Friday, March 28, 2014

Will Kentucky media report this?

Kentucky Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark just erupted in budget negotiations in Frankfort over ObamaCare funding, asking "Do you all want a budget or not?"

No one answered his question, but the only response is "not one that funds ObamaCare in Kentucky, Mr. Speaker."

Despite widespread belief the General Assembly is constitutionally required to pass a budget, no such requirement exists. From the Kentucky Supreme Court decision in Fletcher v. Commonwealth: 

"There is no constitutional mandate that the General Assembly enact a budget bill, and there is no statute providing for an alternative when it fails to do so.   Despite much hand-wringing and doomsday forecasting by some of the parties to this action at the prospect that we would hold that Section 230 means what it unambiguously says, it is not our prerogative to amend the Constitution or enact statutes.   When the General Assembly declines to exercise its appropriations power, that power does not flow over the “high wall” erected by Section 28 to another department of government."

This means, very simply, that without an appropriation there can be no Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange nor can there be an ObamaCare Medicaid expansion if the General Assembly refuses to pass an executive branch budget.