FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/11/13) – After House Speaker Greg Stumbo proudly declared the hemp bill dead, arguing that Senate Bill 50 could not be moved from the Rules Committee to the House floor for a vote, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer ripped the Speaker on his latest attempt to block the bill.
“Speaker Stumbo is a tone-deaf, one-man band trying to kill the only jobs bill this session,” Comer said. “This bill has come to symbolize everything wrong with Frankfort, and I hope Stumbo’s fellow Democrats recognize the backlash that will result if they follow their leader on this one.”
House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover drew attention to the hypocrisy of Speaker Stumbo’s latest procedural argument and noted that Democrat leadership had moved several other bills from the Rules Committee to the House floor for a vote. Stumbo then passed the buck to House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins by stating that Adkins suspended the rules for the other bills. Hoover finished by asking Stumbo if Adkins could do the same for SB 50, and Stumbo acknowledged that he could.
SB 50, the industrial hemp legislation sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, establishes an administrative framework for industrial hemp production, which will help Kentucky’s congressional delegation as it seeks a federal waiver allowing Kentucky to become the first state to grow the crop. The bill passed the Senate 31-6. U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie have offered bipartisan support for SB 50, and numerous other Democrat legislators support the bill.
“Never has such a popular bill received such overwhelming bipartisan support,” Comer said. “I remain hopeful that Speaker Stumbo will come to his senses and realize that a hollow political victory for himself does nothing but hurt his caucus.”
The legislature has one more day to vote on legislation before the veto days begin.
Information provided by Ted Sloan
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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