$65,000-a-day Kentucky special session almost a certainty, speak - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

$65,000-a-day Kentucky special session almost a certainty, speaker says

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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - A costly special session is almost a certainty because Kentucky lawmakers are at an impasse over the state's road plan, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday.

Special sessions cost taxpayers about $65,000 a day and are unpopular among voters, yet House and Senate leaders played political brinksmanship late Monday as the regular session neared its final day.

It takes 24 hours to print legislation and prepare lawmakers to vote on it, making it unlikely that both chambers could act on the road bill by the midnight Tuesday deadline, Stumbo said.

"It's obvious we're not going to get a road plan," Stumbo said. "We've done all we can do to move it forward."

Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said lawmakers might only pass legislation to continue the current road plan, avoiding the need for a special session.

Stumbo accused Republicans of attending a "country club" dinner instead of doing "the people's business" on Monday evening.

Stivers said the dinner was to honor four retiring senators — including members of both parties and an independent — and was paid for by the political parties.

The House is more at fault for the delay because representatives declined to meet for three days last week over the road plan, Stivers said.

"For the speaker to (complain about) two hours in comparison to three days is a little disingenuous," Stivers said.

The road plan includes billions of dollars in highway construction that is important to lawmakers as they run for re-election.

Stumbo said a bill simply continuing the current road plan wouldn't pass the House.

Gov. Steve Beshear has the ability to call lawmakers back for a special session. Stumbo said Beshear told him earlier Monday that he would take that step if lawmakers fail to pass a road plan by the deadline.

Beshear said earlier in the day that he hoped lawmakers could come to an agreement without the need for a special session.

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