Beshear says it's unlikely state can avoid child care cuts before July 1 -- but maybe next year

04/11/2013 06:13 PM

Expected cuts to programs that help low-income families cover child care costs aren’t likely to be avoided by the time the new fiscal year starts on July 1, said Gov. Steve Beshear.

Instead, the best hope now is that Kentucky can restore funding in time for fiscal year 2015 that begins July 1, 2014. That will come after the next General Assembly passes a new two-year budget and potentially after another round of tax reform measures, Beshear told Pure Politics on Thursday in Independence.

“Hopefully, the revenues in the state will continue to grow … and we’ll be able to replace that money” cut from two programs that provide stipends for families to cover day care, he said. The state relied on federal stimulus money to keep those programs fully funded, but now that the stimulus money has long since faded, the Health Cabinet has no other way to close its projected budget deficit for the year and keep those programs at current eligibility levels.

But Beshear said the cuts, which could affect as many as 11,000 low-income families, makes accomplishing further tax changes his “top priority” in the 2014 session.

Beshear said he plans to continue meeting with leaders of both parties and in both chambers about “other ideas” to change the tax code beyond several that were adopted to generate nearly $100 million to cover the state’s increased payments into the financially beleaguered public pension system.

“I’m hopeful that by next January, at least, we may have put together some more ideas about tax reform. And we might get something done,” he said.


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