Reviewing The 2011 Legislative Session

Despite the need for a special session, the General Assembly’s legislative pace this year more or less matches last year’s.

In regular sessions, Kentucky lawmakers meet for 60-days in even-numbered years and 30-days in odd numbered years, so the 2011 session lasted 30-days.

During that time, lawmakers introduced 653 bills, and approved 102 of them. That’s in line with the 2009 session, when 101 bills were approved.

Governor Steve Beshear vetoed a couple of bills this year, but the Republican-controlled Senate adjourned early, so lawmakers couldn’t override the vetoes.

Because the General Assembly failed to balance Medicaid during the regular session, Beshear immediately called a special session, which effectively ended March 24th, when the Democratically-controlled House adjourned and went home.

The Senate still intends to reconvene on Wednesday, which is sure to reignite festering arguments over legislative pay for the special session.

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.