Education funds not affected by Medicaid balancing

Caitlin Carter

Earlier this month, Gov. Steve Beshear made a five-stop tour around the state, including Bowling Green, advising constituents to ask state senators to not make education cuts to fund Medicaid.

On Friday, he got his wish.

Beshear vetoed portions of a Medicaid budget bill that would cut numerous state government services, including education, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Beshear believes the Medicaid budget should be balanced by borrowing from next year’s Medicaid funds and not by cutting education dollars, according to multiple reports from Paducah.

If some Republicans’ plan had been enacted, $38 million would have been cut from elementary schools, $22 million from state universities and $4.5 million from community colleges, Beshear told reporters.

The governor said balancing the Medicaid budget shouldn’t have been such a lengthy process.

“This special session was totally unnecessary,” he said. “It wasted taxpayer money. It needlessly raised anxiety levels for everyone from health care workers to health care recipients to teachers to police officers. And it diverted energy and attention in a time when we are trying to focus our efforts on creating jobs, improving our schools and taking care of our families.”

The House adjourned from the special session Thursday night, and the Senate took a recess until April 6.

The Senate plans to return in order to try to override the vetoes made by Beshear, which will require a mutual agreement of both chambers.