Even though major bills pass, special session issues may not be over

04/20/2012 08:01 PM

As the legislature exhaled in relief with the passage of two major pieces of legislation, those measures might not be done. The legislature will likely fight in the future over how to pass road funding bills as a result of this one and Gov. Steve Beshear has executive powers to make changes to one disputed part of the prescription pill bill.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told reporters over the five day special session just how strongly he felt about moving the KASPER prescription monitoring system to the Attorney Generals office, but as the hours ticked by on Friday things began to change – and compromise was in the air.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a version of the pill bill Friday afternoon that would keep KASPER in the Health and Family Services Department, and as the Senate receded on the amendment to put back $50 million dollars of money into Senate President David Williams district word went out that the House would compromise on the pill bill and let the Senate keep KASPER in the Health and Family Services Department as long as a funding change took place.

The Senate sprang into action amended the pill bill and leaders from the two chambers worked together to pass legislation before supper time. But that may not be the end of it.

During an interview with reporters Speaker Stumbo was asked if Governor Beshear would take any special executive action and move the KASPER system to the Attorney Generals office any way.

“The governor has broad re-organizational powers and that the governor I believe is really serious about this problem,” Stumbo said.

And Stumbo said he spoke with the governor and Attorney General Jack Conway on Friday and it was a consensus between the groups to offer the compromise.

One thing that was still heavy in the air was frustration.

But Senate President David Williams, R- Burkesville, aimed his on Friday not at Beshear but at the House Democrats, calling them “saps,” and promising this “a new day,” when it comes time to renegotiate the road plan and fund in two-years.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.


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