Local lawmakers react to Kentucky budget
Kentucky lawmakers will be back at the state Capitol Friday morning to vote on the budget, which must be approved before midnight.
Republicans and Democrats say they’re happy there is a budget and are glad they don’t have to go into special session.
The majority of our local lawmakers say they plan on passing the budget, but they haven’t received a full copy of it yet. That’s something that Republican Rep. Lynn Bechler isn’t happy about.
"To expect us to go ahead and vote on a 200 and some-odd page budget when you only have a couple hours to read and digest and, really, hardly ask any questions is kind of tough," says Bechler.
Democratic Sen. Dorsey Ridley disagrees with Bechler and says they already know what’s in most of the budget.
"When you talk about the general financing of our government, I’d say probably 90 percent of it is fixed, so it doesn’t take long for you to read through the 10 percent that’s changed or in negotiation," says Ridley.
Republican Sen. Danny Carroll says he’s happy they’re finally moving forward with the budget.
"It was very frustrating at times, you know, when you start the political posturing going into it," says Carroll. "So, it was a good lesson for me, and it just kind of all came together in the end."
Once the budget is ready for the governor’s signature, Bechler predicts he’ll sign it, but not before vetoing some lines. And, because it’s so late in session, legislators are concerned they won’t be able to fight back if that happens.
On Thursday, we interviewed six of our local lawmakers over the phone about the budget. You can hear the full interviews by clicking on either video attached to this story. Kentucky Senate interviews are with Stan Humphries (R), Danny Carroll (R) and Dorsey Ridley (D). Kentucky House interviews are with Lynn Bechler (R), Gerald Watkins (D) and Richard Heath (R).