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SPOTLIGHT

House releases budget package with positive news for counties

The budget package was released yesterday, earlier than anticipated.

In a surprise move yesterday, House Republicans filed their 2022 budget proposal in three bills – HB 1 (State/Executive Branch Budget), HB 241 (Transportation Budget) and HB 244 (Judicial Branch Budget). Typically, the House budget package is released after the Governor’s budget address, which is scheduled for Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. Below are a few highlights from the budget, including a number of positive announcements for counties.

Big wins for counties:

Jails: A $4 increase in the per diem payments made to county jails that house state inmates

Water: $350 million for water and wastewater grants for counties

Roads: $25 million each year in special grants to help counties with road maintenance

Court Security Officers: A boost in the hourly reimbursement amount for Court Security Officer compensation to $15.00/hour

County Attorneys: Increased funding for additional positions for County Attorneys

Commonwealth’s Attorneys: Increased funding for the conversion of four part-time Commonwealth's Attorneys to full-time status and increased funding for additional personnel for Commonwealth's Attorneys

Infrastructure: $200 million in general fund dollars allocated for the required state match for the federal infrastructure package, instead of pulling from the underfunded road fund

Circuit Court Clerks: Funds to support a six percent salary increment in FY2022-2023 for non-elected personnel

 

ADDITIONAL BUDGET DETAILS

County Jails

County Jail Per Diem Increase: Included in the General Fund appropriation is $12,946,300 in FY2022-2023 and $12,787,200 in FY2023-2024 to support a $4 increase to the per diem payments to county jails that house state inmates.

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Transportation and Water Infrastructure

County Roads (new funds): $25 million in each fiscal year for a special grant to help county governments with road maintenance.

State Matching Funds: $200 million in General Fund appropriation for FY2021-2022 for state matching funds for the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Airports: $10 million in each fiscal year for a grant pool available to the state’s 52 general aviation airports.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Grant Program: Federal Funds appropriation of $350 million in fiscal year 2022-2023 from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for a Drinking Water and Wastewater Grant program, which shall be allocated to each county based on population.

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County Attorneys

Personnel: $4,418,000 in fiscal year 2022-23 and $9,035,600 in fiscal year 2023-24 for 27 additional positions for County Attorneys.

Rocket Docket: $549,800 in each fiscal year to support the Rocket Docket Program.

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Commonwealth’s Attorneys

Personnel: $3,615,500 in FY2022-2023 and $7,386,500 in FY2023-2024 for additional personnel for the Commonwealth's Attorneys. $643,200 in FY2022-2023 and $547,100 in FY2023-2024 for the conversion of four part-time Commonwealth's Attorneys to full-time status.

Rocket Docket: $2,411,400 in FY2022-2023 and $2,443,700 in FY2023-2024 to support the Rocket Docket Program.

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Circuit Court Clerks

Salary Increment for Non-Elected Personnel: Included in the General Fund, Restricted Funds, and Federal Funds appropriations are sufficient funds to support a six percent salary increment in fiscal year 2022-23 for non-elected personnel.

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PVAs

Office of Property Valuation Tax Roll and Mapping Project: $10,094,000 in each fiscal year for an aerial mapping project. The Department of Revenue shall work with the Commonwealth Office of Technology to develop a common digital mapping base that can be used by property valuation administrators and all other state agencies and local governments.

40 Hour Work Week: $3,783,200 in FY2022-2023 and $3,821,100 in FY2023-2024 to support transitioning property valuation administrators' offices to a 40 hour work week.

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Coal Counties

Coal Severance: Coal severance dollars will continue to be allocated 70 percent into the Local Government Economic Development Fund (LGEDF) and 30 percent into the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund (LGEA). Coal severance receipts are expected to be up for FY2023 and FY2024, leading to increased funding for LGEDF and LGEA. 

LGEA: $35,237,300 in FY2023 and $34,264,200 in FY2024.

LGEDF: $38,937,000 in FY23 and $38,416,600 in FY2024. 

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Court Security Officers

Compensation: The sheriff or other law enforcement officer serving a Circuit or District Court shall be compensated at the rate of $15 per hour of service. To be eligible for this enhanced rate, deputies providing services must be paid $10 per hour. The current compensation rate is $10 per hour.

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County Fairs

County Fair Grants: $455,000 in each fiscal year to support capital improvement grants to the Local Agricultural Fair Aid Program. This is an increase of $155,000 per year.

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General Government

Provides a 6 percent raise for state employees in FY2022-23 and requires the Secretary of Personnel to develop a plan to revise the classification and compensation for funding in the second year.

Returns the unemployment insurance fund to pre-pandemic levels by allocating $312 million in ARPA funds.

$10 million toward a population-based grant pool under the Department of Local Government that would allow each Representative and Senator to award grants to local governments, educational units, and quasi-governmental agencies.

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Pensions

Fully funds the actuarially required contribution for the Kentucky Retirement System at $1.2 billion per year.

Fully funds the actuarially required contribution for the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System at an estimated $1.067 billion in the first year and $1.084 billion in the second year. ($629 million in the first year and $646 million more in the second year).

Provides $215 million to the Kentucky State Police Retirement Fund to reduce the employer contribution rate from 141 percent to 100 percent.

 

Kentucky Association of Counties
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