FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky's Republican governor says he will veto a $480 million tax increase and a two-year operating budget the GOP-controlled legislature approved to pay for public education at a time of teacher protests across the country.
Gov. Matt Bevin's budget director said Friday that a rushed-through tax hike would lead to a $50 million shortfall over the next two years. John Chilton told Bevin revenue projections for the tax bill are not accurate.
Teachers, students and parents rallied at the Capitol last Monday to protest Bevin's proposed cuts to education funding. Under the original measure, Northern Kentucky schools combined stood to lose roughly $30 million across the region.
Later Monday, lawmakers passed a measure that increased spending for the main funding formula for K-12 schools and restored money for school buses that Bevin had proposed eliminating.
Their tax bill would impose a 6 percent sales tax on a variety of services including auto and home repairs. The plan would also have cut income tax rates for some individuals and businesses.
Bevin said the bill is not as thoughtful or comprehensive as it should be. His veto was expected: He'd hinted at it in a tweet as lawmakers took up the bills last week.
Senate President Robert Stivers and acting House Speaker David Osborne disputed Bevin's assertion of a shortfall and have asked to meet with him before a veto. Lawmakers return to Frankfort on Friday, and legislative leaders were confident they'd be able to override his veto. They don't adjourn until Saturday, giving them time to vote again.
"We had 51 votes to pass it; we'll have 51 votes if we need it," Osborne told reporters last week.