: $685 million more than the House budget over two years.
- Universal pre-school for all 4 year-olds: $172 million each year, while the House dedicated $0.
- Teacher and school staff salary increase: Minimum 5% increase, while House only encourages an increase.
- Public transportation: $175 million each year, $115 million more than the House’s $60 million.
- Social/emotional learning assistance: $6.2 million annually, while the House dedicated $0.
- Turnaround schools assistance: $14.4 million each year, while the House dedicated $0.
- Early learning initiative: $11 million each year, while the House dedicated $0.
- Local area vocational education center projects: $172.4 million each year, while the House dedicated $0.
Gov. Beshear’s Postsecondary Education Budget Comparison to House Budget:
- Institutions’ funding increase: $57.5 million in additional funding compared to the House’s total of $50 million.
- Better Kentucky Promise Scholarship: $27.5 million over the biennium, while the House did not include funding.
- Postsecondary education new construction projects: $1 billion in General Fund supported bonds for 19 projects, while the House dedicated $0.
As we deliberate how the influx of dollars will be allocated in this year's budget, I am thrilled to see the Governor's efforts to make historic investments in education, from fully funding Pre-K to allocating more funding for higher education, which has remained stagnant for over a decade. As we all know, education is the key to success, and these are proposals we should all be proud to get behind. The Governor’s proposed spending plan is well thought out and puts Kentucky in a great position moving forward.