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Analysis – Ryan Budget Big Cost for KY

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Monday, April 8, 2013   

BEREA, Ky. - An in-depth analysis of the budget recently passed by Republicans in the U.S House shows it would lead to substantial funding cuts in Kentucky. The report claims the budget authored by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would cut funding to the state and local governments by $3 billion over the next ten years.

According to Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, it would "sacrifice" programs that protect people's basic needs.

"Education, social services, work-force development and training," he listed. "Things like Title 1; Head Start; housing; Women, Infants and Children program. You know, law enforcement is also affected," Bailey added.

The state-by-state report comes from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Supporters argue the Ryan plan is necessary to reduce the federal deficit. But, Bailey pointed out that it also includes big tax cuts for the wealthy, at the expense of programs crucial to a poor state such as Kentucky.

"We're in the need of these investments in education, infrastructure and human services, the kinds of things that the federal government helps us pay for," Bailey said. "So, it's a question of priorities and a question of values. And, in a state like Kentucky, where we have so many needs, it's all the more important that we protect the investments that we have."

One of the report's authors, Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research for the Center, said the Ryan plan would reverse a very cost-effective expansion of Medicaid. Leachman claimed the program would be slashed by nearly a third in ten years, compounding a state's burden.

"The funding levels would fall further behind state needs each year," he declared. "And Medicaid's already a lean program; it costs much less per beneficiary than private insurance does."

Leachman said another big cost shift would come in public education, where states have already cut back because of the recession.

"States would have to further reduce their spending on K-12, or come up with their own money, or some combination of both of those things."

The report is at goo.gl/vlq2J.




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