Regional
1:43 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

Governor May Run the State on His Own Spending Plan

Frankfort, KY – The General Assembly's failure to pass a budget raises the
specter, for the second time in three years, of a Kentucky governor
running the state on his own spending plan.
Political opponents indicate that they probably will take him to
court over the matter.

The Senate and House shut down late yesterday, after
they were unable to agree on Governor Fletcher's demand
for a new tax code. Fletcher's GOP allies in the Senate
insisted on including his proposed tax changes in a new
budget. Democrats who control the Kentucky House
refused to go along.

Fletcher says he probably will follow the approach taken by
his predecessor, Paul Patton, who was left in similar circumstances
in 2002.

Patton ran the state for nine months under an "Executive Spending
Plan." That was an unprecedented move that was challenged in
court by State Treasurer Jonathan Miller and later by Senate
President David Williams.

That suit was dismissed as moot after the 2003 General Assembly
finally passed the budget that expires on June 30th.