GOP, Dems to Spar Over Budget Cuts in Kentucky

Thursday, 03 Mar 2011 04:39 PM

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Republicans in the Kentucky Senate pushed through spending cuts Wednesday to fill the state’s budget hole and shore up Medicaid, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Thursday.

The move sets up an expected battle over spending with the Democrat-controlled House. Under the proposed bill passed Wednesday, state agencies would cut 0.525 percent spending in the first year and 2.26 percent in the second, which begins July 1. Education spending would be cut in the second year, but spared in the first.

Senate President David Williams called the Republican spending plan a sensible way to plug the Medicaid budget gap.

“The truth is we're sent up here to do a responsible budget," Williams said during debate on the bill. "It's a responsible budget."

Leaders of the two chambers now have to negotiate an agreement on the budget. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the Senate plan had problems, but there was room to talk.

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