Greg Stumbo

Economy
2:26 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Facing Major Budget Gap in 2014-15

Kentucky lawmakers return to the state capitol building Jan. 7 for the start of the 2014 General Assembly.
Credit Kentucky LRC

New revenue in Kentucky’s upcoming biennial budget will not be enough to account for an estimated $450 million shortfall.

Lawmakers expect about $230 million in new revenue to be available for the budget. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo recently told a group of Kentucky’s top business leaders that more than half of that money will be used to pay down the state’s pension debt

“In about a $12 billion budget, it looks like there might be somewhere around a $100 million of new dollars, which is not even gonna allow us, quite frankly, to maintain status quo because just the cost of inflation," the Democratic House Speaker said.

Stumbo’s comments echoed those made by State Budget Director Jane Driskell, who has warned that budget cuts can be expected.

The Consensus Forecasting Group will meet this Thursday to provide the legislature with final budget numbers.

Politics
9:01 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Kentucky House Speaker Not Worried About GOP Gains

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky LRC

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo doesn't think this week's Republican victory in a special election is a sign of waning Democratic power in the chamber.

Republican Suzanne Miles bested Democratic challenger Kim Humphrey by about a hundred votes in a special election to fill a vacancy in West Kentucky’s 7th District.

Miles’ victory erodes Democrats’ majority in the House down to 54 seats against the Republicans’ 46. And Stumbo says he doesn’t think any House Democrats will change parties to curry favor with a potential GOP majority.

“We might have a Republican or two that flips, but I don’t think you’re gonna see any Democrats that do it … And we congratulate Ms. Miles and look forward to serving with her. It’s [sic] a close race, hundred votes or so … and I expect that, I expect that, I don’t think there’ll be any changes either way.”

The seventh district seat opened up after Democratic Rep. John Arnold resigned during a growing sexual harassment scandal. Arnold won re-election in 2012 by just five votes.

Regional
12:00 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Heads Want Meeting to Replace Sherman

House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky LRC

Legislative leaders want to meet to choose an interim replacement for Bobby Sherman, the former director of the Legislative Research Commission who resigned last week.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Friday that legislative leaders need to also lay the groundwork for a search for a permanent replacement.
  
Sherman quit abruptly last Friday, saying in a resignation letter that he had been considering doing so for a long while. He created a dustup on Sunday when he returned to his Capitol office to clean out his desk and in doing so shredded some documents.
 
Now, state police have decided to investigate the shredding to see if any laws were broken. The meeting has been called for 1:30 p.m. EDT next Wednesday in Capitol Annex Room 125.

Politics
4:05 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

To Count or Not to Count is the Question for Kentucky's Special Legislative Session

Kentucky lawmakers will go into special session later this year to craft new maps of political districts based on the most recent U.S. Census data.  Legislative leaders want a tentative agreement in place before returning to Frankfort, but one of the hang-ups is whether to include federal prisoners being held in the commonwealth.

Kentucky law says a prison cell is not a residence, and the inmate population can, but doesn't have to be taken into account when drawing political maps.  State lawmakers counted federal prisoners when they approved a new Congressional map last year.  That map was upheld by a judge while the legislative and judicial maps were ruled unconstitutional. 

Lawmakers will use this year's special session to redraw legislative and judicial maps.  Legislative leaders agree on the need for consistency, and contend they can't use one set of data for one map and different data for another.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo wants the congressional map amended and argues it would have a minimal impact on districts.

"There's only about 8,500 federal prisoners and the average congressional district is 770,000," explains Stumbo.

Senate President Robert Stivers argues consulting again with each congressman would prolong a costly special session.

"So now we get into a situation where we're engaging the federal delegation in a special session issue," remarks Stivers.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Beshear Meets with Legislative Leaders on Redistricting Plans

Gov. Steve Beshear was meeting Monday afternoon with House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers to try to work on a plan to resolve legislative redistricting.

The governor has said he is confident that the issue will be resolved in a special session sometime this year.

Each decade, lawmakers are required to draw new legislative district boundaries to account for population changes recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky had major population shifts between 2000 and 2010, requiring changes in boundary lines to comply with the federal and state "one person, one vote" mandate.

Two federal lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks to speed up the process in Kentucky. One asks that a three-judge panel redraw boundaries.

Education
2:55 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Derrick Graham Picked As New Kentucky House Education Chair

State Rep. Derrick Graham has been named the new chairman of the state House Education committee, Democratic leaders announced today.

Graham is a Frankfort native who recently retired as a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School. He is a well-known education advocate and previously chaired a budget subcommittee on education.

“I want to congratulate Derrick, my friend and colleague, on his appointment as the House Education Committee’s newest chairman,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a statement.  “He has dedicated his life to education and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities Kentucky faces academically."

Five House members of the Democratic majority have applied for the open chairmanship, the news release said.

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Politics
10:12 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Kentucky House Speaker Declares Hemp Bill Dead for the Session

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Monday that hemp legislation won't be going any further this legislative session. 

The Courier-Journal reports the bill has been assigned to the Rules Committee. Stumbo told the newspaper "the calendar won't allow us to consider any bills that are in the Rules Committee."

Monday is the 26th day of the 30 day session. Monday and Tuesday are devoted to bills that have cleared both chambers, while the final two days of the session are reserved for overriding any gubernatorial vetoes.

Politics
5:30 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Kentucky House Leaders Still Hopeful Redistricting Maps Pass

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky LRC

Kentucky's legislative leaders have hope they can finish redistricting before the current session ends later this month.

New legislative districts were drafted and passed last year to reflect the 2010 Census. A judge threw them out, however, saying lawmakers did not properly divide up the state.

The House has already passed a new map of its districts, but the Senate has shown no interest in it.

Speaker Greg Stumbo says he wants the map approved so House lawmakers can know their new districts and make decisions on whether to run for re-election.

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Politics
7:11 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Kentucky House Democrats Pass New Redistricting Maps Over GOP Protests

Democratic leaders in the Kentucky House won passage Wednesday of a legislative redistricting plan that could strengthen their majority by forcing 11 Republicans to run against each other next year.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 53-46 along party lines for the measure, which now moves to the GOP-led Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.

House Republicans made emotional pleas not to pass the legislation, saying it was born out of "purely partisan politics."

"Nobody did it to be punitive to anybody in this chamber; I can assure you of that," House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in his pitch for the measure, drawing guffaws from Republican lawmakers.

House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover called the legislation "another political play" by Democrats who want to protect their 55-45 majority in the House.

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Agriculture
8:58 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Kentucky House Committee Passes Hemp Bill, but Floor Vote Uncertain

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and several Kentucky Congressmen have endorsed a hemp bill being heard in Frankfort.

In its second try, the Kentucky House agriculture committee approved a bill Wednesday creating a regulatory framework for growing hemp in Kentucky, if the federal government were to legalize the crop.

The hemp bill—championed by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer—got only one "no" vote in the House agriculture committee.

Last week, an ag committee meeting abruptly ended after a tense exchange among lawmakers on the hemp issue.

Several House lawmakers said they voted for the bill to support farmers and hopefully create more jobs in the Bluegrass State.

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