Ten years after its initial findings, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has updated its “Leaky Bucket” report reviewing the biggest ‘leaks’ in Kentucky’s state revenue ‘bucket.’ The update examined state spending trends of the past decade, identified challenges that remain and offered recommendations for moving forward.
The Leaky Bucket: 10 Years Later highlighted fast growing spending areas including corrections, Medicaid and public employee benefits as major budget leaks. Findings showed Kentucky fell below the national average for both revenue and spending as a percentage of the total state’s economy. This measure is used to gauge the relative size of the government of each state.
The report concludes with policy recommendations including broad penal code reform, comprehensive review of the Medicaid program, added efforts to curb smoking, increase in employee wellness programs, pension benefit changes for long-term savings and a higher priority on education funding. It points to generating additional revenue by looking ‘beyond the bucket’ as a potential support system.