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Pennyrile Health Dept. Director Pens Letter to Legislature About Bevin’s Budget

Charles Hiter

A regional health department director has written an open letter to Kentucky legislators on how the Governor’s budget could impact the department.

Pennyrile District Health Department director Charles Hiter addressed the 6.25 percent cut to state-allocated funds as outlined in the budget and the increase in departement contributions to employee pension plans. Hiter said the department could face a cumulative loss of more than one-million dollars but is mandated by law to stay open.

“To ask us for significantly greater funds like this across the state will only keep Kentucky in the fight to be the worst or the second to worst in health in the nation,” Hiter said.

Hiter said if the state makes no changes to the pension systems then the contribution the department would have to pay towards employee pensions would increase from 48 percent to 84 percent - or $635,000. He said if the budget passes with no changes, the department could sustain itself for one and a half years through emergency reserves.

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