Stumbo and Williams jab at Beshear over funding issues

07/13/2010 07:21 PM

(WITH VIDEO) LOUISVILLE — The top two legislative leaders took turns Monday taking digs at Gov. Steve Beshear on a host of issues, including the state budget and funding for the Passport program at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit.

During an hour-long session at the Louisville Downtown Marriott, Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams, a Republican, went back and forth on some of the biggest budgetary issues facing the state, including Medicaid funding and Passport, state employee pensions and overall budgetary problems with the executive branch.

Beshear, while invited, didn’t attend because he was in Boston at the National Governors Association meeting.

Stumbo, a Democrat like Beshear, was more modest in his criticism on Beshear than Williams, a Republican. Both leaders also noted where they disagreed as well.

The two commended each other on the work of their own chamber in when it came to issues with Passport funding.

They tended to disagree when talking about the severity of problems the state’s employee retirement systems face.

“It’s a death spiral,” Williams told the crowd. “And it’s going to take all of you down with it.”

—Video produced by Holly Thompson, reporting by Kenny Colston


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