Ky. lawmakers race to finish road plan - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. lawmakers finish road plan on session's final day

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A $4.1 billion road-spending plan passed the Kentucky General Assembly Tuesday, the final day of the session.

The Senate approved the plan 37-1 Tuesday, and the House 71-26.

The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

Passing the road plan is arguably lawmakers' second most important job after the budget.

The road plan funds construction projects across the state, including the Ohio River Bridges Project.

But on Monday night, the Democratic House and the Republican Senate hit a road block as to how the money should be spent. But lawmakers reached a compromise they passed just before the session ended at midnight.

"I'm glad that we're on the right track, and I hope to have us out of here with a road plan by this afternoon, or rather, late this evening," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg).

"We desire to get out of here today, and work in good faith with the House," said Sen. Ernie Harris (R-Prospect).

And the looming prospect of an unpopular, $65,000-a-day special session helped move negotiations along.

"And I think people are sick and tired of that kind of thing. They don't want special sessions, and we need to get out work done today," said Gov. Steve Beshear.

"It's essentially the same deal, the same agreement, the same arrangement that we offered to the Senate on Friday afternoon," said Stumbo.

"Not true. The Speaker has a convenient memory," said Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).

Julie Denton, who is spending her last day in the Senate before joining the Metro Council says the last second dash is one reason she's calling it quits.

"It's a big rush. It's a lot of frustration, and a lot of stress, and sometimes the good things don't get done and some things that shouldn't get done do because of the negotiations that go on," said Denton (R-Louisville).

"I don't know. It's just a remarkable place around here. It's April 15th and it's snowing," chuckled Stumbo.

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