Both Sides Remain Entrenched in Medicaid Budget Talks

Kentucky’s special legislative session on Medicaid is underway in Frankfort. But compromise is not in the air.

Last week, the 30-day regular session adjourned without House and Senate agreement on balancing the state’s Medicaid budget. So, Governor Steve Beshear ordered lawmakers back for a special session. Majority Leader Rocky Adkins says the House still favors the governor’s Medicaid budget plan.

“We believe that the governor, through his proposal that he’s laid on the table, should be given the chance to work to see if we can’t basically balance the Medicaid budget within Medicaid,” he says.

But President David Williams says the Senate still prefers across-the-board cuts to state agencies.

“Nobody wants their budget cut. But I tell you what, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky want us to balance this budget and they don’t want us to forestall this problem, or put it off until next year,” he says.

The lack of an agreement is not a good sign for taxpayers, who are footing the $64,000 a day bill for the special 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.