As the deadline to pass a budget drew near, state lawmakers finally reached a deal early Thursday morning.
Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other leadership announced a budget deal had been reached just before 3 a.m. Thursday.
Legislative aides for Stivers and Stumbo said they spent the day in private meetings discussing the budget. A budget conference committee that was supposed to meet Wednesday morning didn’t come together until around 10 p.m.
The largest disagreement was originally cuts to higher education. That seems to have been resolved with both sides tentatively agreeing to a 4.5 percent cut to funding for universities and colleges.
While the legislative session doesn’t end until Friday, lawmakers need to reach an agreement before then. That’s because it takes about 30 hours to print off a bill so it can be voted on by both chambers.
Lawmakers, however, will not have time to override any vetoes handed down by Gov. Matt Bevin.
Bevin’s office released the following statement on the budget agreement:
“We thank Senate President Stivers, House Speaker Stumbo and the members of the conference committee for the hard work that was put into this budget agreement. For the first time in decades, we can say that Kentucky is investing in our pension system in a meaningful way. We look forward to reviewing the details of the compromise and its final passage.”