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State Capitol

Kentucky Senate Passes State Budget With Plans For More Spending Decisions

Stu Johnson

The Kentucky Senate has given final approval to a state budget, however, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle said it may not be the final budget this year.  Tabbed a continuation one-year spending plan, lawmakers just learned in the last few days about more than $2 billion coming to Kentucky as part of the federal stimulus measure. 

In voting yes, Senate President Robert Stivers said future budget decisions could include expanding research in areas like artificial intelligence, genomics, and engineering. “We need to pass this and then we need to sit down and start the real work of what we need to do and shoot for the moon and, if we miss, we will still be in the stars,” said Stivers. 

Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey and a number of other democrats passed on the budget vote, saying some decisions about spending federal dollars could be made now.   “This budget doesn’t go far enough, but unlike most years when we make that complaint, this year we can truly do something about it,” noted McGarvey. 

When asked, Governor Beshear expressed hope some of those decisions could be made before the session finishes the end of March. 

Senate President Robert Stivers said legislative leaders still need to get more information from Washington about guidelines on how to spend coronavirus stimulus money. 

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