The park closed last year when Six Flags declared bankruptcy. Hart, who owned the park before Six Flags, then proposed a spate of improvements and a plan to re-open the facility by next summer. Hart’s proposal relied on the General Assembly’s approval of a $50 million bond to finance the renovations.
Despite the need for a special session, the General Assembly’s legislative pace this year more or less matches last year’s.
Across-the-board cuts to state agencies, including education are out. So is language preventing additional furloughs, face-to-face interviews of Medicaid applicants, debt restructuring, and legislative pay during the veto recess.
After the Senate passes the bill, House and Senate leaders likely will need to sit down to negotiate a final agreement. Since lawmakers are paid for weekends during special sessions, this is day 11 of the session.
The bill still allows Governor Steve Beshear to shift Medicaid funds forward, but if projected savings from managed care fail to materialize, targeted cuts to state agencies would have to be made by October 1st. Education, vocational rehabilitation and veterans affairs would be exempt from any cuts.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the leaders showed the governor their bipartisan plan for balancing the Medicaid budget.
House Minority Leader Jeffrey Hoover says he and Speaker Greg Stumbo are close to agreement on a compromise bill they hope will pass both the House and Senate.
Governor Steve Beshear says if lawmakers can’t reach agreement on how to close a huge deficit in this year’s Medicaid budget, he will have to cut reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers by 35% on April 1st. Steve Shannon of the Kentucky Association of Regional Mental Health Centers says if that happens, layoffs and furloughs will ensue. And right now, the centers are serving 172,000 Kentuckians with mental disabilities.
n the meantime, House Democratic and Republican leaders are meeting behind closed doors trying to craft a bill they hope will be satisfactory to Senate Republicans. None of the proposals being tossed around include cuts to education.
The Kentucky House has again agreed to raise the age at which students may drop out of school. It’s the third time the House has voted that way.