The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed both bills on its agenda for this year’s special session. House lawmakers Wednesday approved both the road plan funding bill and a measure to crack down on prescription pill abuse today by wide margins.
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.
The House budget committee has passed the first of this special session's 2 major bills on the call. The 25 to 2 vote sends the measure authorizing $4.5 billion in spending on road projects to the full House for a Wednesday vote.
Kentucky lawmakers have returned to the capitol for a special session, and it's not clear how long they'll remain in Frankfort to finish their work. The House gaveled in at noon Monday and quickly filed two bills. One measure cracks down on prescription pill abuse and another funds the state road plan.
Republican Senate President David Williams says Democratic Governor Steve Beshear needs to tone down his rhetoric over the upcoming special session. The two men butted heads when the Senate didn’t pass two of the session’s critical bills. The Senate adjourned, effectively killing a bill that funded the state’s road plan and one that would place further limitations on prescription drugs.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is disappointed a bill to crack down on prescription drug abuse died during the final night of the regular session. The initial proposal sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo required doctors to use KASPER, which is the state's prescription monitoring effort. It also required that pain management clinics be owned by physicians licensed in Kentucky.
A blame game over important legislation is turning into a full-blown repeat of last year’s gubernatorial election. Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President David Williams are arguing over who is to blame for lawmakers adjourning their regular session without passing key bills.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has scored three legislative victories regarding food and inheritance taxes, and a civil service reform bill. Members of the Tennessee House have voted to cut the state’s tax on food by a quarter of a percentage point, and they agreed to gradually eliminate Tennessee’s tax in inheritance by 2016.