Week 5 legislative session summary: budget bills pass House
Budget bills setting the course for Kentucky’s spending for the next two years, with an impact on almost every facet of county government, passed the House Thursday night following three hours of debate. The measures now head to the Senate.
HB 6, the state operational budget, passed the House floor by a 77-19 vote. Rep. Jason Petrie led the charge, aided by House Budget Review Subcommittees chairs, in presenting the bill on the House floor.
The bill was amended through a committee substitute that included some minor changes. The original bill had funding for many state offices based off those offices having 95 percent staffing, however, the committee substitute restored that funding to 100 percent.
The amended bill also made some changes to Next Generation 911 funding. While the original bill included $5 million in FY25 and FY26, the amendment provides $7.5 million in FY26 and an additional $1.1 million in FY24, FY25, and FY26 for commercial mobile radio services as part of Next Generation 911.
HB 1, the one-time funding bill, passed unanimously. The bill would put one-time Budget Reserve Trust Fund monies toward infrastructure improvements, pensions, economic development projects and public safety.
This bill was also amended through a committee substitute, which added $100 million to support mega-development projects of at least $10 million. The bill retained the $450 million for the Government Resources Accelerating Needed Transformation (GRANT) Program, also referred to as the HB 9 grant program.
The state legislative branch and judicial branch budgets – HB 263 and HB 264 – also advanced off the House floor Thursday. HB 263 was approved by a 90-2 vote, and HB 264 was approved by a 92-0 vote with two abstentions.
All four bills now head to the Senate, where some change is all but certain. Once the Senate passes their version, the two chambers will meet to work out their differences.
The transportation budget has not yet been introduced by the House.
Final legislation will be sent to the Governor prior to the veto period, which begins March 29, to secure the legislature’s ability to override any potential vetoes by Governor Beshear.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming County Officials Legislative Reception, which will be held at KACo headquarters in Frankfort on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 – 7 EST. You can register for the event here.