Kentucky Senate President David Williams is renewing his call for Governor Steve Beshear to act quickly on an unfunded road plan that cleared the legislature last week. The road plan outlines the state’s transportation projects for the coming years. Beshear called lawmakers back to Frankfort for a special session after they failed to approve funding for the latest plan. The Senate gaveled in the first day of the special session Monday afternoon, introducing four bills.
The bills include: funding for the road plan; a new road plan in case Beshear vetoes the current one; a change to legislative pay; and a measure that cracks down on prescription pill abuse.
The House has introduced only two bills—the road plan funding and the pill bill.
In a floor speech on the Senate’s first day, Williams once again called on Beshear to either veto or sign the unfunded road plan so the legislature may react and adjourn by Friday.
“I will say to him, if he’s listening or if any of his folks are listening. Sign it today. Sign the road plan today. You’ve had an opportunity to look at it. There’s no force of anybody, we’re not trying to play alpha wolf or anything, just sign the road plan,” he said. “And I don’t believe this Senate will ever pass a budget bill until the governor tells us what he’s going to do on the road plan. If he wants to veto it he needs to veto it. If he wants to veto it he needs to give us the opportunity to pass another road plan without trying to claim to himself the authority to spend four billion dollars without legislative input,” Williams says.
By law, Beshear has until next Tuesday to to act on the bill or else it becomes law by default. And if the governor waits that long, lawmakers will likely be in special session for at least two weeks.