Senate GOP spending plan calls for state employee pay raises

Plan directs money to overhaul state parks and the state fairgrounds.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A two-year state spending plan revealed Wednesday by Senate Republicans in Kentucky includes pay raises for state workers and directs money to overhaul state parks and the state fairgrounds.

The Senate proposal mirrors the House-passed version on a key element of education funding. Both plans call for the same increases in per-pupil funding under SEEK — the state’s main funding formula for K-12 schools. The amount would go to $4,100 in the first fiscal year and $4,200 in the second year. The current amount is $4,000.

After weeks of behind-the-scenes work, the Senate plan was sent to the full chamber Wednesday by a committee. The final budget ultimately will be hashed out by House and Senate conferees.

The Senate’s version includes more than $1 billion in unspent funds — giving lawmakers room to consider revamping the state’s tax system.

The Senate plan includes a $4,500 pay raise for state employees in the first year of the two-year budget cycle, said Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel. The plan includes a second-year raise.

Kentucky State Police troopers and social workers would receive larger pay raises.

The Senate plan calls for reviews of the state fairgrounds and state parks system. In the second year, the spending plan would authorize $250 million to overhaul the parks system and $200 million for the fairgrounds, McDaniel said.


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