- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Latest on Kentucky state budget negotiations (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

Kentucky lawmakers still have not reached an agreement on a two-year state spending plan.

House and Senate leaders had hoped to have a deal by midnight Monday. That would have given the legislature time to override any potential vetoes by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. But leaders ended budget talks shortly after 10 p.m. Monday with plans to resume Tuesday morning.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the two sides are growing farther apart. He blamed the poor negotiations on Bevin, saying he was interfering with the process.

Bevin told reporters everything was negotiable. He said Stumbo had changed the tone of the negotiations by telling reporters they were unlikely to agree to a budget this year that could result in a partial government shutdown.


4:30 p.m.

Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton has made a final appeal to state lawmakers for an extra $60 million to keep the court system running over the next two years.

Minton said the judicial branch budget as approved by the state legislature would leave the state court system with a more than $76 million deficit. He said it would require 600 layoffs and force the state to shut down its drug court program and scale back pretrial services. He said that would put 17,000 people at risk of being sent to jail while awaiting trial on criminal charges because there would be no one available to supervise them during their release.

But the extra money would have to come from the executive branch budget. Lawmakers have not been able to agree on how to spend that money.


4 p.m.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he does not think lawmakers will reach an agreement on a two-year state spending plan.

Lawmakers have until midnight Monday to reach an agreement and preserve their ability to override vetoes from Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Senate Republicans want to impose 9 percent budget cuts on colleges and universities and put the savings in a special fund to address the state’s multibillion-dollar public pension debt.

House Democrats want to give the public pension systems enough money to cover their costs for the next two years. They are adamantly against any cuts for colleges and universities.

If the legislature does not pass a budget, some parts of state government would shut down on July 1. Stumbo said federally mandated programs, like Medicaid and K-12 education, would continue.


1:30 p.m.

House and Senate leaders are meeting privately to come up with an agreement on how to spend more than $65 billion of state and federal tax dollars over the next two years.

The Kentucky House of Representatives and the Senate have both passed different versions of the state’s two-year spending plan. Leaders from the two chambers have until midnight on Monday to work out their differences. Otherwise, they would lose the ability to override any potential vetoes from Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

House and Senate leaders were supposed to resume budget talks at 10 a.m. But the formal meeting never started. Senate Republicans and House Democrats, which control their respective chambers, have been meeting privately trying to work out a deal.

Both chambers plan to convene at 4 p.m.

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