The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed both bills on its agenda for this year’s special session.
House lawmakers approved both the road plan funding bill and a measure to crack down on prescription pill abuse today by wide margins.
The more contentious of the two bills was the prescription pill legislation. The House and Senate reached a compromise at the end of the regular session, but the House chose to introduce the original and tougher form for the special session.
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.
Kentucky lawmakers busted a myth late last week when they reached agreement on a $19 billion state budget without retreating out of public view. In the past, negotiators have worked out details of the Commonwealth's budget behind closed doors with shades down, hallways roped off and state troopers standing guard. Negotiators this year allowed Kentucky Educational Television cameras to run throughout the proceedings.
As is often the case with government reform efforts, the Kentucky General Assembly enacted ethics laws in response to an embarrassing scandal. “BOPTROT” was a federal investigation of the Kentucky legislature in the 1990s, so-named because it involved a powerful legislative committee, Business Organizations and Professions, and horse racing. It exposed 15 state lawmakers who sold their votes, some for as little as $100.