2012 Kentucky General Assembly

A long list of new laws are set to take effect in Kentucky this week, including one that will allow the state to offer extra tax incentives to encourage automobile manufacturers and parts suppliers to expand production in the state.

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.

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Today on NPR: What happens in Vegas... gets you fired.

At a sometimes heated hearing today where members of the House got to express outrage about the excessive and wasteful spending by officials from the General Services Administration during a 2010 conference in Las Vegas, the man at the center of the scandal refused to testify.

And now... news from the Four Rivers Region:

Kentucky lawmakers have returned to the capitol for a special session, and it's not clear how long they'll remain in Frankfort to finish their work.

The House gaveled in at noon today and quickly filed two bills. One measure cracks down on prescription pill abuse and another funds the state road plan.

Neither measure cleared the General Assembly during the regular session this year. And House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber will work quickly to pass the bills.

Republican Senate President David Williams says Democratic Governor Steve Beshear needs to tone down his rhetoric over the upcoming special session.

The two men butted heads yesterday when the Senate didn't pass two of the session's critical bills. The Senate adjourned, effectively killing a bill that funded the state's road plan and one that would place further limitations on prescription drugs.

In his call for the special session, Beshear personally blamed Williams for blocking the bills, and at other times called him greedy and selfish.

A blame game over important legislation is turning into a full-blown 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 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.

KY Lawmakers still without agreement on road budget

Apr 10, 2012

Kentucky lawmakers still haven't reached an accord on appropriations in the state's transportation budget.  State Representative Sannie Overly says House and Senate lawmakers remain far apart on proposed construction projects to be included in a six-year, $10 billion road plan.  Legislators are scheduled to reconvene Thursday for the final day of this year's legislative session.  This only allows two more days for negotiators to work out differences in the competing proposals offered by the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-led Senate.  Overly is a leading Democratic negotiator

Today on NPR: Facebook is Buying Instagram (Somewhere in Portland a hipster is quietly sobbing into his can of PBR)

And now the news from around our region:

Governor Steve Beshear has signed more bills that passed the General Assembly this session.

Lawmakers will return to Frankfort Thursday to try and override any potential vetoes, but so far, the governor hasn’t vetoed anything. He has, however, approved more than a dozen bills since lawmakers left Frankfort late last month.

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When the current Kentucky legislative session ends this week, many issues will be left on the table for future years.

One of those issues is charter schools. Kentucky is among nine states without charters, and the push to change that has been polarizing in Frankfort. A compromise to create a pilot charter project was close to passage last month, but it fell apart.