Senate Committee Restores Vetoed Projects In Road Funding Bill

A Kentucky Senate committee’s amendment to the state transportation budget could take the special session off course.

Lawmakers are in special session in part to pass a funding mechanism for the state road plan. But Senate President David Williams declined to take up the issue until Governor Steve Beshear acted on the unfunded road plan that passed previously. Beshear did so this week, issuing line item vetoes that make projects in Williams’s district a lower priority for the state.

Today, senate budget chairman Bob Leeper introduced an amendment that would in effect reverse the vetoes. But Leeper says he’ll drop the amendment it if the House doesn’t agree to it. And his chamber won’t stay in session to override any more vetoes.

“There’s no need for that. The governor has the authority to do it and he’s done it before. I see no reason for us to stay in for this amendment,” Leeper says.

But Democratic Senator Tim Shaughnessy says the Senate is embarrassing the Commonwealth.

“You know at some point people got to put on their big boy pants, suck it up and quit screwing the taxpayers cause that’s exactly what we’re getting ready to do,” he says

Shaughnessy says despite Leeper’s remarks, the amendment could extend the special session or create another one. Special sessions cost taxpayers about sixty thousand dollars a day.