Lawmakers surprised by law they passed - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Lawmakers surprised by law they passed

The Kentucky House Chamber during the 2013 General Assembly. The Kentucky House Chamber during the 2013 General Assembly.
State Sen. Ernie Harris (Source: KET) State Sen. Ernie Harris (Source: KET)
State Rep. Hubert Collins (Source: KET) State Rep. Hubert Collins (Source: KET)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A law passed during the last minute vote on pension reform has some Kentucky lawmakers questioning their decision. They voted on a provision to pay retirements at the expense of your driver's license.

"My initial gut reaction would be that I would be in favor of it," said driver Sharon Beauchamp.

An opposite reaction of some lawmakers who voted on that provision when they realized at a committee meeting Tuesday what passed months ago.

"I'm kindly upset about the deal on this whole thing. Someone may not have the money today to pay their taxes," said State Rep. Hubert Collins (D- Whittensville/District 97).

"It's like debtors prison," responded State Sen. Ernie Harris (R-Prospect/District 26).

Gov. Steve Beshear's committee introduced the rule during the last General Assembly as a way that helps cover the cost of the state's pension reform.

"As I remember it was 4 to 5 (4:56 p.m.) on the last day when we voted on this," said Harris. "We had the conference committee report and we voted because we had to get out of there."

Realizing that now, Harris said he wants to review it to make sure it's a good idea because it doesn't only apply to driver's licenses.

"The thing that caught us by surprise was any professional license you have could be suspended," Harris said.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue said taking licenses are just one tool and a last resort to use on people who blatantly do not pay money owed to the state. If that is the case, Harris said it's fine but now is the time to make sure before it's enacted.

The Department of Revenue said the provision is not unusual. Thirty other states already do it and it's in affect in Kentucky for people who do not pay student loans.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.  

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