General Assembly 2014: Late night wheeling-dealing-horse-trading edition
04/15/2014 06:24 PM
Legislators spent the evening trying to combine, link and leverage bills in a flurry of negotiations.
That didn’t always yield smooth results.
The House, for instance, passed the state’s transportation operational budget bill, House Bill 236, by a 58-37 vote shortly after 10 p.m.
But in the spending bill — a companion bill to the road and bridge project list — was a provision the Senate put in language that weighed in on a dispute over occupational taxes in four communities including Corbin.
Republican Rep. Regina Bunch, who represents part of Corbin, said she believed it was inappropriate to slip that into the bill in the 11th hour. Bunch, though, ultimately voted for the measure.
Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover then questioned House Budget Chairman Rick Rand about what else was in the measure.
“Let’s send a message that we don’t need to be doing important things in a haphazard, half-way approach,” Hoover said.
Rand fired back. “The language he speaks of is not language we added in the House,” Rand said. “It was probably our preference that the language not be there … A no vote is a no vote on the road plan.”
The House also passed House Bill 2, which came back from the Senate, that establishes a scholarship program for students in coal producing counties in eastern and western Kentucky.
The bill passed 96-3.
The House and the Senate passed a compromised version of the road plan which was struck earlier in the day which Gov. Steve Beshear applauded in a statement.
“I thank the General Assembly for passing the Transportation budget and six-year road plan on time, without requiring a costly and unnecessary special session,” Beshear said. “These bills are a critical part of state government operations, as they provide direction and funding for hundreds of road and bridge maintenance and construction projects in every corner of the Commonwealth.”
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