Governor: State budget should balance this fiscal year without further cuts

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear on Wednesday reported his administration anticipates balancing the current fiscal year 2021 budget with no further cuts to state agencies or to the state’s Road Fund.

The governor based the prediction on the recently released Quarterly Economic and Review Report issued by the Office of the State Budget Director.

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To see the report, click here.

Governor Beshear also says he anticipates finishing fiscal year 2021 on June 30, 2021, with more than $460 million in the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, or Rainy Day Fund.  If that happens, it would be the highest total in that fund in state history, according to the governor.

The governor says a number of factors helped in balancing the budget, including better-than-expected revenue collections through the first four months, which has been supported by federal COVID-19 relief payments to Kentucky businesses and individuals, as well as the substantial investment in health care spending in response to the pandemic.

The governor says additional flexibility in the use of CARES Act money and an assumption that Kentucky’s economic circumstances will stay aligned with the U.S. economy through June 2021, also contributed to balancing the budget.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.