Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kentucky leaders break budget impasse, reach agreement

(AP) — Kentucky's legislative leaders have agreed to a two-year operating budget that will pay the community college tuition for all Kentucky high school graduates while spending more than $1 billion on the state's public pension debt.

House and Senate leaders announced the agreement shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, the culmination of weeks of secret meetings punctuated by political breakdowns that threatened to shut down state government.

The agreement must still be approved by the full state legislature Friday, but leaders of both chambers said they expected to have plenty of votes to pass it.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and his veto pen will have the final say on the deal. In a news release, Bevin's office says the budget places a meaningful investment in the pensions system for the first time in decades.