- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Bill would raise Ky.’s motor fuels tax rate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s motor fuels tax would rise under a bill advanced Tuesday by a key House committee, which endorsed restoring a higher rate in place last year to generate more revenue for transportation projects statewide.

The measure would increase the tax at the pump by 1.5 cents a gallon from the current level, which automatically took effect at the start of 2014.

The tax is scheduled to drop another seven-tenths of a cent per gallon on April 1 without the proposed change.

The bill, part of a broader revenue measure, would adjust the formula that helps set the tax on sales of gasoline, diesel and ethanol.

Gov. Steve Beshear proposed the change in January to supply additional revenue for road and bridge work across the state.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee endorsed the change Tuesday while passing the revenue measure.


State budget plan includes $234 million for raises

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The proposed Kentucky state budget includes $234 million to give raises to more than 136,000 state workers.

The raises vary from 5 percent to 1 percent for state workers and judicial employees in 2015, with the largest raises reserved for employees who make less than $27,000 a year. In 2016, all state workers would receive a 1 percent raise.

The state’s 100,000 teachers and other school employees would get a 2 percent raise in 2015 and a 1 percent raise in 2016.

The raises for state workers, first proposed by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, passed the House budget committee Tuesday.

The judicial branch had asked for $16 million to give raises to its 3,300 nonelected employees. But state lawmakers budgeted $7.6 million.

“Twenty-five percent of our workforce now is working at a salary below the federal poverty guideline for a family of four,” Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton said. “That’s where we would focus our attention first.”

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