Kentucky chief justice blasts proposed House budget

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s chief justice says a proposed two year spending plan in the House of Representatives would be catastrophic for the state’s court system.

Chief Justice John Minton said the judicial system would have a $76.9 million shortfall over the next two years if the current proposal is approved. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin proposed cuts of 4.5 percent this year and 9 percent in each of the next two years for the judicial system. The proposed House budget eliminates the 4.5 percent cut, but keeps the 9 percent cuts in place for nonelected workers.

Minton said salaries and benefits make up 87 percent of the judicial branch budget. He said the budget, if enacted, could only be described as catastrophic and said the court system could not operate “as we know it today.”