Friday, April 15, 2016

Last-minute deal reached on Kentucky budget

Kentucky legislative leaders announced early this morning that a deal has been reached on a state budget. Around 3 o’clock this morning, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers held a press conference to announce the deal. They didn’t go into specifics, saying they needed to brief members of the General Assembly first. But they said the compromise blends both Democratic and Republican proposals.

While few details of the 21 billion dollar spending plan have been released, state Representative Chris Harris said it includes money to shore up the state retirement system and more coal severance tax money for coal-producing counties. The legislature had passed a bill to return all of the tax to coal counties, but that bill was vetoed by Governor Matt Bevin. Under the compromise, those counties will receive 60 percent of coal severance receipts, up from 50 percent currently. The budget will be voted on by the House and Senate tomorrow.