Day 23 Notes: Hemp bill has path to the House floor; Senate leaders coy on redistricting

03/04/2013 06:57 PM

A regulatory framework for the hemp industry and new legislative district maps might have slim prayers of passage before the 30-day session ends after all.

After last week’s uncertainty over the hemp bill, House members say they expect SB50 to get an up or down vote in the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday.

But House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told reporters before going into the House chambers that he was unsure if the hemp bill would be called for a full House vote if the legislation passes the committee.

Stumbo reiterated that he is not in favor of the bill and said he has asked Attorney General Jack Conway to weigh in on the need for a regulatory framework.

“I’ve written the Attorney General and asked for an opinion if current law suffices in the event that federal government the growing of hemp – as the statute – as I interpret it do what we believe it does. And that is automatically follow suit so there is no need for new language in the statute,” Stumbo said. The asks if the existing statute that’s one sentence long is enough to lay the groundwork for an industrial hemp industry.

Legislative GPS

Day 23 of the General Assembly also meant Day 23 of the House trying to write a new redistricting map. House leaders had hoped to unveil the proposed map Monday. But that didn’t happen, as Democrats from Central Kentucky went off after the House ended its session to finish stitching together their region now that the Eastern Kentucky part of the map was allegedly settled.

The Senate, meanwhile, has been quiet on the prospect that they too will re-draw maps to reflect changes in population this year.

Sen. President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters in January that the Senate would not be taking up the process of redistricting.

But on Monday Stivers told reporters that some in the Senate leadership had been talking about redrawing the lines for districts in upper chamber.

“There’s discussion of redistricting cause we’re here and we’re talking about it together,” Stivers told reporters.

When pressed if the Senate would unveil a redistricting map in the final days of the session Stivers said, “it’s possible.” However, Stivers said he didn’t think it was likely because, “the House can’t even develop one.”

The Senate would have to wait for the House redistricting map to pass the House and be sent to the Senate for approval where they would amend the bill with their map — the House could then approve the addition.

“I’m not in the mindset of passing a House redistricting plan, without having a Senate redistricting plan,” Stivers said. “…While playing cards you always cut them before the deal, because it’s customary amongst gentleman and necessary among thieves.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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Comments

  • viewer wrote on March 04, 2013 09:37 PM :

    A must read is Time’s article written by Steven Brill called “Bitter Pill”. It is about the extreme costs of healthcare and the effects on people. It also covers the not so non-profit organizations raking in big profits and paying enormous salaries to the top tier, and how Obamacare has not changed the payer system. It is still about who will pay and not how much should be paid. I know I am on the wrong thread, but I think this article will be worth the read. I’m going to bed, the viewer.

  • Hutch wrote on March 05, 2013 06:21 AM :

    Greg Stumbo is going to keep on and he will elect Jamie Comer governor

  • sam pierce wrote on March 05, 2013 11:46 AM :

    After days of bombardment by supporters of industrial hemp, House Ag. Committee Chairman Tom McKee finally begged Dictator Stumbo to let him off the hook or McKee would lose his house seat. Seeing the possibility of losing one of his minions, Stumbo told McKee to allow the vote on SB50 because Stumbo would kill the bill himself by not allowing a vote in the full chamber. That is essentially what has happened and what is about to occur on the industrial hemp bill.
    As for redistricting, the state senate needs to refuse to vote on the house plan this session or the senate will have no leverage when the senate passes its plan in a later session.
    I also agree with Hutch that Stumbo is going to keep on and help elect Jamie Comer governor. Stumbo might also be in the process of electing a Republican House. All that Republicans have to do in 2014 is say that a vote for their Democrat opponent is a vote for Stumbo. We don’t need 50+ Stumbos running around the house. We seem to have 55 now, and that is way too many.

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