Senate passes unemployment insurance bill as-is

05/28/2010 04:00 PM

Sen. David Givens

(UPDATED) Sen. David Givens, a Greensburg Republican, withdrew his amendments that would have reduced benefits to out-of-work Kentuckians as a way to replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund the federal government has had to bail out.

The Senate then passed the measure the way the House had it by a 36-1 vote. The lone opposition came from Sen. Elizabeth Tori, a Republican from Radcliff.

Senate President David Williams, a Burkesville Republican, lamented the fact that the bill could have gone farther.

In an interview with cn|2 Politics, Givens said that he was prepared to go forward with the amendments until meeting with the Republican caucus Friday morning.

“We went into the day intending to call the amendments,” he said. “The delivery of the process allowed me to dialogue with caucus members (before debate).

“The caucus informed me that they wanted to pass the bill without the amendments.”

Even with that information, Givens said he believed the Senate would have passed the bill with his amendments. But with other topics still left up in the air, including the budget and the road plan, the fight over unemployment was left for another session.

“In the waning hours of a special session with a road plan and budget still undecided the potential for a divisive vote on unemployment was not conducive to finishing the people’s business,” Givens said.

- Kenny Colston

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