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.
Governor Steve Beshear says he'll call lawmakers back into a special session Monday to consider a transportation budget that provides needed funding for a 4 and a half billion dollar highway construction plan. Lawmakers passed the plan late last night, but adjourned without approving funding. Beshear blames Republican Senate President David Williams for thwarting passage of the transportation budget. Williams insisted Beshear sign the construction plan into law before the Senate passed the funding measure. But the governor says he didn't have time to fully review the construction before
The TN House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint (or fire) the head of the TN Higher Education Commission. The chamber voted today to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.
A top Illinois Democrat says pension boosts for public employees should require more support in the General Assembly before becoming law. House Speaker Michael Madigan is proposing a constitutional amendment to require a three-fifths vote of the House and Senate for any legislation that increases retirement benefits. A simple majority is required now. The state owes its pension systems $80 billion. The Legislature would have to approve the idea by May 6 to put the question before voters in the November election.
Kentucky House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a massive road construction plan. Senate Democratic Floor Leader R.J. Palmer says lawmakers reached the agreement around 2AM today which is the final day of this year's legislative session. Legislators were scheduled to vote on the plan this afternoon. The plan includes $3.5 billion worth of construction projects over the next two years and more than $10 million worth over the next 6 years.