Buzzards and buckets -- legislative leaders offered different takes on state of KY

01/07/2011 07:21 PM

LEXINGTON — The state’s top lawmakers painted different pictures this week about the direction of the state — and also had opposing views about the reason for a wake of buzzards that have made Frankfort home.

Speaking to more than 1,000 business and civic leaders at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night, Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Kentucky is showing signs of turning the corner from the recession. And Republican Senate President David Williams said much more needs to be done and made a plug for the expansive agenda the Senate’s GOP caucus moved through the chamber this week.

Most of Stumbo’s speech was part of his political stand-up routine. And he used a little humor when describing how the House will greet the bills that make up the Republican Senate caucus’s agenda. Twelve of the 13 bills of that agenda passed the Senate on Thursday and Friday.

“There must be 5,000 — and that’s no exaggeration — buzzards in the sky over there,” he said, referring to near the Capitol. “As I was walking out the door to get in the car, a lady stopped me. She said, ‘Do you see all those budgets?’ I said, ‘Yes, ma’am .‘ She said, ‘Do you know what they’re doing here? What’s dead?’

“I said, ‘Ma’am, the Senate agenda arrived in the House,” Stumbo told the business and civic leaders.

To continue with that metaphor, Senate President David Williams took a jab at Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

“I saw those buzzards over there too. I thought they were flying over the governor’s mansion,” said Williams, who is running for Republican nomination for governor and the chance to challenge Beshear in the fall.

Stumbo and Williams also had different views on how the state has progressed since the Chamber released its “Leaky Buckets” report that compared the state’s financial conditions to a leaking bucket. It showed how money was increasingly going away from education toward the corrections system, Medicaid and state employee health benefits.

Here’s the Pure Politics report of some of the other points made by the legislative leaders Thursday night:

- Video produced by Don Weber


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