Frankfort, KY – State Budget Negotiators remain at a standstill today after lawmakers resumed talks aimed at crafting a spending plan for the state. Neither side seemed willing to budge from their respective positions on how to deal with Governor Fletcher's "Tax Modernization" proposal.
Democrats in the House want to deal with the spending bill and the proposed tax code separately. However, Senate Republicans want any budget talks to include discussion of the Governor's proposed tax plan.
Frankfort, KY – Members of the General Assembly who were assigned to work out differences between Senate and House budget bills will meet tomorrow in Frankfort. Committee members will try to produce a budget that the full Senate and House can support.
The 2004 legislative session resumes next Monday, but is scheduled to end the next day. The budget Conference Committee will meet at ten a.m. Eastern time, Wednesday. The meeting in the Capitol Annex is open to the public.
Bowling Green, KY – Speaking at a legislative round-table in Bowling Green, four members of the Kentucky General Assembly expressed optimism that an agreement on the state budget is likely. The lawmakers attended a Chamber of Commerce forum.
Frankfort, KY – The Fletcher Administration says the Kentucky State Police are investigating alleged embezzlement by a former ranking official. The former official has been identified as Barbara Nash, who was the Director of the Division of Administrative Services in the Office of Financial Institutions.
Frankfort, KY – A report from Frankfort says the Kentucky unemployment rate in February was 5.3 percent, which is unchanged from January's figures. The jobless rate was down eight-tenths of a point from February of 2003.
The report comes from the Kentucky Department for Employment Services. The report says February of 2004 marked the lowest February jobless rate since 2001.
Frankfort, KY – Local zoning restrictions would not apply to federally licensed gun dealers and manufacturers under a bill approved by the Kentucky General Assembly. Under the legislation, gun dealers and gun makers could operate alongside any other business, and gun importers would be safe from zoning restrictions.
Frankfort, KY – Reports from Frankfort indicate the State Senate probably won't take up the budget until Monday. The delay means getting a budget agreement could be a close call this session.
Monday will mark the 58th day of the current legislative session, which runs sixty days. The only days left after Monday are already designated as time for legislators to overturn vetoes of the Governor. However, the two veto days can be used to pass bills.
Frankfort, KY – Legislation which was originally intended to exempt homeland security-related documents from open records laws was approved by the Kentucky Senate. However, the Senate version of the bill would also exempt donor records at state universities--- if a donor wants to remain anonymous.
Louisville, KY – Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen has released a report on the University of Louisville's Foundation---and on the spending of former U of L President John Shumaker. The report concludes that Dr. Shumaker did not use the Foundation for inappropriate personal benefit. However, the State Auditor is calling for tighter controls and guidelines, particularly regarding gifts received and distributed.