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Pop the corn! Kentucky's placid payment process plummets with a plop

While budget negotiations go forward in fits and starts, AG Beshear made good on his threat to take the Governor to court.

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit against Gov. Matt Bevin for decreasing university funding without legislative approval.

In response, Communications Director Jessica Ditto snarked:

"As best we can make sense of his rambling press conference, we strongly disagree with the Attorney General and will respond as necessary in court. Given the amount of alleged corruption and personnel problems in the Office of Attorney General and his father's administration it is clear that he is attempting to deflect attention away from his own challenges."

Ouchies!

The Democratic House proposed less draconian cuts than the Governor's cut of 4.9% this year and each year of the biennium.

On Friday, Brian Wilkerson, Communications Director in the Speaker's Office, emailed that "Under the (House) plan, postsecondary education would be cut by 2 percent during the first year of the biennium, and the funding would be maintained in the second year. All proposed cuts to K-12 education would be fully restored."

Over the weekend, college presidents issued a statement that they could live with those.

On Sunday, Senate Republicans walked out of budget talks with the Democrats.

Monday afternoon, within minutes of each other, the Governor and House Speaker released these statements.

First the Governor's statement:

Governor Bevin Encourages Full Use of Legislative Calendar to Pass Budget

FRANKFORT, KY (April 11, 2016) - Today, Governor Bevin issued the following statement to encourage legislators to use the full legislative calendar in order to finalize a budget by the end of the week:

"We have until Friday, April 15th to finish the budgetary process. I'm calling on our House and Senate leaders to continue the good discussion that has been going on and extend the calendar to Friday to get the budget passed.

"I thank the General Assembly for the work that has been done. I thank our university presidents for signing a letter and agreeing to be part of the solution. I'm grateful to them for recognizing the financial needs of the state and wanting to be part of ensuring that we build a strong financial foundation.

"I'm confident that we can get this done. The taxpayers of Kentucky expect it of us. We should not have to come back for a special session. If we fail to pass a budget it will inflict pain and suffering on people in the state for reasons that don't need to happen."

and now the Dem House:

House leaders ready to finalize budget this week

FRANKFORT - Agreeing with Gov. Bevin that the House and Senate should move the last scheduled day of the 2016 Regular Session back so a two-year budget can be passed, House leadership returned to the budget conference room this afternoon, ready to begin negotiations again.

In a letter to Gov. Bevin, House Speaker Greg Stumbo wrote:

"Gov Bevin, I agree that we must have a budget and that we must work together, and the other House leaders and I remain ready to do that. I encourage you, Sen. President Stivers and our respective leaderships to find a way to do the right thing and pass a budget this week for the people of Kentucky.

"Our negotiations so far have been successful and we are just a short distance from passing a bipartisan budget. We agree with you that the full legislative calendar should be used to try to accomplish this, because it would be much more cost-efficient for the taxpayers of Kentucky. We agree that it would be irresponsible not to pass a budget in the next few days.

"Thank you, Governor Bevin, for your words of encouragement."

"I believe we can bridge the remaining differences in the time we have left, and we in the House stand ready to do just that," House Speaker Stumbo said.

POPCORN. BRING ON THE POPCORN!!


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