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Lawmakers Officially Approve Budget Bills

Kentucky lawmakers have officially passed two-year budgets for all three branches of state government.After hatching a deal early Thursday morning, lawmakers finally received the compromise in bill form this afternoon.The Senate passed the executive branch budget 36 to 1 and passed a judicial budget compromise unanimously. The House also overwhelmingly approved the budgets.Senate budget chairman Bob Leeper says part of the agreed-upon deal would cut the state’s structural imbalance by half. This represents funds that don’t have a recurring funding source.“I believe we’re to be congratulated for cutting the overall structural imbalance by over half in the next biennium. I believe that’s a very important point of our budget effort,” he saysThe executive and judicial budget bills now join the legislative branch budget waiting for Governor Steve Beshear’s signature. So does House Bill 449, the revenue and tax amnesty bills.The governor can choose to veto certain line items before sending the bills back to the legislature. Lawmakers will meet again April 12 to override any potential vetoes.