Redistricting mess causes delay of game in Frankfort -- or is it intentional grounding?

02/08/2012 07:18 PM

The bickering over redrawing legislative lines, followed by a court decision and more uncertainty has essentially pushed back serious consideration — and even the introduction — of some major legislation.

“It’s held up the whole session, obviously. And until it gets resolved, it’s going to be difficult for anything to happen this session,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo earlier this week.

But it still has some wondering if that was the plan all along and lawmakers could, to use another football metaphor, run out the clock on a potentially divisive issue like expanded gambling.

As a result of the candidate filing deadline getting bumped back, Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposal to allow expanded gambling remains on a shelf in the governor’s office. Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson confirmed to Pure Politics this week that the proposal wouldn’t be unveiled until the filing deadline passes.

Some lawmakers fielded questions from cn|2 about whether extending the redistricting uncertainty to push back such issues was intentional or not.

Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville:

Rep. Jeff Hoover, the Republican floor leader from Jamestown:

Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville:

Beshear said Wednesday he believed lawmakers still had enough time to pass it, as the Herald-Leader’s Jack Brammer reported.

Robyn Williams, the former district judge who is married to Senate President David Williams, posted on her Facebook page Tuesday that she while the redistricting quagmire was “an inconvenient mess for everyone involved, I am tickled pink that this redistricting challenge puts a hold on the gambling issues that much longer.”

But Robyn Williams said Wednesday that this stalemate “was not the plan from the beginning.”

“I’m so frustrated with the confusion of this redistricting process. It’s the most unusual session I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s just awful. I’m as adamant against gambling as anyone. But I wouldn’t trade this confusion for facing the gambling issue head on. I’m just trying to look at it from a glass half full.”

Other big issues, besides gambling and the next two-year budget, that haven’t even come up for votes in committees yet include:

  • requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine used in making methamphetamine
  • a payment plan for covering the interest on a federal loan for unemployment insurance
  • addressing public pensions — at the very least closing a loophole allowing legislators to count their time of service toward their pension calculations when they take higher-paying government jobs.
  • campaign finance reforms, such as adding reporting deadlines


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