Here’s this week’s big Friday at 4:30 story — Gov. Steve Beshear has called for a special session to deal with the predicted $996 million shortfall in the next fiscal year budget. The session will begin June 15.
That anticipated report from the state’s economic forecasters is just as bad as politicians were predicting — nearly twice last year’s deficit. Gov. Beshear is expected to begin calling lawmakers this weekend.
Will he finally embrace the need for slots?
First out of the gate with a statement is House Speaker Greg Stumbo:
Today’s forecast should not be a surprise, given the extended downturn in the nation’s economy. The main hope is that economic conditions are beginning to improve and we can now begin the long, slow climb back to prosperity. Fortunately, the federal stimulus money will help cushion the impact of this deficit, though no one should expect the next two years to be easy. Our goal in the House is to continue doing all we can to maintain essential health services and education spending, and we will try to do just that during the special session. As I have said before, now is not the time to raise taxes on Kentucky’s working families; just as they have had to tighten their belts, so will we as a state.