From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
The Kentucky Senate today is expected to pass its version of an 18-point-five-billion dollar biennial state budget. In late January, Governor Steve Beshear offered an austere state budget with 12-percent cuts in higher education and health services.
The House restored the cuts with revenue from service taxes and a 25-cent increase in the cigarette tax. But Senate President David Williams predicts the tax plan is doomed.
“The budget proposal that we have will be predicated on no tax increases and no extension or debt or restructuring of debt, which we believe was an irresponsible action. That’s the primary difference,” said WIlliams.
Once the budget clears the Senate, a House/Senate conference committee will try to iron out a compromise. But the negotiators will have to hurry, because only six days remain before the session takes a two-week veto recess, and only eight days remain in entire session.