The days of Kentucky’s 2016 General Assembly are dwindling to a precious few while much work remains.
Friday marked the 51st day of the 60-day law-making session. It is scheduled to end April 12 but the state Constitution allows it to run through April 15 if the extra time is needed.
Each day of the legislative session costs taxpayers about $70,000.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Friday he expects the Senate to vote Tuesday or Wednesday on its version of the state budget bill. The House approved its version earlier this week.
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After that, a conference committee made up of leaders from the Senate and House would attempt to craft a compromise version of the $21 billion, two-year spending plan for the state.
The goal, Stivers said, is for lawmakers to deliver the budget to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin on March 30.
The General Assembly would then recess until April 12, when lawmakers could consider overriding any vetoes by the governor. The governor has 10 days to use his line-item veto power with the budget bill, meaning he can strike portions of it.
Under that schedule, April 12 would be the 60th and final day of this year’s legislative session.
Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said they want to make sure the legislature does not give up its authority to override gubernatorial vetoes.
Lawmakers have lost that chance in some recent legislative sessions because they failed to deliver the budget on time.
When asked about Stivers’ schedule, Stumbo said it seems possible “if he accepts it (the House budget) pretty much intact as it is.”
If legislators work next weekend on the budget, their staffers would have to forgo part or all of their Easter weekend.
Good Friday is a half-day holiday for state workers.