Sen. Stein says women leaders would have 'leveling' effect, wouldn't skip work for SEC tourney

03/13/2012 07:29 AM

Kentucky is overdue for having more women in legislative leadership posts who could provide a “leveling effect” in budget negotiations and took a jab at Senate President David Williams for skipping work to watch college basketball.

“We do some outrageous things here. What happened just this weekend … We didn’t do anything Thursday or Friday because the Senate president made no bones — he was going to New Orleans for the SEC Tournament,” Stein said (4:10 of the video). “I won’t call it an abuse of his power, I will say it’s a misuse of his power.”

The Senate convened early on Thursday and met Friday, although they didn’t pass any legislation while Williams was in New Orleans.

Williams’ spokeswoman said Stein’s comments undercut her credibility.

“Her observations really show how out of touch and irrelevant she is to the legislative process. Sen. Stein was not in the chamber on Friday and, in fact, has been absent 27 percent of the time this session. Senator Williams will be taking a day without pay and has been absent only once,” said Williams’ spokeswoman Lourdes Baez-Schrader.

Stein made her comments on Pure Politics Monday as women legislators hosted girl scouts at the Capitol.

Currently just one woman — Republican Sen. Katie Stine of Southgate — serves in one of the 16 leadership positions. And overall, women make up less than 20 percent of the legislature.

Stein called that “a sad state of affairs.” And she said she thought Rep. Sannie Overly, a Paris Democrat who heads up the budget subcommittee on transportation, would be a prime candidate for an eventual leadership position.


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