House Speaker Says Budget Negotiations Could Extend Into Next Week
The end of session schedule for the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly, as often the case, is up in the air. Leaders from both chambers are working to try to reach agreement on a two year budget.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says it's been a very deliberate pace in conference committee adding "we're miles apart on the road fund." The last scheduled day to consider action on bills is Monday before the veto period. But Stumbo says the budget work could run into the ten day recess period. "I expect we'll be working through the veto, if we're gonna get a budget. We're with gonna have to quicken the pace and make some decisions and some compromises or we're gonna be here a long time during the veto recess," said Stumbo.
The veto recess is the period of time when the governor can consider vetoing any piece of legislation. In the Senate, Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says his members are expecting to go home Monday. "We plan to finish up on Monday and stick with the calendar, which calls us to go into the veto recess and return on April 14th," said Thayer. Work to reach an agreement on the budget could extend into this weekend. Jessamine County Senator Tom Buford believes a special session on the budget can't be ruled out. "But what the Senate is doing is trying to save the state taxpayers over one and one half billion dollars of expenditures and if we have to spend 260 thousand dollars on a special session it will be a bargain at that," said Buford. Buford says state funded projects are often a sticking point when it comes to budget negotiations.