Senate Budget Committee Hearings Underway

A Senate budget committee hearing on the House plan to balance Kentucky’s Medicaid budget got underway today in Frankfort.  Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller has been on the hot seat for several hours, defending the administration’s ability to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in managed care savings.  Sen. Bob Leeper, who chairs the committee, was asked when the committee might take a vote.

“We will have a document out of here in a timely manner and be able to move the process along.  I’m looking forward to going home and getting back to my citizen duties.” Leeper Says ” So, there’s nobody up here that I know that’s dragging this process out.”

On Monday, the House voted 94-4 for legislation that lets Gov. Steve Beshear use second year funds to balance Medicaid this year.  Any second year deficit would be covered by savings from managed care.  If Beshear’s plan fails, the House bill includes targeted cuts to state agencies that would have to be made by October 1st.  Counting last weekend…for which lawmakers were paid, even though they did no work…this is day ten of the special session on Medicaid.

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.