Legislature 2011-No Compromise No Satisfaction

 After hinting that the Kentucky House and Senate were doing SO well early in the 2011 session that they might adjourn early saving taxpayers a lot of dough, Senate President David Williams now says a special session is needed. Hmmm, sounds like he changed his tune when he lost control of the debate. Williams made that bold, and ultimately outlandish statement during the early days of the session when his full agenda zoomed through the GOP controlled Senate. He was making the assumption that he could bully the House, and by extension Governor Steve Beshear, into caving in and rubber-stamping his plans. What he didn’t bargain for was Jeff Hoover.

  To be fair, Williams did have some good ideas in his plan, but the lynchpin was a plan to slash state budgets, including education,  to plug a hole in the state Medicaid budget. The trouble with that issue is that the Burkesville Republican kept it under wraps until there was less than a week left in the session. Beshear’s plan for a fix was introduced in mid-February. Why did Williams wait so long to push his own plan?  To control the debate, and create an emergency need for a conference committee. That is vintage Williams.  Most of the time he got his way in the past on budget issues, and some other legislation pending at the eleventh hour of  sessions. Oh by the way Williams is running for Governor too. What a surprise.

 Enter House Minority Leader Jeff  Hoover, a Republican from Russell County, who has usually been on board with Williams agenda in the past. Not this time.  Hoover agreed there is a Medicaid problem, but sided with the majority of House members from BOTH parties, claiming the proposed cuts are far too deep, and just not neccesary.  SO-Williams says they need to come back. In August.  For a cost of 350,000 dollars.   All because David Williams wants to control the issue. He’s running for Governor–just remember that. By the time the Special Session rolls around, Williams and Beshear will both likely be their respective party nominees for Governor. Does ANYONE think something will really be accomplished in that session?

 On the flip side, there were some bills finally passed and sent to the Governor for signing. There’s the Right to Hunt and Fish measure-not that anyone has looked askance at me when I trout fish, but it’s nice to know I still have the right.   House Bil 333 allows the sale of  Consumer Fireworks. (No truth to the rumour that all the threes in the bill title is a reference to the number of fingers you’ll have remaining after a purchase.)  They also passed a ban on sales of so-called bath salts drugs, but by the way things have gone this year in Frankfort, I think the ban came too late.