Kentucky lawmakers will spend much of the last full week of the legislative session trying to hatch a compromise on budget bills. So far, lawmakers have looked line by line at differences between the House and Senate budget plans. They're looking for changes one side or the other is willing to accept without debate.
Negotiators for the Senate and House have started talks to work out disagreements on spending priorities for a new state budget in Kentucky. A group of Representatives and Senators held their initial meeting this morning on the two year, 19.5 billion dollar budget.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber's priorities for the next two-year budget are not that different from the Senate's. Both chambers have passed their own budget bills for each branch of state government. The two sides must now work out a compromise. Stumbo says he doesn’t have many concerns with the Senate's changes and he expects a conference committee to hatch a compromise quickly.
After hours of closed-door meetings, the Kentucky Senate approved budgets for the three branches of state government Thursday night. The House previously approved its own versions of the budgets. The Senate kept the House's legislative plan intact but modified the executive and judicial budgets. The two chambers must now form a conference committee to work out the differences.
Kentucky lawmakers are set to pass a bill with the hope it will help a uranium enrichment plant in Paducah stay in operation. House Bill 559 would allow the Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah to use spent uranium fuel rods and either re-enrich or sell those rods.
A Tennessee Attorney General's opinion says the Volunteer State can't broadly drug test people as a condition of their receiving welfare benefits. The opinion, which was issued by the office of state Attorney General Robert Cooper, is a response to several bills that are now pending in the State Legislature.
Rick Santorum's campaign has sent mailers to Louisville-area Republicans asking for their time and money. In the three-page letter, Santorum says he has the best grassroots political operation of any GOP candidate, then he asks for a $35 donation.
Kentucky lawmakers continue to chastise three of the state’s Medicaid Managed Care organizations for mismanagement. Representatives of Kentucky Spirit, Wellcare of Kentucky and Coventry Cares appeared before the program review committee today. Legislators wanted to know whether they had solved problems brought up by health care providers in a January committee meeting.
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters has named Robert F. Scott to serve as the new director of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands. Scott comes to the position with an extensive background in engineering, including 26 years with the Division. More recently, he has worked for a Lexington engineering company, creating mine and waterline designs.
Scott's appointment takes effect today. He replaces Steve Hohmann, who was named Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources last month.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is blasting a report that recommends the University of Pikeville not be moved into the state university system. Stumbo is a chief supporter of making UPIKE Kentucky’s ninth public university.