Kentucky Lawmakers Fail to Reach Budget Deal

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Republican chairman of the Senate budget committee says Kentucky lawmakers will not pass a two-year state spending plan before the legislative session ends this year.

Sen. Chris McDaniel said early Monday that House and Senate negotiators finally agreed on cuts of 4.5 percent for state colleges and universities. But they couldn’t agree on how much to spend on state’s public pension debt, estimated at more than $30 billion.

House Democratic leaders said in a joint statement they were ready to keep working on the budget, but said Republicans walked away during discussions about extending the timeframe.

If lawmakers don’t pass a budget, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin would have to call an expensive special session of the state legislature or risk a partial shutdown of government services. A Bevin spokeswoman declined to comment.