General Assembly Session Resumes

Following a three week recess, the 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly is again underway in Frankfort.

The House convened first, several hours before the Senate, but both chambers are basically biding their time until Tuesday’s State of the Commonwealth address. House Speaker Greg Stumbo believes the governor will sound an optimistic tone.

“We are seeing signs that the economy is improving and rebounding, so I think the governor will be cautiously optimistic and hopeful,” he says. “You know, I think it’s the ebb and flow of legislation.  And no, I think those bills are very much alive for the most part, but not in the current form that they’re in perhaps.”

Asked whether the Senate Republican agenda, approved in early January has any chance of passage in the House, Speaker Stumbo wasn’t ready to declare the bills dead, but made it clear they likely face drastic revision. Among the issues addressed in the package are immigration enforcement, tax reform, charter schools and government transparency.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.