Deadlock Continues on Medicaid Budget

Deadlocked. That’s the continuing status of House and Senate negotiations on Kentucky’s Medicaid budget.

Proposals and counter-proposals are flying back and forth, but mutual agreement remains elusive. House Speaker Greg Stumbo fears a special session could be coming.

“I understand the Senate’s position and I appreciate it. I respect it. However, let me just speak for me. I’m not going to cut Floyd County’s budget and Floyd County’s children’s budget $400,000 without some evidence, simply on the belief that some people don’t think the governor can make these accomplished savings. I’m not going to take that chance,” he says.

The House prefers the governor’s plan for balancing Medicaid without budget cuts. The Senate believes across-the-board cuts to state agencies are necessary. At this point, with time running out on the session, neither side appears willing to bend. This is day 29 of the 30-day session.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.