Stumbo: Agreement possible, but it might be on Saturday

05/28/2010 02:26 PM

House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other Democratic leaders attended a reception for two lawmakers who lost re-election bids last week

UPDATED: House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters after meeting with Senate President David Williams on Friday afternoon that he was still hopeful of getting an agreement on the budget by Friday night.

He said the special session wouldn’t spill over into next week, but lawmakers might have to come back on Saturday to vote on the roughly 300-page bill because it takes about 12 hours to print.

Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, said after meeting with Williams, a Burkesville Republican, the Senate and House leaders “want to accomplish the same things” on helping school districts with crumbling schools.

“We were saying the same things, just saying it in different ways,” Stumbo said, referring to provisions in the budget aimed at those so-called Category 5 schools. “We all want to see them built. But we have to do it in a way that’s fair.”

Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Democrat from Sandy Hook and the majority floor leader, said communication between leaders of the two chambers has improved as the day has gone on after the House Democratic leaders’ initial reaction to seeing the Senate’s budget changes.

“I’m hopeful the politics and the personalities are on the sidelines,” Adkins said.

The $17.1 billion two-year budget, an accompanying revenue bill, the state’s road construction plan and a fix to the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund that’s in debt all remain in play.

But Adkins said with no plans for the House licensing and occupations committee to take up a bourbon tasting bill, that legislation is likely done for this special session.

“That legislation is probably dead,” he said.

UPDATED 3:40 p.m.: House Democrats called a caucus meeting for 3:45 p.m. and recessed until 5 p.m.

- Kenny Colston and Ryan Alessi

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