Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 27, 2013

Confusing, long day in Frankfort

(Continued)

FRANKFORT —

During that debate, Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, pointed out the pension bill passed by the Senate was passed on a date in advance of its own actuarial study. Hoover asked if that meant there was no bill before the House, but while Stumbo agreed the Senate bill was “technically” in error, he again ruled against Hoover.

Ultimately, the bill passed 55-45 along party lines.

Stumbo then asked for passage of the funding bill, arguing that it offered an opportunity to pass “a vehicle” back to the Senate as the first step in negotiating an agreement between the two chambers.

On top of that, Stumbo said, it was the best way to avoid a special session to deal with the pension problem and urged members, even those who opposed the measure, to vote for it to keep the process going and allow the two chambers to work out an agreement.

Hoover offered a floor amendment which would have required Gov. Steve Beshear to cut personal services contracts by $93 million and over three years reduce personnel costs by around $70 million. That would fund the pension system, Hoover said, and add back $25 million to the now empty school textbook fund within three years.

But Hoover’s amendment was voted down.

The House then passed the revenue measure – 52-47, with three Democrats, Fitz Steele, Rick Nelson and Bob Damron voting against it.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the vote was unconstitutional because it didn’t get 60 votes.

Ironically, earlier in the day, the Senate State Government Committee approved a bill by Sen. Bob Leeper, I-Paducah, to offer voters an amendment reversing the public’s decision in 2000 to approve annual sessions.

That bill now goes to the Senate floor.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

 

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