Comparison of the House and Senate budget bills


For those of you who like to dig into the details, here is a side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate budget bills. As always, if you REALLY want to dig into the details, you should visit the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and read their in-depth analyses of the budgets. Their Senate budget analysis came out the evening that the bill was first presented, which is pretty amazing work. (And by the way, you should also donate to their work, which is top-notch.)

The House will probably reject the Senate version of their bill, so then the two houses will have to go to conference to hammer out a compromise on the differences. Watch for updates on Forward Kentucky as we follow this important bill.


Budget Bill Comparison
As of 2018/03/21

Area House Senate Notes

Funding Pensions

TRS Funds the ARC Underfunds the ARC by more than $1B over the 2-year biennium Senate President Stivers said this was done to make a point with the teachers.
Healthcare for under-65 teacher retirees Pays premium support for under-65 retirees for one year, then requires TRS to pay it out of their healthcare fund Does not pay premium support for under-65 retirees, requiring TRS to pay it out of their healthcare fund for both years
KRS Funds the ARC Funds the ARC – then pays an additional $1B over the biennium Granted, KRS systems are in worse shape than TRS … but this is where the teachers’ money went.
Legislative/judicial pensions Funds the ARC Includes no funding for these pension systems

Revenue and Transfers

Clean up special interest tax breaks to raise revenue, and/or additional revenue streams None None Numerous possibilities exist in this space, but none were included in either bill other than the new opioid tax.
Income tax filing Removes $10 credit for filing income tax returns Not included  
Cigarette tax Increases tax by 50 cents No increase in cigarette tax  
Opioid tax Imposes tax of 25 cents per dose Removes opioid tax  
Miscellaneous Freeze film credit and tourism tax credit and an increase in the waste tires fee of $1 Same as House  
Transfers Takes $481M out of Kentucky Employees Health Plan over biennium Takes $310M out of Kentucky Employees Health Plan over biennium  

Spending and Cuts

Most of state spending 6.25% cut across the board 6.25% cut across the board Percentage originally proposed by the governor
Employee raises None funded None funded State workers have had no pay increases for 8 of the last 10 years
SEEK funding Increases SEEK base formula and restores SEEK transportation dollars Cuts House funding by $72M / $80M Both budgets still set SEEK funding lower than 2008 levels
Textbooks No funding provided No funding provided Governor’s proposal also included no funding
Healthcare for current teachers Fully funds the program Cuts $58M / $72M from House proposal Local school districts will have to make up the difference
Preschool   Cuts funding by 6.25%  
Afterschool   Cuts funding by 6.25%  
Higher education Keeps base funding at current levels, but does cut some programs Cuts base funding by 6.25% along with some programs State spending on higher education has been cut 35% since 2008
Higher education performance funding Included $7.7m for performance based funding in 2020 Puts $24M / $31M into pool that schools must compete for Even if your school gets some of this, it is still less than the cuts.
Higher ed scholarships   Increases need-based scholarship funding by $11M more than House over two years  
Social workers Accepts Gov’s proposal to add funding to hire more social workers and give pay raises to all Keeps increase.  
K-CHIP (Children’s healthcare)   Adds $12M to make up for reduction in Federal funding  
State Police, Veteran’s Affairs Protected from 6.25% cut applied to most of state government Same  
Private Prisons Includes $37M/year for new private prisons Removes the funding for private prisons unless all beds in local jails are fully utilized