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Flurry Of Activity On Last Day Of General Assembly

Ryland Barton, via Twitter

Today (Friday) is the last day of the legislative session in Frankfort. Lawmakers have until midnight to pass bills, the most including the state budget. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton says there’s a flurry of activity near the finish line. 

Sen. Chris McDaniel dubbed the last day of the legislative session “Lazarus Day” because bills once presumed to be dead, miraculously come back to life. For the second year in a row, lawmakers are taking up a bill on the final day of the session that would increase the amount individuals can contribute to political candidates and parties. “I don’t think that we need to introduce more money into politics in Kentucky right now. I think this bill puts more power in the hands of fewer people and that’s not the direction we need to go right now,” McDaniel says.

The bill would allow people to donate $2,000 to a candidate every election instead of $1,000.

A bill that would add transparency provisions for area development districts has also been revived, the language for which has been lumped with two pension transparency bills.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the budget will pass easily, but it’s still possible Gov. Bevin will veto parts of it. “It’s actually a pretty good budget. When you talk to people on both sides of the aisle in both chambers and everybody seems kinda satisfied with it. I’m not saying he won’t veto parts of it, but on balance I think it’s a pretty good budget.”

Lawmakers came to an agreement on the $21 billion spending plan early in the morning Thursday. They won’t have an opportunity to override any line item vetoes Gov. Bevin makes to the bill.

The proposed budget has nearly across the board 9% spending cuts, with some exceptions.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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