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Senate Under The Gun On Budget

LRC Public Information

With just seven days remaining before the legislature takes a break and the governor’s veto window opens, the pressure is on the Senate to deliver its version of the budget.

Gov. Matt Bevin delivered his two-year spending plan to the House in late January, but with special elections and a possible power shift looming, the chamber did not produce its budget until mid-March. That leaves the Republican-controlled Senate with precious little time to craft their response. But Senate President Robert Stivers says he expects to have the document out of committee and the full chamber by Wednesday.

"I have for probably a week now been having conversations with the leadership of the Democrat caucus in the Senate about the necessity for speed in this, to the extent we can," he told reporters.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo dubbed the House budget an “education statement,” one that restores 100 percent of Bevin’s cuts to K-12 and universities. Asked if the Senate is willing to budge on the issue, Stivers said the upper chamber is instead focused on instituting performance-based funding that will tie university money to outcomes.

"That's all part of the give and take, and it's going to have to be a component not just of this budget cycle," Stivers explained. " It's going to have to be a component of this budget cycle and future budget cycles."

That’s because it would take years for schools to gather enough data to assess their progress against the goals set by the General Assembly.

Gov. Bevin has said both the cuts and outcomes-based funding measures are necessary to shore up pensions and foster a properly skilled workforce. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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