FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was a contentious first day of the Kentucky General Assembly highlighted by a letter by embattled Speaker Jeff Hoover relinquishing some control but not his leadership position.
The Russell County Republican only appeared on the House floor for a short time at the beginning of the first day of the General Assembly. Rep. Hoover left after Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne gaveled in the House to order.
Hoover had promised to step down from his Speakership following a secret sexual harassment settlement was revealed in late October.
Instead, today he sent a letter stating that he is still Speaker of the House and has appointed Speaker Pro Tem Osborne to run business until an ethics committee finishes its investigation into Hoover and three other lawmakers involved in the scandal. The Republican from Prospect insists that he's in control, but David Osborne is saying little of the issues surrounding Hoover.
"He has only indicated to me what he put in the letter today,” Speaker Pro Tem Osborn said. “In the communication to the House and at this point in time I will do my job as Speaker Pro Tem as I was elected to do last January.”
There's a lot to accomplish in the House and Senate including pension reform and what's been described as a “painful” budget session.
Senate President Robert Stivers could not put a timeline on finishing pension reform citing the “process” in getting a bill passed, but he's optimistic it'll happen soon.
“Hopefully within a few days that we will have something in the House or the Senate related to pensions," President Stivers said.
That Legislation will need to pass through committees before they are voted upon by the full House and Senate. President Stivers said there's still analysis being done but he was confident things are moving forward.
The pension reform discussion has sparked outrage from some education groups.
Today some involved with those groups rallied in the Capitol Rotunda hoping to get an early start on influencing lawmakers.
Both chambers return to work at 2 p.m. Wednesday.