With House passing pill bill and road funding, all eyes turn back to Gov. Beshear and Senate

04/18/2012 12:46 PM

The Kentucky state House passed the prescription pill bill and transportation budget sending the legislation to the state Senate for action in the special session.

Representatives passed the transportation budget bill 96-2. Only Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, and Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, R-Fort Wright, opposed the measure. Both said they believed the legislation endorsed the concept of placing tolls of bridges.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D- Prestonsburg, also told reporters Wednesday that he expects Governor Beshear to sign the road projects bill late Wednesday or Thursday clearing a path for the Senate to vote on the transportation budget.

That was the hold-up last week as the regular session grinded to a halt, forcing Beshear to call a special session. The Senate wanted Beshear to sign the road projects bill into law before passing the funding bill and Beshear wanted the Senate to pass the funding bill before signing the project list into law.

Senate President David Williams, R- Burkesville, doesn’t want to give the governor the ability to veto the project list — and, thus, spend $4 billion in federal and state road and bridge construction money any way he wants. That’s why he wants Beshear to sign into law the agreed upon list of more than 1,600 road projects including the Louisville bridges.

Even once the transportation impasse ends, House and Senate leaders also will have to agree to an approach to the prescription pill bill.

The pill bill passed the House Wednesday morning 70-28.

Stumbo was enthusiastic after the House on Thursday passed a version of the pill bill similar to the original legislation introduced in January. But he said “some of the members have been lobbied by some of the physician community in their district.”

There could likely be a compromise between the House and Senate on the pill bill, but Stumbo was glad so many House members went on record as supporting the stronger version of the legislation.


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