Frankfort Local News

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.

Frankfort Local News

Road Plan Vetoes Won’t Delay Special Session, Williams Says

Kentucky Senate President David Williams says Governor Steve Beshear’s latest action on the state road plan will not lead to an extended special session.

Governor Steve Beshear has changed the two-year road plan to give projects in Williams’s district a lower priority. Those were the only modifications the governor made.

Williams had promised not to consider a bill to fund the road plan until Beshear acted on the unfunded measure. Despite his displeasure with Beshear’s move, Williams says the Senate will approve a funding bill and should adjourn the special session within five days.

“It’s an extremely partisan and vindictive move by the governor. I’ve learned to expect that of him and it challenges my capacity to be able to forgive. And I do forgive the governor for what’s he’s done to the people of my district and hope they can forgive him,” Williams says.

Frankfort Local News

House Passes Special Session Pill Bill, Road Plan Funding

The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed both bills on its agenda for this year’s special session.

House lawmakers approved both the road plan funding bill and a measure to crack down on prescription pill abuse today by wide margins.

The more contentious of the two bills was the prescription pill legislation. The House and Senate reached a compromise at the end of the regular session, but the House chose to introduce the original and tougher form for the special session.

The bill is opposed by the Kentucky Medical Association, which says the restrictions are too tough. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the KMA doesn’t speak for all doctors on this issue.

“We have the vast majority of doctors and nurses and dentists and practitioners across the state who want to see this type of legislation pass because they want to be part of the solution,” Stumbo says.