Lawmakers have met for three straight days, usually twice a day, to resolve differences between budget proposals passed by the House and Senate. But 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.
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. It's a priority for the House. But Senators were not ready to haggle during a Tuesday morning session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the issue is so important to his chamber that a disagreement could derail budget talks.
As the 2012 legislative session winds down, lawmakers aren’t touting a long list of accomplishments. They say that’s not due to a lack of work, but mainly a lack of extra money to fund new programs or expand others. Instead, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the main highlights will be a three-bill attack on Kentucky’s drug abuse problems and passing general and road budgets before the end of the session. In recent years, lawmakers haven’t even been able to pass budgets on time. So Stumbo says this year is a return to normal.
A plan to create scholarships for college students in the Appalachian region is in danger after the Senate removed the funding in its budget proposal. The scholarship program was intended as a compromise after a bill to move the University of Pikeville into the state university system couldn’t garner enough support. It would give college juniors and seniors money to attend private universities or public university partnerships in the Appalachian region to finish their education. The House’s version of the budget funded the scholarships with coal severance tax money, but the Senate remove