In his budget proposal, Governor Bevin provided $60 million in state funding for an investment partnership with the City of Lexington for the project. The arrangement includes a guaranteed repayment of funds to the state using .5 cents of the transient room tax. In order for the Lexington Convention Center to remain competitive and meet its potential as an economic engine, Lexington and the state must make needed investments. Industry experts forecast that expanding the Convention Center will generate more than $57 million in annual economic impact, an increase from $42 million today.
State Budget Update
With less than 25 legislative days remaining in the 60-day session, the House has not released its version of the budget. Legislators continue to hear testimony from state officials about the impact of the Governor's proposed cuts to various state agencies. The Governor's proposal included 4.5 percent budget cuts for the rest of the current fiscal year and 9 percent cuts for the next two fiscal years for most of state government, including higher education. The savings are aimed at helping meet financial obligations to the state pension systems and Medicaid.
Many Capitol observers now anticipate the House will present its budget in mid-March after the special elections next week. Special elections for four vacant House seats will be held on Tuesday, March 8. Currently, Democrats hold a slim majority (50-46) in the chamber.