Members of the Kentucky House and Senate will not meet in session Wednesday, but budget negotiations will continue. After talks came to a standstill this week, leaders from both chambers decided to work on the spending plan Wednesday and likely Thursday, and then call members back into session on Friday.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo was asked if this strategy would work. “If it doesn’t work, it won’t be because we didn’t try,” Stumbo said. “This is pretty normal in the closing days of a lot of sessions, there is a little bit of confusion. We are working very desperately to get a budget, very hard to get a budget.”
Both chambers remain divided on two key points: the Democratic House wants to restore proposed funding cuts to higher education. The Republican Senate wants to use money attained through reductions to address the state’s pension crisis.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer is cautiously optimistic.
“Everything is in flux, but we’re not at a stalemate anymore,” said Thayer. “Conversations are cordial and I still feel like there’s a good chance we can come up with a compromise.”
Thayer said for a compromise plan to work, each side has to give a little. Neither chamber is scheduled to meet in session again until Friday.