State Senate Will Wait to Pass Gas Tax Freeze

A week ago, it seemed like a done deal in that you would not see a 4 cent drop in your gas taxes. But today on this last day of this part of the legislative process, that deal is less certain.

Lawmakers in the house overwhelmingly agreed to freeze a scheduled 4 cent drop in the gasoline tax….to essentially provide $132 million for road construction. But Friday morning Senate President David Williams said the Senate would not vote on the gas tax..until the Governor acts on the road plan.

“He can line item veto or he can sign it at the juncture. Then he has the prerogative to build or not to build,” said Williams, R-Burkesville.

Williams’ move to wait on the plan to fund more than $1 billion in road work isn’t something House speaker Greg Stumbo agrees with.

“I think we’d like to see the Senate pass the 4 pennies first, and send it to the Governor at the same time,” said Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.

The road plan is among many unanswered issues heading into the final days of this year’s session. Lawmakers in both chambers did approve 10 disaster days for schools struggling to make up missed days because of the ice storm or Hurricane Ike. The bill is waiting for Governor Beshear’s signature.

“Certainly there are school districts that need some relief across this state. And this may very well be the way to do it. But I just want to make sure what it says. Before I make any commitments to it,” said Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky.

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Frankfort until March 26th where on that day and the 27th they can override the Governor’s vetoes.

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