Regional
11:36 am
Tue March 1, 2005

Senate Approves Budget

Frankfort, KY – The Senate hastily but unanimously approved a new state budget late Monday night.
The vote came just hours after written versions of the two year spending plan first appeared in the chamber.
The Senate version of a state budget contains some subtle but significant differences from the House version that emerged about a week ago.
While there was some complaining about getting a look at the 300 pages of detail for only a short time before a vote, there was general bipartisanship in approving it.
Even after the full Senate vote, differences with the House plan were going to mean a conference committee to resolve differences and another round of votes.
The Seante also unanimously voted to make a penny increase in the gasoline tax permanent. The pennt hike has been in place for about a year, though lawmakers insist it's not a tax increase.
The gas tax change is part of the 300 plus pages of revisions to the tax code originally proposed by Governor Fletcher and modified slightly in the House and Senate.
The Senate version discarded a sales tax holiday idea that was promoted by a House Democratic leader and restored a special fund for tourism promotion that is a favorite of Commerce Secretary Jim Host.