Though Gov. Steve Beshear vetoed 45 parts of the state budget yesterday evening, health-related spending was safe from the cut.
The budget will help reduce caseloads for social workers who investigate child abuse and neglect, funds colon cancer screenings for 4,000 uninsured Kentuckians, substance-abuse treatment for Medicaid recipients and includes funding for an elder abuse registry to protect senior citizens from unscrupulous caretakers.
"This is the most difficult budget I have ever drafted, and it will also be a challenge to implement and manage over the next two years," the governor said in a statement.
In the two-year, $19 billion budget, Beshear voted more than three dozen line-item appropriations, including "portions of the General Fund budget that limited his ability to manage the state's budget or spent money that doesn't exist," reports Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
He also cut some earmarks, including $100,000 for Actors Theatre of Louisville and $150,000 for the International Mystery Writers' Festival in Owensboro. "I am vetoing these parts because they identify new spending earmarks yet the General Assembly failed to appropriate additional funds to finance them," Beshear said. (Read more)