Greg Stumbo

Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats will skip this weekend's annual Fancy Farm picnic.

As of Wednesday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the only high profile Democrat scheduled to speak. Stumbo is filling in for the governor, who’s on an economic development trip in Europe. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and the four remaining statewide elected Democratic officials are opting not to speak.

A lobbying group for various drug manufacturers has set a record for money spent during a Kentucky legislative session.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent nearly half a million dollars between January and March lobbying against a bill aimed at curbing meth production by limiting pseudoephedrine purchases.

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A change to the so-called pill bill in Frankfort has restarted the fight over the measure in the General Assembly.

Prescription abuse is rampant in Kentucky, and the bill strengthens restrictions on the drugs and who can sell them. The measure didn't clear the General Assembly during this year's regular session, and lawmakers have been called in for a special session to reconsider the legislation.

The House has decided to return the bill to its original form and ignore the last-minute compromise that was left on the table at the end of the regular session.

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.

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A bill to help students from coal mining counties in Kentucky finish their education is once again in limbo. House Bill 260 creates a fund to give college juniors and seniors scholarships to finish their degrees at schools in coal-producing counties. The bill didn’t pass before lawmakers adjourned for a veto recess last week, leaving only one day for both chambers to approve the measure. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he’s not sure why the Senate didn’t vote on the bill.

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Confusion and last-minute lobbying have potentially derailed what some Kentucky lawmakers considered the hallmark of the current legislative session.

House Bill 4 is better known as the prescription pill bill. It's centerpiece is the transfer of the KASPER drug tracking system to the attorney general’s office.

Late last week, it appeared lawmakers had struck a last-minute deal to pass the bill before this week's recess. But confusion about which amended version of HB4 was up for a vote mired them in procedural minutiae.

A scholarship program intended to serve college students in far eastern Kentucky has been expanded. What was originally called the Appalachian Scholarship Fund has been expanded to all coal-producing counties in Kentucky, including those in the western portion of the state. The program applies to students in the last two years of their education who attend a university, public or private, in a coal-producing county. The intent was to keep eastern Kentucky students from leaving the area for college.

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After a night of discussions, Kentucky lawmakers have finally reached a budget agreement.

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Budget talks in Frankfort appear to have stalled.

Lawmakers have met for three straight days, usually twice a day, to resolve differences between budget proposals passed by the House and Senate. But there are firm disagreements over school construction, cuts to the governor'’s office and coal severance projects.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate isn'’t compromising on those issues, so the potential to deliver a budget on time is in danger.

Both chambers of the General Assembly have approved budget bills and a conference committee has been meeting since Monday to work out the differences. One major point of disagreement is funding for school construction. It's a priority for the House. But Senators were not ready to haggle during a Tuesday morning session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the issue is so important to his chamber that a disagreement could derail budget talks.

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