Feb. 28, 2013 —
FRANKFORT The widening gap between the two chambers of the General Assembly on how to solve Kentucky’s pension problems seemed to get wider Thursday.
On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled House passed an almost entirely re-written version of the pension fix passed earlier by the Senate and then passed a revenue bill to pay for the funding costs.
But the bill passed with fewer than 60 votes, which is the requirement in a 30-day, odd-year session.
Stumbo contends that requirement only applies to “final passage,” meaning the 60 votes could come in the House after the Senate sends back an amended version.
But Thursday, the Senate sent a letter to the House saying the Senate Clerk refused to accept the revenue bill because it violated Senate rules. Accompanying the Senate letter was a record of similar action by the House in the past.
Stumbo wasn’t moved.
“We’re not taking it back,” Stumbo said. “We’re going to forward to them some of the law we cited here yesterday which makes it clear those majorities are only required on final passage. They can do with it what they like.”
Later Thursday, the Senate refused to concur with the House in the amended version of the actual pension bill and sent that back to the House asking its members to “recede” and accept the Senate bill.
That’s not likely to happen.
Stumbo said the Senate’s action makes a special session more likely — or at least more likely that no solution will be found for the pension problem during the regular session.
In other action Thursday, the House State Government Committee approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, to clarify the requirements of the open meetings law.
The bill would require public officials to at least evaluate the need for overflow crowds at meetings likely to deal with controversial subjects and to provide an alternative with adequate space to accommodate the larger crowd.