Greg Stumbo

Kentucky LRC

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session.

Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

“And we all have varying opinions on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done and one thing I don’t think we need to do is a special session,” he says.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he’d like to get the issue out of the way, but will work with Stivers and the governor on a resolution during the legislature’s upcoming two week break.

Kentucky LRC

Kentucky legislative leaders say solutions on how to pay for Kentucky’s underfunded pensions won’t likely be addressed in the 2013 legislative session.

Both House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers say there will likely be a bill to introduce changes to the pension systems. But they also agree that such a bill is unlikely to deal how to fund the changes.

What they disagree on is when to deal with the funding solutions. Stumbo says pension funding should be dealt with in a special session, hand in hand with tax reform.

“There’ll be a bill, I don’t know whether it will be addressed," Stumbo says. "I think that we need, probably, to address the entire issue and that include the funding mechanism."

But Stivers says lawmakers should pass the changes now and deal with fully funding the pension system starting in 2014, when a new budget must be passed.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is joining calls for a nation debate about gun issues in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings, and also said that violent video games are a cause of such violence.

Stumbo says he’s a lifelong National Rifle Association member and an avid outdoorsman — and he has helped many NRA-friendly bills pass in Kentucky. But he’s joining other rural Democrats in their call for a discussion on gun control.

“But I join Sen. Joe Manchin in saying that it’s time for America to have an adult discussion about what happened and what needs to happen to keep those events from happening in the future,” Stumbo said.

Gov. Steve Beshear expressed similar sentiments after the Newtown shooting, which left 27 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including the shooter.

Stumbo did not go into details about what proposals he would favor.

Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013  session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling in Kentucky start in the Senate. "That line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn anymore," Stumbo told reporters during a Capitol press conference on Thursday. "I don't care if it's a House bill or a Senate bill."

The No. 1 priority for the Kentucky House in 2013 is set: Tackling recommendations from a recent report that found that special tax districts have big budgets and little oversight.  Auditor Adam Edelen recently finished a report on the districts, detailing billions of dollars in spending with little or no oversight.

A battle may be brewing over the future of Kentucky higher education -- should the state add another state university, this one serving Appalachia? The leader of the Kentucky House said he won't support any extra funding for higher education until the University of Pikeville joins the state university system.

State employees with higher pensions should pay more to help the underfunded systems recover, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview. One thing Stumbo doesn't want to see is lawmakers floating bonds to help pay for the state’s underfunded pensions.

The Kentucky House speaker said the commission charged with proposing changes to Kentucky's tax code is "backing away" from controversial issues. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview that the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform needs to be bolder. He said the appointed commissioners are approaching the tax code issues as if they have political capital to lose, refusing to offer new ideas.

Kentucky’s House Republicans have unveiled the agenda they will pursue if the party wins a majority of the chamber this fall. The GOP has focused its attention this year on unseating Democrats in the state House.To help that effort, House Republicans have promised to address fiscal issues, taxes and government reform if elected.

Kentucky Republicans are ramping up their campaign to take control of the state house in this year's elections. The GOP has latched on to House Speaker Greg Stumbo's declaration that he will vote for President Barack Obama this fall.

Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats will skip this weekend's annual Fancy Farm picnic. As of Wednesday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the only high profile Democrat scheduled to speak.

LRC

The President of the Kentucky Senate says he’ll never again negotiate with Democrats in private. Cumberland County Republican David Williams says House Democrats reneged on a previous agreement regarding transportation projects in his district.

LRC

A change to the so-called pill bill in Frankfort has restarted the fight over the measure in the General Assembly. Prescription abuse is rampant in Kentucky, and the bill strengthens restrictions on the drugs and who can sell them.The measure didn't clear the General Assembly during this year's regular session, and lawmakers have been called in for a special session to reconsider the legislation.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber's priorities for the next two-year budget are not that different from the Senate's. Both chambers have passed their own budget bills for each branch of state government. The two sides must now work out a compromise. Stumbo says he doesn’t have many concerns with the Senate's changes and he expects a conference committee to hatch a compromise quickly.

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