Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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March 18, 2014

Road plan passes House over Republican protest

FRANKFORT — Democrats pushed through the state House a two-year, $4.5 billion road plan as Republicans protested they weren’t given time to study the measure and some projects were removed from their districts after they voted against freezing the motor fuels tax last week.

The $4.5 billion includes ongoing projects carried forward from the current year.

The vote was a foregone conclusion after the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee voted the bill out Tuesday morning and House leadership announced it would face a vote by the full House that afternoon.

Republicans offered several procedural objections in an effort to delay the vote by one day. Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, said Republicans’ intent to provide “simply an opportunity for all lawmakers to see what’s in the bill.”

He said the bill wasn’t made available to Republicans or reporters “until 11 a.m. (Tuesday) morning.”

Republican Whip John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, said Republicans are only “asking for one day to be transparent.”

When Hoover moved to delay the vote for one day, Carney said voting for Hoover’s motion “is a vote for transparency.  A vote against may mean you don’t want to hear from your constituents.”

Hoover offered a series of motions to delay the vote but Republicans who have 46 members to Democrats’ 54 lost each vote.

Carney also claimed funding for projects for his district and those of other Republicans which were included in Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed road plan had been removed by Democrats to punish Republicans for voting against a measure to freeze the motor fuels tax last week.

The House passed a revenue bill last week which locked in the motor fuels tax at 30.8 cents per gallon, an amount tied to wholesale prices in December but which would have fallen by 2.2 cents in April as wholesale.

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Dirt flies as a wall comes down from the old Catlettsburg National Bank Building on Monday. MARK MAYNARD / The Independent

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