Appropriation measures proceed through legislative process

Published 6:46 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

By Representative Daniel Elliott

We are approaching the end of this year’s session, with only a few days remaining on the legislative calendar. While many bills are still up for consideration, only a few will make it through the process to become law. Under the current legislative calendar, we will return on April 12 and 15 to deal with any unfinished business. The final two days are always reserved to give us time to consider any vetoes that a governor might issue on bills we have passed.

One of our top priorities this session remains passing a responsible state budget that balances the state’s needs with our obligation to prepare for the future and make sure that each dollar we spend is invested wisely. The budget, filed as HB 6, provides the foundation for state spending over the next two fiscal years and includes funding for all executive branch agencies and programs. You may remember that the House version, which passed over a month ago, continues to remain committed to education, infrastructure, and public safety while providing significant support for human services. 

Email newsletter signup

Last week, the budget conference committee met to go through the budgets page by page. Conversations continue as we work to pass a responsible spending plan that balances the state’s current needs and improving its long-term well-being.

Another one of our top priorities is HB 1. This bill taps existing state resources to make significant one-time investments in infrastructure, public safety, and economic development, as well as paying down the state’s public pension liabilities. We have a significant amount in our state’s budget reserve trust fund and HB 1 provides an opportunity to make one-time investments that will help the state’s financial status and lay the groundwork for the future. Ultimately, we can make these investments because we have made a conscious effort to save what we could rather than spend every available dime.

While I know there are some who would like to see us spend more, and frankly I would like to be able to, I am not sure we will ever spend enough to make everyone happy. In the end, we can look to other states that are now struggling because they have spent too much too soon rather than investing wisely.

In addition, several other measures are in play this week, including:

  • HB 13 cleans up language for HB 745 22RS, the Kentucky Product Development Initiative. The measure changes the match requirements for counties based on population density and ten-year percentages change in population. Further, HB 13 would continue to act as a driver for economic development in the Commonwealth.
  • HB 267 would provide for the authorization of the Office of Broadband Development to implement the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. The measure gives the guide rails for the funds appropriated in the 24RS biennial budget bill. Access to broadband is not just a connection; it is a lifeline to education and opportunity. In a digitally connected world broadband fuels innovation and paves our way into the future.
  • HB 563 would provide loans through Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) and the General Assembly to those who would not qualify for any other state or federal assistance. Additionally, the measure would create the Emergency Kentucky Waste Waters Fund. Similar to the WWATERS Fund, the emergency revolving loan fund would provide capital to systems during a state of emergency in order to restore utility service. The Kentucky Infrastructure Authority would administer the emergency loan fund. The funding for this mechanism is in HB 1 24RS. The measure provides an accessible, transparent, and efficient process applying for and awarding funds designated by the legislature to help struggling communities across the commonwealth.
  • HB 723 would provide support and grant funding to communities impacted by the loss of coal-related jobs communities through a federal GRANT program with a local match component. The measure develops a scoring system to review applications. The ranking for each match application should prioritize the greatest return on investment and relative impact of the eligible project. Based on the evaluation and project score, a list should be compiled of proposed match applicants. Eligible grant recipients include local governments and nonprofits engaged in public benefit improvements to priority communities designated by the federal Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization.
  • HJR 56 would authorize the State Budget Director to release $71 million to the Department of Parks for specific capital construction upgrades. This funding mechanism stems from HB 1 22RS.
  • SB 127 sets a framework for businesses that feed into the $20 billion exports in the aviation industry. The measure plays a role to fill the pipeline.

As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at