State budget in hands of conference committee

The state’s biennial budget is now in the hands of a conference committee made up of members of the House and Senate and a final version is expected to be heard as soon as Thursday.

Lawmakers have planned for that to be the only day they meet in the coming week, though they reserve the right to meet Friday, if necessary.

Senator Whitney Westerfield of Christian County is not pleased with how quasi-governmental agencies such as Sanctuary and Pennyroyal Center are treated in the budget—saying the Senate version reduces funding for subsidies from the House version and places a greater pension burden on those entities that they cannot afford.

Even so, Westerfield says the Senate passing a budget allowed it to get to conference committee so a final compromise can be ironed out.

Representative Myron Dossett says the budget will have to change from the senate version before he’ll support it, expressing his displeasure that the upper chamber didn’t fully fund the pension systems.

With thousands of Kentuckians laid off due to COVID-19, Representative Walker Thomas says it’s possible there will have to be a special session later this year to address a shortfall in revenue.

All local legislators say it’s important to get the budget done with days left to reserve the right to override any potential vetoes by Governor Andy Beshear.

Hear local lawmakers discuss the budget and other topics Sunday morning at 9 on Lite Rock 98.7 and online at