LAWRENCE SMITH INTERVIEWING CHRIS MCDANIEL IN FRANKFORT - COURTESY DAMON THAYER ON TWITTER 4-1-2020.jpg
Kentucky lawmakers hold budget talks in Frankfort during a COVID-19 shortened session. Here WDRB's Lawrence Smith interviews Senate Budget chair Chris McDaniel in the Senate chambers. April 1, 2020.  Image courtesy Damon Thayer on Twitter @damon_thayer
 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The coronavirus is taking a hit on Kentucky's economy and on the state budget.

Kentucky lawmakers are sending a lean budget to Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday. The Senate passed the measure 34-0 by the afternoon, and the House soon followed by passing the budget  with a vote of 80-10. It appeared only eight members were present, The rest voted remotely.

With businesses across the state shut down because of the pandemic, no one knows how much revenue will be coming into the state. Lawmakers in Frankfort are taking the unusual step of passing a one-year budget instead of the usual two-year budget.

Rep. Steven Rudy said passing a one-year plan will enable lawmakers to meet their constitutional duty of passing a budget while recognizing that no revenue projection "will be anywhere close to what is correct."

Kentucky Senate budget chairman Sen. Chris McDaniel said negotiations have been realistic.

"It will be as pessimistic as we have numbers to be," McDaniels said. "And if we had more pessimistic numbers, we would be using those. It will be responsible. It will be realistic, but it will be tough. There were a lot of things we had hoped to do, and they simply are not a reality at this point."

The budget proposal includes no raises for teachers and other public employees. McDaniel said the the pension systems are fully funded for a year, and the plan sets aside funds to help deal with COVID-19 crisis.

The Republican-controlled legislature now sends the spending plan to Kentucky's Democratic governor. The legislature will reconvene April 13 to consider overriding any vetoes.

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