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Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne says ‘Incredibly difficult budget’ taking longer than expected

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, said he expects action on a public pension reform plan “soon,” and vowed to get the budget bill to the Senate faster than usual.

“The last I checked with our budget director, the last scoring has not yet come back that we requested,” he said. “I hoped it would have been back by now, but I still haven’t seen it.”

House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, isn’t sure when public pension reform plans will be legislated (LRC photo)

Talks are progressing on a spending plan, which will take effect in July for the next two fiscal years.

“It’s an incredibly difficult budget,” said Osborne. “We keep trying to find some way to make it easier, thinking that the more we break it down, we’ll surely find some way to make it easier. There’s really going to be some tough decisions to be made.”

Osborne said they’re going to try to get the budget through the House as soon as possible. “I would hope that we have it out by the middle to the end of February.”

There have been times in the past that the Senate hasn’t received the budget bill until the waning days of the session, which this year ends on April 13. “We’re going to do our best not to do that to them,” Osborne quipped.

With the resignation on Friday of the House Republican Caucus Chief of Staff Ginger Wells, Osborne says Deputy Chief of Staff David Floyd, a former House member, has been named acting Chief of Staff.

Osborne said he’s not sure yet is the search for a permanent successor to Wells will be conducted during the session. “But David is certainly very capable and respected by our members.”

He also says there are no plans at this point to have another election for House Speaker, until next year, meaning Osborne will remain heading up the chamber as Speaker Pro Tem. “As of right now, we believe that is the best way to proceed.”

With Tuesday being the filing deadline for candidates, Osborne says he remains optimistic Republicans can hold the majority in the House during this year’s elections.

“We’ve got a number of good candidates who have filed. Certainly, there’s some vacancies on both sides, particularly on the minority side, and I feel we’re well-positioned to allow our record to stand on its own.”

Osborne says there were goals in getting people to file. “We were just trying to find the best candidates that we possibly could.”

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