Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Recognizes Senate for Budget Progress

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 21, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Senate Budget takes important steps to returning fiscal responsibility to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Governor Ernie Fletcher said today.

“Upon initial review of the Senate’s actions, we have renewed hope that we will conclude this session with a budget – and that is a very good thing,” said Governor Fletcher.

Governor Fletcher commended the Senate for working diligently to keep the budget process moving forward. The Senate received the budget from the House late in the process and has worked very hard to timely pass a budget bill.

The Governor said the Senate improved on the House’s budget in several key areas, addressing concerns such as the “rainy day fund” and the state employee health insurance fund.

The Governor noted concerns about the amount of bonded indebtedness for capital projects – $2.16 billion – that could harm the state’s credit rating, but expressed hope that this will be addressed during conference committee meetings.

Governor Fletcher applauded the Senate for several key aspects of their budget. Those aspects include:

  • Restoration of two instructional days in the public school calendar.
  • Restoration of funding for the Ohio River bridges project.
  • Restoration of funding with non site-specific language for the Louisville Arena.
  • Inclusion of the ICARE initiative, with funding, which will provide health insurance for employees in small businesses.
  • Academic excellence and teacher pay parity.
  • Affirmation of the waiver process for the state’s Medicaid program.
  • Restoration of funding for the “Read to Achieve” initiative.
  • Affirmation of the Governor’s wellness and fitness initiative.
  • Affirmation of the Governor’s recommendation to increase the employer contribution to the state employee retirement system, increasing it slightly.