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Showing 1 post tagged sweeping regulatory accounts.

KY Supreme Court Approves Plugging Holes with Others' Piggy Banks

Budget drafting is one of the most challenging, yet essential, functions of state governments. Unlike the federal government, which has the ability to run large deficits and print its own currency, almost every state - Kentucky included - has a statutory or Constitutional framework requiring a balanced budget. Every two years, the Commonwealth's budget drafters utilize familiar methods to balance the ledger: debt restructuring, adjusting tax rates and spending levels, infusing federal funds and taxing new revenue sources. Another option, less understood by the public but increasingly utilized by Kentucky policy makers, is "sweeping" restricted funds. This controversial task has just been made easier thanks to a recent decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court. In a 5-2 opinion, the practice of sweeping regulatory accounts was declared lawful, meaning that lawmakers may continue to transfer fees and fines collected by state regulatory agencies to the General Fund without violating the Kentucky Constitution. The legality of sweeping funds that are generated by a statutory tax (rather than fines and fees) was not directly addressed by the Court, leaving open the possibility that the sweeping of such funds may yet be deemed unconstitutional. More >

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