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Disaster Spending Devours Surplus

A quarterly financial report says Kentucky is headed for a budget surplus this fiscal year.  But expenditures on natural disasters may devour almost half of the projected surplus.With rain still soaking the already waterlogged commonwealth, Gov. Beshear has taken a second tour of Western Kentucky, where flooding is at record levels.The state has already surpassed the financial threshold for federal disaster relief, but Beshear is still awaiting word from Washington on the governor’s request for a presidential disaster declaration.A quarterly report on Kentucky’s finances indicates there could be a $64 million surplus on June 30th, the end of the state’s fiscal year.But the report also says any excess funds must first be used for Necessary Government Expenditures, like natural disasters, and to restore the state’s depleted Budget Reserve Trust Fund.Government officials tell Kentucky Public Radio that Necessary Government Expenditures could total somewhere around $30 million this fiscal year.