In just over an hour last night, the McCracken County Fiscal Court produced a tentative balanced budget for the next fiscal year. Commissioners met to close an over $170,000 dollar shortfall. They overcame the gap by eliminating the county’s annual financial contribution to EntrePaducah and reducing funds for the county’s new animal shelter. EntrePaducah is running a $350,000 dollar surplus, and Commissioner Ronnie Freeman says that means the county can cut their $300,000 dollar contribution to zero.
Governor Steve Beshear has appointed Lexington horseman and attorney John Phillips to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Phillips replaces John Ward, who was appointed in February as executive director of the panel. The commission is responsible for regulating horse races and pari-mutuel betting on those races. Phillips says he's pleased to accept the appointment to a racing commission that has made "great strides" to improve the sport.
A lobbying group for various drug manufacturers has set a record for money spent during a Kentucky legislative session.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent nearly half a million dollars between January and March lobbying against a bill aimed at curbing meth production by limiting pseudoephedrine purchases.
Judicial employees across Kentucky will have to take unpaid furloughs for three days this year to deal with cuts to the court system's budget. That means courthouses will close statewide on August 6th, September 4th and October 15th. Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. says the judicial system's overall funding appropriation "is far short" of what's necessary to operate the state's courts over the next two years. The court system has reduced employment by 282 people since 2008 because of a shrinking budget.