Hoover proposes rule that would make lawmakers liable for cost of investigating fellow lawmakers

01/09/2018 08:05 PM

FRANKFORT – More surprises on Tuesday in the House as Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, who formally resigned as Speaker Monday, introduced an amendment to a House rule which allowed eight members of the GOP to seek his expulsion last week.

Hoover filed an amendment to House Rule 23A, which would force all members who file complaints to pay all of the costs associated with the investigation committee if no wrongdoing is found.

Hoover called out the eight GOP members as he introduced his resolution, comparing it to tort reform.

“As I look at that rule (23A), and I look at the gang of eight who sponsored the complaint that was served against me, it struck me that almost every one of them have always advocated for tort reform,” Hoover said. “An aspect of tort reform is the loser pays, and so, I think it’s only appropriate that we adopt a rule that if folks file a complaint against some one, and are not successful, they should pay.”

Rep. Phil Moffett, R-Louisville, who was one of the eight GOP members to file the complaint, advised the chamber that it would be a huge mistake to adopt such a resolution.

“To think that the financial liability you’re going to put some one under if you happen to be a member on a fixed income or not a lot of resources, that means you’re going to be holding them of not bringing charges to somebody for fear of your own fianances,” Moffett said.

At that point there was proposal to lay the resolution on the clerks desk. That motion failed with a deadlocked 40-40 vote with GOP leadership split as Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell and Majority Caucus Chair David Meade siding with Hoover, while Acting Speaker David Osborne and Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher voting to lay the resolution on the clerk’s desk.

There was then roughly an hour break as leadership left the chamber and when they returned, they wound up calling the resolution out-of-order based on a technicality.

“Once the resolution came up on the screen, we actually got to read it, the amendments have to be drafted to the appropriate version of those bills, and in this case, the amendment that he had proposed was drafted to an earlier version which was not appropriate, so it just wasn’t in order,” Osborne said.


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