Kentucky state lawmakers unable to agree on budget Monday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - House and Senate lawmakers ended their after-hours budget conference on Monday without coming to an agreement.

State lawmakers ended their conference around 10:30p.m. on Monday, which shut the door on the possibility of agreeing to a budget before their midnight deadline.

Lawmakers hoped to pass a deadline by midnight so they would have time to override any potential vetoes from Governor Matt Bevin.

"I don't know if we can reconcile our differences or not. We're certainly willing to try. But we have philosophical differences about key issues," said Rep. Greg Stumbo, Speaker of the House.

Senate Republicans and House Democrats spent the day behind closed doors and in conference. They were trying to work out a deal, but neither side would budge.

The Kentucky House of Representatives and the Senate have both passed different versions of the state's two-year spending plan. Leaders from the two chambers have until midnight on Monday to work out their differences. Otherwise, they would lose the ability to override any potential vetoes from Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

"We believe that our approach is actually the right way to go for education by making these commitments to pensions," said Sen. Damon Thayer, Majority Floor Leader.

In a video posted to Facebook on Monday night, Governor Bevin urged lawmakers to compromise.

"I'm standing here in front of Abraham Lincoln," Bevin said. "This was a man who knew a thing or two about working across the aisle, a man who knew about bringing people together, about rising above partisanship. This is what we're asking our friends on the other side of the aisle to do."

Lawmakers originally had hoped to agree on a budget Monday, vote on it Tuesday and have it on the governor's desk by Wednesday.

Monday was day 57 of the 60-day session, which ends April 12.

If lawmakers don't pass a budget, the governor would have to call a special session for them to pass one before July 1.



 
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