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KY Legislative Leaders Finishing Work On Budget Plan

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighKentucky House and Senate leaders will meet today to solidify their budget-balancing plan before sharing it with their members and the governor. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the plan likely will include alcohol beverage taxes, but debate continues over whether that should be at the retail or wholesale level.“Nobody wants to hurt anybody, and so one of the things we have to look at now - and we’re going to be obviously talking among ourselves and with others the industry - if these are the options, then what’s the best way to proceed,” Stumbo said.                                   The plan is also expected to include a cigarette tax hike and Stumbo says if one is approved, it likely will be less than 50 cents. Legislative leaders hope to have the plan through the House by Wednesday, through the Senate by Friday, and on the governor’s desk by Friday night.Action is necessary because the state is facing an almost $460 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year.(Photo Courtesy of Kentucky Legislative Research Commission) 

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.