Kentucky Senate approves 2-year spending plan

The Kentucky Senate has approved a two-year operating budget that spends an additional $1.28 billion toward the state’s public pension debt.

The state Senate unanimously approved the spending plan on the final day of the legislative session. Legislative leaders worked for weeks to reach an agreement after initial talks stalled and it appeared the state could be heading to a special session or a shutdown of state government services.

Kentucky’s public pension debt is estimated at more than $30 billion, making it one of the worst funded systems in the nation. The spending plan also sets aside $125 million in a "permanent fund" that cannot be spent on the pension system until after the completion of a state audit.

The spending plan includes raises for state troopers and spending cuts of 4.5 percent for colleges and universities.

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