Former Speaker says most of Senate GOP's agenda probably won't pass House

01/07/2011 07:19 PM

Former Democratic House Speaker Jody Richards said the bills containing the Senate Republicans’ expansive agenda “made a statement” during the first week of the 2011 legislation but added that he didn’t “foresee most of them passing” the House.

“Some of the items are controversial, and it will take a long time to debate them,” he said. “When they come to the House, most of them will be either amended or may not pass.”

Richards said of all the issues the Senate has pushed forward in its agenda of 13 bills, “some sort of immigration bill could pass” the General Assembly. But he said the House will advocate for its version, which is aimed at cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens. The Senate’s approach to immigration is similar to the Arizona law that allows law enforcement to question individuals’ residency and arrest illegal aliens.

Earlier this week, Richards lost a leadership race to get the Democratic House caucus support to be House Speaker pro tem, who is the person who fills in presiding over the chamber when the Speaker leaves the podium.

Richards said he lost by two votes to the longtime Speaker pro tem, Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville.

But he said he’s eager to move forward and push for a couple of pieces of legislation he’s filed:

Richards, who was first elected to the House in 1976, served as Speaker from 1995 to 2009.

- Ryan Alessi

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