- Associated Press - Thursday, January 14, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers have wrapped up procedural votes, setting the stage for negotiations on crafting a new state budget.

Key lawmakers were assigned Wednesday to conference committees. They’ll work in coming weeks on devising budget plans for state government.

The legislature will resume its 30-day session on Feb. 2.

Lawmakers traditionally pass two-year state budgets during 60-day sessions in even-numbered years. They broke with tradition last year, passing a one-year budget because of economic uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. That means lawmakers need to pass another one-year budget in this year’s short session for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Senate budget committee Chairman Chris McDaniel said Wednesday he welcomes input from colleagues on crafting the budget bills. Some lawmakers staked out priorities during the discussion.

Coal-county lawmakers stressed the importance of returning severance tax revenue to the coalfields. Democratic Sen. Morgan McGarvey urged support for people hurt by the economic damage caused by the virus.

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