UPDATE: Beshear, Legislative Leaders Meet On Budget

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Senate President David Williams says he’s open to more budget talks with Gov. Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.  The three met for two hours Friday morning in the governor’s office. 

“I’m available to meet and we’re exchanging information.  Certain documents that we used in the conference committees will be provided to the governor’s budget people to allow them to revue, but it sounds like to me that they’ve come to many of the same conclusions that the Senate did,” Williams said.

Gov. Beshear wants lawmakers to approve a budget in special session next month, and says the spending plan should include no new taxes, no significant new debt and no education cuts, if possible.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo issued a statement late Friday saying, “We believe there is room for a compromise that all sides can support.”

From earlier Friday:

Gov. Steve Beshear says he’s “encouraged” after a long meeting on the budget with Kentucky’s top two legislative leaders.  

Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Greg Stumbo met for two hours with the governor, but afterwards, the lawmakers had nothing to say to reporters.  Gov. Beshear says there’s still much work ahead before he calls a special session, but the meeting leaves him hopeful.

“There are no guarantees, and I know that.  And I’m sure in the days ahead this process will probably break down ten times, because that’s just the nature of the process.  But I’m determined to get a budget for the people of this state, as bad as that budget’s gonna be.  And it will be a bad budget,” he said.

Because there’s no money, says Beshear.  The governor says as for as he’s concerned, the new spending plan should not raise taxes, not include any significant debt and not cut education.