News Briefs

Budget nears completion

By today, the Kentucky House and Senate will most likely have finished negotiating a state budget, taking elements from the two different budgets proposed by each body.

The House and Senate set a deadline of midnight last night to finish budget preparations to send to the governor, said Brian Wilkerson, House Speaker Jody Richard’s communications director.

A group of top legislators has been in a conference committee since Wednesday trying to find middle ground between the $19 billion budgets proposed by each body. The legislature suspended regular business yesterday to work on the budget.

With a decision reached last night, the House and Senate would vote to either pass or vote down the budget Wednesday afternoon, Wilkerson said. Legislators would not be permitted to add amendments.

This year’s legislative session is slated to end April 15. In that time, the conference committee must agree to a budget to send to the governor. The governor must then approve it, and both the House and the Senate must separately approve the final budget.

In even-numbered years, sessions may not be more than 60 legislative days nor extend beyond April 15, according to Kentucky law.