House and Senate each make state budget counter-offers

by JOHN CHEVES AND JACK BRAMMER, jcheves@herald-leader.com –  FRANKFORT — House and Senate budget negotiators tossed new state government spending proposals on the table Tuesday, but neither side seemed ready to yield to the other. In a nutshell, the Democratic House wants to shield higher education from Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget cuts, which means several hundred million…

Thayer seeks changes in local sales tax bill

by Phillip M. Bailey, @phillipmbailey – If local voters are allowed to raise additional revenue through a temporary 1 percent sales tax hike, a good chunk of it will have go toward funding pensions for the area’s government workers under proposed changes set up by Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer. The local option sales tax was assigned to the Senate’s appropriations and…

Where do major bills stand in Ky legislature?

by Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ – Here is the status of several major bills before the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly as of Monday morning, with the session drawing to a close. SIGNED INTO LAW: Abortion: Informed Consent, Senate Bill 4: Would require certain information about the abortion procedure now given to a woman on the day before the abortion be done…

Lawmaker: Lexington A Big Loser In Senate Budget

by JOSH JAMES –  A Kentucky senator says Lexington was the real loser in the two-year spending plan passed by the Republican-led Senate Wednesday. In addition to reinstated cuts to the state appropriation for the University of Kentucky and other public education institutions, the upper chamber also stripped out a provision issuing $60 million in bonds for…

County attorney: U of L Hospital pact violated

by Phillip M. Bailey, @phillipmbailey – Metro Council violated a contract with University of Louisville Hospital when it voted to transfer part of an indigent care fund to augment road paving, according to a legal opinion from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office. Council President David Yates, D-25th District, said the opinion vindicates his and other members’ view that a bipartisan majority hastily supported an amendment that bypassed the…

Kentucky House votes to preserve kynect

by Deborah Yetter, @d_yetter – Gov. Matt Bevin criticized former Gov. Steve Beshear and downplayed his legacy. Joe Gerth, CJ FRANKFORT, Ky. – In a largely symbolic action, the House voted Tuesday to preserve Kentucky’s health insurance exchange, kynect, and its expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The votes, carried by the Democratic majority, came the same day…