FRANKFORT, Ky. - After a long night of discussions, Kentucky lawmakers have finally reached a $19 billion budget agreement. House and Senate leaders resolved their differences shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday.
The compromise includes the House’s planned funding for school construction and U of L Hospital. It also cuts the state’s bonded debt, which was a Senate priority.
House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins said the agreement that calls for 8.4 percent cuts to most government agencies and programs is a reflection of Kentucky's ailing economy.
At the last minute, lawmakers decided to put $2.5 million toward renovations of Rupp Arena.
“We would make an offering to Lexington on a 50-50 match, we would make $1.25 million available each year to be matched for Rupp Arena,” says House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Funding was restored for the Kentucky Horse Park in the amount of $3.5 million from the governor's office.
The revised budget must now be formally rewritten and printed for lawmakers to view. It will be done in time for both chambers to pass the budget early Friday morning and then adjourn. By passing a budget this week, lawmakers will save time to override possible gubernatorial vetoes next month.