Local News

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky lawmakers Wednesday night met their self-imposed deadline to pass the state budget before midnight.

There weren’t that many budget opponents in the House, but surprisingly, one of the most outspoken was House budget chairman Harry Moberly. Moberly, who helped negotiate the $19 billion spending plan, called it “a terrible education budget.”

“If we pass this education budget, this state is going to go backward,” he said.

Moberly said lawmakers could do better and urged more budget negotiations. But House Minority Leader Jeffrey Hoover said the budget is the best the state can do with existing revenues.

“There was not an overwhelming sentiment for new revenue, taxes, in the General Assembly,” Hoover said.

In the end, the House passed the budget 74-21. Earlier, it cleared the Senate 35-3. The session is now in recess and Governor Steve Beshear has until April 14, when lawmakers return, to decide if he will accept or veto the budget.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."