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Deeper Cuts Likely Ahead for State Government

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighSome state agencies in Kentucky may see budget cuts of three-to-four percent this fiscal year.That’s the message in a letter mailed Friday by State Budget Director Mary Lassiter and obtained by Kentucky Public Radio. Lassiter says these are NOT across-the-board cuts.“Most of the priority areas of government were protected from additional cuts – you know, the SEEK calculation or funding for post-secondary education, Medicaid, corrections," says Lassiter. "A very large percentage of the dollars in the General Fund aren’t subject to cuts. The original 2.6% proposal was versus ’09 spending levels for kind of the rest of government beyond most of the agencies that I mentioned.”Lassiter says agencies receiving the letter have until July 22nd to respond. She says the bigger cuts are necessary because tax credits lawmakers approved during the June special session will further reduce state revenue receipts.For one thing, lawmakers waived state income taxes for active duty military personnel, effective January 1st. That’s an 18-million dollar a year hit on the state budget.