Ky. Senate passes budget; several steps remain before it becomes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Senate passes budget; several steps remain before it becomes law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP and WDRB) -- Senate Republicans have promised to slash spending across most of state government and use the money to bolster Kentucky's struggling public retirement systems in a budget proposal that sets up a showdown with House Democrats in an election year.

The Senate approved a budget proposal Wednesday that includes most of the cuts recommended by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. That means public colleges and universities, state constitutional officers and public preschool programs will be cut 9 percent over the next two years.

But budget committee chairman Chris McDaniel said the state cannot invest in its future if it does not address the problems it faces today.

WDRB's Lawrence Smith reports the Senate did include pay raises for state police. And, like the House, it restores funding for veterans services.

House Democrats removed much of Bevin's budget cuts. The two sides say they hope to have a compromise by next week.

Gov. Bevin, in a Tweet, praised the Senate's for passing "a fiscally responsible budget that is structurally balanced." A subsequent Tweet used an often-repeated metaphor from the budget talks this year,

"(I) (a)ppreciate the overwhelming majority of senators who voted to tackle our current financial obligations & stop kicking the can down the road." it said.

The bill goes to conference committee, then must come back for final House and Senate floor votes before it goes to the governor.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press and WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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