Lawmakers bickering over budget leaves legislative calendar a bafflement

03/27/2014 06:07 PM

The House and Senate might have finally come to a compromise Thursday on a school calendar bill to help districts with snow-day make-up. Now if only leaders of the chambers can agree on their own calendar for the final legislative days.

The House and Senate leaders remain in the early stages of combing through differences over budget line-items. And the House speaker and Senate president even disagree on how quickly they’ll be able to wrap up negotiations.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told Pure Politics that Democratic house Leaders were preparing rank and file members to convene on Tuesday or Wednesday based on how slowly the budget talks were going.

“We’re miles apart on the road fund. We’re only about half way through the executive budget,” Stumbo said. “We argued for 30 minutes over $20,000 for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is worth arguing over, but if it takes that long and it’s that tedious we’re going to be here awhile.”

Stumbo is among legislators who had tickets for Friday night’s University of Kentucky and University of Louisville showdown in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA basketball tournament. He said none of the 20 lawmakers on the conference committee would be making that game in Indianapolis.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters late Thursday that he thought that budget summit could be wrapped up by Saturday.

“That’s the last time to meet the schedule the speaker set,” Stivers said.

Courier-Journal reporter Tom Loftus wrapped up the options for the often confusing legislative calendar options for sine die on the newspaper’s blog — of which there are several.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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