Wrangling and uncertainty rampant as session comes down to the end

03/04/2011 06:12 PM

Lawmakers have injected some suspense into the final days of the 2011 General Assembly.

They’re miles apart on the one bill that had to pass — a measure fixing a $100 million deficit in the Medicaid budget.

The General Assembly failed to agree on a budget during the regular session last year. And when lawmakers returned to pass the two-year spending plan in a special session in May, they assumed the federal government would kick in more money than it actually did for the Medicaid program that covers health care for poor and disabled Kentuckians.

Faced with a $100 shortfall, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear offered a plan to move money from the 2012 budget to cover it and promised “efficiencies” to allow the program to break even next year.

Republican Senate President David Williams, who is running for governor, said he was skeptical that the administration could achieve that. So he and Senate Republicans re-wrote the Medicaid fix to cut government spending across the board — including K-12 schools and universities in 2012 — to cover the hole in Medicaid.

That sets up what should be a suspenseful conclusion to the 30-day session (they are scheduled to work Monday then take a break for the veto period and conclude March 21 and 22). And here’s a _Pure Politics _look back at how this session progress and how they got to this point:

- Video produced by Kenny Colston, written by Ryan Alessi

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