Legislators tout cooperation and compromise as budget bills pass

03/31/2014 08:52 PM

No special session needed. No chance the governor gets the last say with his vetoes. And no moving the legislative calendar back in order to shoehorn in a budget before the constitutional deadline.

The House and Senate overwhelmingly signed off to a compromise version of the state’s $20 billion two-year state spending plan on Monday, roughly 36 hours after legislative leaders crafted the final bill.

The executive branch budget with most of that spending flew through the Senate 37-1 just before 6 p.m. with Republican Sen. John Schickel, R-Union. At 7:23 p.m, the House voted 90-10 for the measure with nine Republicans and Democrat Jim Wayne voting no.

The spending plan approves raises for state workers and teachers, cuts many agencies 5 percent, boosts K-12 education funding, applies a 1.5 percent cut to universities and includes compromises over funding levels in a host of other programs .

The legislative and judicial bills soon followed with similar levels of support.

And lawmakers gave themselves rhetorical pats on the back.

And that included a special tribute in the Senate to that chamber’s budget committee chairman, Paducah independent Sen. Bob Leeper, who is retiring. Senate President Robert Stivers offered this commendation:

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