FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers will end this year's
legislative session on Wednesday, 12 days earlier than scheduled,
in a move by Senate Republicans to force House Democrats to swiftly
reach a compromise on competing proposals to balance the state's
Senate leaders said ending early will save Kentucky taxpayers
some $800,000 that would have otherwise been used for lawmakers'
wages and expenses. In fact, Tuesday may have been last day for
lawmakers in the House, which isn't scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
The House and Senate have been in discussions for three days to
try to reach an accord on Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal
to balance the Medicaid budget by using $166.5 million from next
year's appropriation this year. Senate Republicans want
across-the-board cuts to all government programs to fill the gap.
House Democratic Floor Leader Rocky Adkins likened the Senate
action to playground antics.
"The people's business is not finished," Adkins said in an
emotionally charged floor speech. "When you don't get your way,
you don't pick up your ball and go home. You stay and you battle
and you get it done."
Beshear called on the GOP to accept his proposal, calling it a
simple fix that shouldn't be controversial. Republican lawmakers
responded with the announcement that they're going home.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)