A blame game over important legislation leftover in the 2012 General Assembly is turning into a repeat of last year’s gubernatorial election.
Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President David Williams are arguing over who is to blame for state lawmakers adjourning their regular session without passing key bills. A bill to crack down on Kentucky’s prescription drug abuse died in the final minutes of the session, and even though lawmakers passed a road plan, they neglected to pass the bill that funds the projects.
In announcing his call for a special session to deal with those two issues, Beshear had a litany of names for Williams. He called the Senate President selfish and greedy for not allowing the Senate to finish its work.
“He still thinks that it’s acceptable to push the state’s business to the 11thhour. To hold bills according to his personal whim and then when reasonable people don’t acquiesce to his wishes, to throw a temper tantrum and go home,” Beshear says.
The governor is calling for the special session to begin Monday. This marks the seventh year in a row the governor has reconvened the legislature in a special session
Williams has refuted Beshear’s remarks, and also called the governor names. He says the Senate won’t take up the bills in the special session until Beshear signs the road plan template into law.
Beshear responded with scorn.
“To attempt to make the transportation budget conditional on my blind approval of the road plan is a ridiculous political maneuver that insults the businesses and families of this Commonwealth,” Beshear says.
Beshear warned he would publicly campaign against such a stance by the Senate. He says next week’s special session shouldn’t take more than the minimum five days since lawmakers have already reached compromises on each issue.
Williams has not yet commented on Beshear’s remarks today. But after lawmakers adjourned Thursday night, Williams called Beshear “petty” during the blowup.
Listen to Beshear’s entire press conference: