Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:51 am
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a petition that would allow the House to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct against Democratic Representative John Arnold, D-Sturgis.
State lawmakers could then vote to censure or expel the Western Kentucky lawmaker.
In addition to the petition, the House Committee on Committees is sending Arnold a letter saying that he will be suspended as chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance and Public Protection.
In just over a month, lawmakers are back in Frankfort for a special session on new boundaries for Kentucky’s legislative districts. But, there are no plans yet to resolve another issue facing the state.
It’s often called real tax reform or comprehensive tax reform. And it’s been on Frankfort’s radar screen for years. Despite numerous proposals, no substantial change in tax policy has come under serious consideration at the statehouse. Gov. Beshear says Kentucky needs a ‘modern tax system’ responsive to a 21st century economy. But, he admits, politicians would rather avoid the topic.
A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House. The measure passed on a unanimous vote of 99-0.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.
"Because if claims are in fact being withheld unfairly, this will remedy that," Stumbo said. "If claims are being changed as far as the criteria goes in the claims process after they've been submitted this will change that."
The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.
The House passed an amended version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.
Legislation that would institute a statewide smoking ban in restaurants and other public places has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for further review, making it unlikely to pass this legislative session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he doesn't expect the measure to make it back to the full House for consideration. The bill has proven divisive in Kentucky, one of the nation's top tobacco-producing states.
The House budget committee has passed a bill that would help shore up the state's underfunded pension system. House Bill 416 would take revenues from expanding Kentucky lottery sales and online games, as well as from Instant Racing if the state Supreme Court upholds the legality of the game.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the bill would generate at least $100 million a year to be put into a trust fund for pensions. And he says using money from lottery sales won't hurt scholarship funds tied to lottery profits.
"Those are left harmless, they'll still be funded. And they'll be allowed 2 percent growth in this proposal so they'll still continue to grow," Stumbo said.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he doesn't expect a tax reform package vote during the current legislative session. Stumbo says such a package doesn't have the 60 votes necessary to pass in the House.
A special commission appointed by the governor proposed reforms that could generate almost $700 million a year in additional revenue.