House Speaker Greg Stumbo talks about 2012 General Assembly

By: Maisie Insko Email
By: Maisie Insko Email

First on the list is redistricting, Speaker Stumbo says eastern Kentucky will be on the up for consideration since there has been a decrease in population. After that many of the year's most popular topics will be addressed, like gaming, something the House has passed before but the Senate has turned down.

"We'll see what comes out of the senate; I don't personally favor a constitutional amendment. But I promised Governor Beshear I would keep an open mind to it." Speaker Stumbo says.

But one of the most controversial issues that will be discussed centers around the meth making ingredient pseudoephedrine. A proposed bill would ban the sale of the drug over the counter and now that Kentucky currently ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to meth production, will this be the year it passes?

"I think we've done a lot better job educating the community this go around and the chances of getting pseudoephedrine prescription only drug? I think we have a good shot." says Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE.

Speaker Stumbo, who is in favor of this bill, doesn't know if it will pass but he does believe there will be a new comprehensive drug bill.

"There are a lot of people who are mislead by the industry and put a lot of money into fighting this issue but I do think there will be a bill on these so called pill mills."

But perhaps the most exciting topic for those living in the mountains is the University of Pikeville's bid to become a state university. Speaker Stumbo says he is behind the idea one hundred percent but knows some people are not in favor of the move.

"They don't have the best interest of the children at heart or the students at heart. They want to protect their own little kingdoms and it may be we need an assessment to see if we need all of the universities all over the state and cut the ones who duplicate services."

Governor Beshear's study on the feasibility of adding UPike to the state university list will be completed in six to eight weeks.

Speaker Stumbo says he has already written a bill to make the University of Pikeville a state university and that it will be brought up in this general assembly.

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