After a night of discussions, Kentucky lawmakers have finally reached a budget agreement. Negotiations on a budget compromise began Monday. By Tuesday, talks had stalled. Lawmakers were unable to work out differences over funding school construction, paying for indigent care at University Hospital in Louisville and reducing bonded debt. House and Senate leaders resolved their differences shortly before 3 am today.
Budget talks in Frankfort appear to have stalled. Lawmakers have met for three straight days, usually twice a day, to resolve differences between budget proposals passed by the House and Senate. However, there are firm disagreements over school construction, cuts to the governor’s office and coal severance projects. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate isn’t compromising on those issues, so the potential to deliver a budget on time is in danger.
“If they continue to hold to their position that it’s my way or the highway, here we go down that highway again,” he says.
Kentucky lawmakers continue to work on a budget compromise. Both chambers of the General Assembly have approved budget bills and a conference committee has been meeting since Monday to work out the differences. One major point of disagreement is funding for school construction.
Money to repaint Owensboro’s Glover H. Cary bridge is still included in the state’s two-year road plan. The $3.5 billion plan passed the Senate Transportation Committee this week and is expected to clear the full Senate by Friday.
The Kentucky Senate is proposing a change in funding for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Governor Steve Beshear's road budget calls for $50 million in spending on new bridges and reconfigured highway interchanges in Louisville. Both the House and Beshear favor using a mix of bonds and federal highway maintenance funds to do so.
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.