Frankfort is a "mess," Democratic lawmaker says

12/12/2017 02:55 PM

With talks of a special session still lingering, allegations of sexual misconduct facing numerous members of the legislature, the Speaker of the House resigning, state Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills, says Frankfort is a “mess.”

The Democratic lawmaker was elected during the 2015 cycle, and when he came on Pure Politics last week Harris said that it seems unlikely lawmakers can produce results if a special session is called by Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Kentucky.

“To me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to call legislators from around the state together and waste taxpayer dollars just to say there is a special session when nothing has been agreed upon — no bill has been released, if a bill is released tomorrow we won’t know the cost to taxpayers, so it’s really not a good situation,” Harris said.

Harris Democrats and Republicans ought to work together to deal with the issues facing all Kentuckians, including pensions and other issues.

Another hurdle in the General Assembly is the resignation of Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, as House Speaker amid a sexual harassment settlement. Harris said there needs to be transparency in the situation.

“We just need to know the truth,” he said.

Hoover, and the three other members of the GOP caucus wrapped up in the settlement claims, “all deserve the opportunity to tell their story,” Harris said.

The investigation has now been handed over to the Legislative Ethics Commission for their review. The commission has subpoena power, which private attorney’s did not have, but Harris said the commission lacks some power to effectively punish members.

Harris says until the legislature knows all the facts, it’s premature for resolutions to be filed to remove lawmakers accused of wrongdoing.

Watch the full interview with Harris on his take on the culture of Frankfort, and the legislation he will file once again in the upcoming legislative session in 2018.


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