FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher has told House
lawmakers he'd consider trimming the agenda of the special
legislative session if it meant they would return to the Capitol to
House members voted last Thursday to adjourn the special
session, saying the costs outweighed the benefits and that
Fletcher's motives were more political than practical. The Senate
has remained in session, but will reconsider its options on Monday
if the House does not reconvene.
Fletcher recalled lawmakers to the Capitol on July 5, asking
them to look at 67 items he felt needed to be addressed before next
year's General Assembly. In a letter to House Speaker Jody
Richards, D-Bowling Green, Fletcher said he'd consider tabling some
"If there are items you feel are political and not good policy
for the commonwealth, please let me know what they are, and I will
discuss the elimination of those from the call," Fletcher wrote.
Fletcher, who is running for re-election against Democrat
nominee Steve Beshear, wants lawmakers to consider putting together
a financial incentive plan in hopes of luring a lucrative
alternative-energy plant to the state. Other items include
Fletcher's proposal to bar state universities from offering health
benefits to live-in partners of unmarried employees.
Fletcher and House leaders will have a conference call to
determine how they're going to go forward. Some House lawmakers
said they're open to returning to the session.
"There's always the possibility, but it's going to take some
movement by the Senate president and the governor," said Kathy
State senator R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, said Fletcher should
consider focusing on the energy incentive bill and not worry so
much about the other items if he wants to salvage the session.
"If that's the centerpiece of the call, then it would seem to
me to be the logical step to take the other items off," he said.
State senator Dan Seum, R-Louisville, said Fletcher should
consider cutting some items from the agenda, but shouldn't let the
House dictate his policy.
"He could probably trim down the projects," Seum said. "But
I'd stay tough on my issues if I were him."
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)