Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Lawmakers at an impasse on state budget fix

This from Bluegrass Politics:
House and Senate leaders still have no agreement on the state budget after concluding talks on Tuesday.

After negotiations appeared at an impasse early Tuesday evening, House leaders said they are willing to continue negotiating with the Senate during the legislature’s veto recess, which is scheduled to last through March 21. House leaders also said they intend to be in Frankfort on March 22, the last scheduled day of the legislative session.

Senate leaders have proposed adjourning the legislative session tonight and returning in a special legislative session, a move they say will save taxpayers money...
Alternatively, if David Williams had not sat on House Bill 305 and kept it from view until the 11th hour, perhaps a wasteful special session would have been necessary.
The Senate’s version of House Bill 305 includes across-the-board cuts to make up the shortfall in Medicaid. Those cuts would be 0.525 percent in the first year of the budget and 2.26 percent in the second year of the budget. Education would be spared in the first year but would be cut in the second year, which begins July 1.

During a second round of negotiations on Tuesday, which began at noon, the House offered a proposal that would put some one-time money in an account. If savings in the Medicaid program fall short, the state could draw down those funds. If the savings did appear, the money would go to the state’s Rainy Day account, which has been drained over the past several years...

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