FRANKFORT, Ky. — Because of the coronavirus, lawmakers have to pass another budget next year but the economic picture might not look much different than it did before the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky is on track to have a healthy state budget next year

  • Economists met in Frankfort to provide estimates on future revenue

  • The next legislative session begins Jan. 5

The Consensus Forecasting Group met Friday to provide an estimate for how much money lawmakers will have to work with.

The group of economists looked at how much revenue Kentucky brought in, and despite a drop-off in the beginning of the pandemic, they said revenue rebounded in the summer when the current fiscal year started.

Growth is expected to continue once a vaccine becomes widely available — likely in late spring or early summer, when the current fiscal year ends.

“We know from a lot of consumer surveys that for a lot of people, [a vaccine] is what is going to make them feel comfortable about resuming the same level of economic activity that they were engaged in prior to COVID[-19] becoming such an issue,” Office of State Budget Office Deputy Director J. Michael Jones said.

The group only made a slight adjustment to their forecast from December 2019: $11.6 billion for the current fiscal year and $11.9 billion for FY 2022.

Member Bruce Johnson says they can only predict so much when the coronavirus is still an issue.

“I think whatever we do that’s entirely plausible to me that we’ll be back here for another unscheduled session to adjust our forecast again,” Johnson said.

Lawmakers will be back in Frankfort for the next session starting Jan. 5. They have until March 30 to pass a budget.