Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fletcher expected to outline topics the General Assembly may deliberate by Monday.

Kentucky Governor Fletcher is pondering issues for the General Assembly to discuss when he calls them into special session according to an article published earlier by the Herald-Leader.

Fletcher has been hinting for weeks about calling a special session that would at least include consideration of an energy bill on which lawmakers couldn't agree in March. He said last month he was waiting until after the May 22 primary elections.

Neither Jodi Whitaker, Fletcher's spokeswoman, nor Senate President David L. Williams would say what dates the governor was considering.

"The governor talked about several time frames, but I don't want to break his confidence," Williams said. But Williams added that this summer offers a "window of opportunity" while lawmakers' children are out of school and before the governor ramps up his re-election campaign in the fall against Democratic challenger Steve Beshear.

Beyond the energy bill -- which contains incentives for companies that would turn coal into gasoline -- other issues on the table include:

  • State funding for the relocation of a runway at Blue Grass Airport.
  • Restoration of money for university and state building projects Fletcher vetoed in 2006.
  • Approval of funds for a stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park for the World Equestrian Games in 2010.
  • A bill that provides state tax breaks to the families of active military personnel.
  • A bill to bar public universities from providing health benefits to live-in partners of employees.
  • And two Senate education bills left over from this spring's session aimed at improving math and science instruction.

Did you notice? A bill to bar public universities from providing health benefits to live-in partners of employees.

Equality and fairness doesn't live here, or more to the point, it has not in the Fletcher Administration.

We must remember Kentucky's first Republican chief executive in more than 30 years also rescinded an executive order signed by former Governor Patton that protected gays and lesbians in state government from discrimination. That's not even the worst of it.....of the 365 days in a year, Governor Fletcher chose "diversity day," to do this!

Governor Fletcher, a Baptist minister, also refused to veto 11 million dollars in funding to the University of the Cumberlands in Southeastern Kentucky to build a new pharmacy school after they expelled a gay student. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky expressly prohibits funding to private educational institutions. This is ultimately expected to end up in the hands of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Fletcher is expected to announce what the General Assembly may deliberate by Monday. Per the Kentucky Constitution, when the House and Senate is not in session the governor may call them into special session to deliberate specific issues.

Fletcher is under pressure from The Family Foundation of Kentucky to add domestic-partner benefits to what the General Assembly may deliberate, and drawing fire from Kentucky Equality Federation, Louisville's Fairness Campaign, and the Kentucky Fairness Alliance for even considering it.


Post a Comment

We value your feedback, ideas, and comments!

If possible, please leave a link to your website (Facebook, MySpace, or other) by selecting "Other" when leaving your comment.