In Frankfort, Shorter Session Appears Unlikely

A proposal to shorten the length of 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly appears to be losing steam.

At the start of the 30-day session, Senate President David Williams suggested lopping off six days to pay taxpayers back for last year’s special session on the budget. But with just eight days remaining in the session, it’s not looking like that’s going to happen.

“I don’t think the House was real interested in doing that. I think we are under the schedule we initially adopted,” said Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers.

What about House Speaker Greg Stumbo?

“As I’ve said all along, we’re prepared to shorten the schedule. I don’t think anybody wants to be here longer than they have to be, but we do have to solve the Medicaid problem and the budget problems that we have,” he said.

Legislation to close a deficit in the Medicaid budget has cleared the House and awaits Senate committee action. Monday is day 23 of the session, which is scheduled to end March 22nd, following a ten-day veto recess.

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.