Kentucky House and Senate leaders are continuing negotiations on a compromise $21 billion two-year state budget. Conferees worked through a number of issues Friday, but no firm decisions are expected just yet. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says each side has key sticking points. “We have large philosophical differences in how we should spend these tax dollars, obviously between the two chambers, and I don’t know if those are insurmountable,” said Stumbo.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said on Friday he does think consensus can be reached in areas where there is disagreement between the two chambers. “The good news is there are only a handful of items really," said Thayer. "Because of the leadership of Governor Bevin, we already have a pretty conservative budget. We’ve just got a handful of items where we’ve got some differences to work out."
The stark differences lie in areas like higher education and the state pension funds. Lawmakers plan to resume their work on Monday morning.