Fletcher Defends His Decision To Call A Special Session

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Governor Fletcher today deflected criticism from Democrats that he's playing election-year politics by forcing the General Assembly into a special session this week.

Fletcher is seeking re-election this fall. In setting the special session agenda yesterday, Fletcher shoved to the forefront the controversial question of whether public university employees should be eligible for domestic partner health insurance benefits.

But Fletcher says the primary task waiting for lawmakers when they return to Frankfort on Thursday is to deal with an incentives package for energy companies looking to build high-tech alternative fuel plants involving coal.

The Republican governor says the session is about jobs and opportunities, not politics.

But lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled House and G-O-P-led Senate have disagreed on the urgency of passing such incentives.

And Steve Beshear, Fletcher's Democratic opponent in the governor's race, says none of the issues included in the call justify the 60-thousand-dollar-per-day cost to taxpayers of a special session.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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