Still no budget agreement but work will continue as House and Senate leaders say progress is being made

03/28/2018 06:59 PM

FRANKFORT – Members of the House and Senate conference committee on the budget met behind closed doors separately on Wednesday to try to hammer out an agreement but left around 5:30 p.m. with no agreement in place.

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, told reporters after the committee adjourned for the day and that a lot was talked about and some progress had been made.

“We’ve had a lot of members bring up some new ideas, so we spent the day just talking to a lot of members and leadership and back and forth in trying to understand what everybody’s position is,” McDaniel said. “We want to fully make sure that we fully express the will of our members. We’re definitely making progress.”

McDaniel says work continues on the revenue measures that need to be put into place to fund a plan.

“Everything is wrapped together,” McDaniel said. “I think as you look at the kind of three legged stool (pensions, revenue, budget), or however you want to look at it, it’s just that everything has taken a slow step towards fruition and I think that both of us and our chambers take our constitutional duties very seriously and I think you’ll see us advance the core products.”

Rep. Steven Rudy, R-Paducah, said that other questions concerning the 50 cents per pack cigarette tax and 25 cents per dose prescription opioid tax which were in the House proposal and not in the Senate’s need to be worked out.

“No final decision has been made on any of these things, but a lot of conversations have been taking place,” Rudy said.

Work will continue late into the night on Wednesday, and both McDaniel and Rudy say that the committee as a whole will meet sometime tomorrow afternoon.

The House is scheduled to convene at 10:00 a.m. while the Senate will gather at 2:00 p.m.

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