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Mon January 16, 2012
Partisanship Rises in University of Pikeville Debate
By Kenny Colston
Frankfort, KY – Last week's redistricting battles may increase the partisanship in the Kentucky General Assembly. That's what the Republican House Leader Jeff Hoover told his peers on the House floor after that chamber passed new district lines unfavorable to Republicans.
Issues such as the budget and making the University of Pikeville a public institution are still on the table for lawmakers, but Hoover says when a House Democrat asked him about the UPIKE issue, he wanted to laugh it off.
"And when that person asked me that yesterday in the midst of all this redistricting, where it's not blatantly unfair, where there is no malice I wanted to say are you serious?" Hoover said on the House floor. "Are you serious Mr. Speaker? You think that we can sit down now and talk about the University of Pikeville proposal?"
Hoover added that partisanship will be high over other proposals, such as pension reform and drug abuse issues, because of the nasty redistricting fights.
"I'm worried about what this is doing to this institution moving forward," Hoover said. "It's not about us as individuals. We will come and go and I'm worried about the lingering effects to this institution. That's why I'm most disappointed in this process and what has happened."
Democrats are in firm control of the House. But they often need Republican votes when issues split the Democratic caucus.
Having those extra votes are in firm doubt now, Hoover said.