With time running short, several key bills, including one to increase Kentucky's high school dropout age to 18, still were pending in the Legislature heading into the weekend.
The odds grow longer with each passing day as lawmakers and the Governor negotiate.
Gov. Steve Beshear told reporters Friday that he hopes compromise legislation on the dropout bill will become law in time.
He said a bipartisan proposal is being crafted that would allow school boards to vote on increasing the age in their districts. After 55 percent of school districts raise the age, the remaining districts will have to follow suit during the next four years.
Gov. Steve Beshear has concluded a meeting with a bipartisan group of legislative leaders without breaking an impasse on pension reform legislation.
The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate have been at loggerheads on how to shore up the financially troubled pension plans for state and local government retirees.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo called the Friday morning meeting a first step. He's said everyone involved wants to resolve the issue now to avoid the cost of a special legislative session later.
Among the major sticking points: A Senate proposal to create a 401(k)-like retirement plan for new employees and a House proposal to use money from the lottery and horse tracks to boost the state's yearly pension contribution.
Kentucky House and Senate leaders have changed the schedule of this year's legislative session to avoid a special session.
A potential—and costly—special session has loomed over the General Assembly in recent days, as lawmakers continued work on pension reform. Instead of convening Friday, lawmakers will work on Tuesday, with hopes that talks started Thursday night could lead to an agreement on pension reform by then.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says those talks have included the Governor and Senate leaders.
"The only conversation that we've had with them has obviously revolved around pensions, funding of pension liabilities and just a brief conversation about redistricting," he says.
A Kentucky House bill aiming to help generate revenues for the underfunded pension system is in legal limbo as the Senate refused to accept the bill.
House Bill 416 takes revenues from expansion of Instant Racing and online lottery sales and the start of a Keno game to generate close to $100 million a year to pay into state's currently underfunded pensions for state employees.
Revenue bills in odd-year sessions must have 60 House votes in final passage to be considered within the rules; House Bill 416 only received 52 on the floor. Because of that, the Senate clerk refused to accept the bill.
But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate should amend the bill and send it back to the House for final passage if it wants to avoid a special session.
The Kentucky House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.
The House passed an amended version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.
It also passed House Bill 416, which takes revenues from the potential expansion and legalization of Instant Racing, from online lottery sales and a new Keno game.
That bill passed with 52 votes, but many Republican members argued that the action was illegal, since revenue bills take a House supermajority of 60 votes to pass in odd-year session.