State budget office provides FY19 surplus

Story by Ava Chuppe

Contributing writer

On July 25, the state budget office released the final details about the Fiscal Year 2019 budget surplus.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced earlier this month that the state closed FY19 with record high revenues, surpassing FY18 by over $550 million. Following the payment of $33.2 million in government expenditures, appropriations will be made.

These appropriations are $60.1 million for the Kentucky Employees Retirement System pension liability fund, $70 million for the Teachers Retirement System health insurance fund, $14.9 million for lottery receipts to need-based scholarships, $15 million in coal severance taxes and $2.7 million to mineral severance taxes.

State Budget Director John Chilton said the growth in revenue was due to economic development initiatives that broadened the tax base.

“We are pleased that this strong budget surplus allows us to allocate significant additional resources to benefit Kentuckians, including state employees, retired teachers, postsecondary students and local communities,” Chilton said. “Commitment to fiscal responsibility and forward-thinking economic policies are setting the Commonwealth on a course for sustained financial stability and growth.”

In addition, Kentucky is experiencing record low unemployment, with almost 53,800 new jobs created and $20 billion in investment added since Dec. 2015. In May 2019, the state’s exports reached a record of over $105 billion.

In August, the state budget office will release more information about the FY19 budget when it meets with the Appropriation and Revenue Committees.