Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner is speaking out against efforts to amend his number one legislative priority—a much talked-about industrial hemp measure. James Comer says an amendment allowing five years of hemp growing demonstration projects in the state is just an effort to kill the bill.
The measure has enjoyed a good deal of bipartisan support in Frankfort, and passed the full Senate and the House Agriculture Committee. But the bill is now hanging by a thread after House Speaker Greg Stumbo refused to allow the bill an up-or-down vote. And the Courier-Journal reports Comer isn’t pleased with an amendment offered this week that would have the Kentucky State Police—instead of the Agriculture Department—issue licenses for hemp-growing demonstration projects.
Still, the bill’s sponsor—Senator Paul Hornback of Shelbyville—says he plans to meet with House leaders next week to allow some kind of action on the measure when lawmakers return for the final two days of the session on March 25th and 26th.
Kentucky legislators have returned home for the next 12 days after passing a flurry of bills in the recent days of the 2013 General Assembly session.
But many big issues still remain on the table and lawmakers will have two days left—March 25 and 26—to hammer out any remaining issues, including pensions and military voting bills.
Between now and then, a few lawmakers will work to resolve those final issues during the so-called veto recess, which is two weeks for the governor to consider all passed bills so far and whether he should sign them into law or strike them down.
Here's the list of what got finished, what's still in limbo and what's likely to be at its final resting place.