State government shutdown effects - WDRB 41 Louisville News

State government shutdown effects

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By Bennett Haeberle WDRB-TV Fox 41 News

If lawmakers fail to reach a budget agreement during next month's special session, coal mines would close. So would all state regulatory agencies. And countless state employees would be out of work.

Funding for state police would also be in jeopardy. Construction projects on the campuses of state universities could cease. And state parks would close.

The ripple effects of lawmakers' failure to pass a budget would also throw a wrench in Matt Lahue's lifestyle, a Louisville investment firm employee who brings his two children to E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on a weekly basis.

"It's terrible," Lahue said. "I understand that it costs a lot to keep it up but I mean this vital parks. In a community, you want to have a meeting place where people can come together."

In a recent interview, UofL President James Ramsey said the university would remain open, even in the absence of a budget.

"The big disappointment will be the classroom buildings" we won't be able to build, Ramsey said. "We won't be able to do that for at least two more years."

In Frankfort, the deadlock that crippled budget negotiations appears as strong as ever.

"We have compromised. We have already compromised," said Senate President David Williams, R - Burkesville.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said "to compromise you have to have two sides willing to compromise. And to date, I have not seen a legitimate good faith effort from the Senate. That's sorry the way I feel about it."

Both House and Senate leaders blame each other but agree Gov. Steve Beshear needs to make another budget proposal. A suggestion the governor said he is not willing to consider.

"I've never seen anything like this. Early on, I suggested that he lead, follow, or get out of the way. He chose to get out of the way. Now he doesn't have a choice. He has to lead," said Williams.

Some of the effects have already begun. Lawmakers did approve a judicial budget earlier this month.

But today, Chief Justice John Minton announced the funds weren't enough.

The state's court system will face $7 million in cuts and 113 people will lose their jobs.

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