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Creating a Sustainable State Government

GOAL: To create and sustain a state government that is financially stable and creates a competitive environment for economic growth.
The state has made progress in curtailing spending growth in some areas, but efforts must continue to ensure Kentucky makes the right investments of tax dollars to build a stronger future.

The Kentucky Chamber issued its “Leaky Bucket: Five Years Later” report in 2014, following up its 2011 “Building a Stronger Bucket” and 2009’s “Leaky Bucket.” The reports highlight the fact that Kentucky’s budget priorities have shifted away from investments in education toward providing more money for jails, public employee health benefits and Medicaid. “The Leaky Bucket: Five Years Later” analyzed 2012-2016 budgets and noted a significant reduction in the growth of spending on corrections, Medicaid and public employee health insurance and an increase in spending on non-SEEK education items (such as preschool and textbooks).
Spending on postsecondary institutions continued to decline. The Kentucky Chamber continues to monitor state spending and offers the following suggestions to ensure our policymakers do what most Kentucky families and business leaders have done over the past few years – establish spending priorities, make tough decisions and fix the leaks that take funds away from the priority of improving education. Actions to address unsustainable spending must occur before the discussion of additional revenue opportunities should begin.