Ky. State Parks Might Receive a Bailout

January 29, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Ky. State Parks Might Receive a Bailout

Unlike state agencies that would take funding cuts in Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed state budget, the Department of Parks and the State Fair Board are among a few that would get significant jolts of added revenue in their current year.

The Courier-Journal reported that Beshear’s budget would give the parks department $8.2 million in the current fiscal year on top of its original appropriation of $28.3 million.

Beshear’s budget would appropriate $33.6 million to Parks in 2014-15 and $34.5 million in 2015-16.

The bailout this year, and part of the funds for the next two years are needed “to cover the cumulative and ongoing revenue shortfall to the Department to continue operating without closing facilities,” Beshear’s budget says.

And the Fair Board, which traditionally operates on its own revenues, would get $10.5 million this year.

The governor’s proposed budget said the Fair Board money is needed “to cover the cumulative and ongoing revenue shortfall due to the loss of University of Louisville Basketball, loss of the Executive East, loss of the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom lease and a decline in State Fair revenue.”

Jane Driskell, Beshear’s budget director, and Gil Lawson, spokesman for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that includes both Parks and the Fair Board, declined to comment on the special appropriations. Driskell said she will testify about both before legislative committees this week.

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