State budget talks break down over education, pension funding

by BETH MUSGRAVE AND JACK BRAMMER, bmusgrave@herald-leader.com, jbrammer@herald-leader.com FRANKFORT — Negotiations over a two-year, $21 billion state spending plan broke off Thursday after House and Senate leaders couldn’t come to an agreement over cuts to higher education and how much money should go into a fund for pension payments. The impasse put in jeopardy a compromise on the budget…

Bevin: State working to fix Benefind problems

by Deborah Yetter, @d_yetter –  Governor Matt Bevin addressed concerns about the embattled Benefind system during a press conference on Thursday FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and his top human service officials on Thursday acknowledged widespread problems in the state’s new public benefit system but said they are working furiously to correct the errors that have disrupted lives of…

GOP rift widens as Ky. chooses delegates

by Scott Wartman, swartman@nky.com – A rift in the GOP appears to have grown wider as Kentucky Republicans choose delegates who will pick their presidential nominee. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Northern Kentucky. Last week, in meetings described by many as tense, Republicans in Kenton and Campbell counties voted down two delegate slates proposed by the party…

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…