Senator David Williams, leader of the Kentucky senate, Republican, fiscal conservative, and oh by the way, candidate for governor, has just inflicted the special legislative session on state taxpayers at a cost estimated at $60,000 per day, perhaps needlessly.
He did this alone. By tradition and agreement between the chambers and parties, at least one day of the 30 day session is reserved to take up veto messages from the governor. But Williams used up the last day by calling the Senate into session. No more meetings could then be held to vote on anything, including trying to resolve major budget issues, especially how to meet the Medicaid deficit.
What were the odds such agreement could have been found if the final day had not been used up? Slim. Very slim. But not zero. Williams' precipitous action ended whatever hope remained, and the governor was forced to call a special session to try to get a new agreement to solve the budget deficit.
Promptly a state agency notified hospitals and medicaid providers of cuts in their payments which might become necessay in June without such an agreement. It is claimed some rural hospitals might be forced to close. Let us hope that proves wrong. This ratcheted up the political pressure, but was also probably accurate and a needed notification.
It isn't that there aren't good points on both sides here...Senate Republicans have some honest worries about the governor's solutions; House Democrats have honest differences with the governor and with the approach Senate Republicans want to take. But a solution is still needed before the fiscal year runs out in June. The victims, otherwise, will be innocent and needy citizens of Kentucky.
Williams will certainly be reminded of this during the campaign, and not just by Democrats. He has two opponents within his own party, one of whom claims the Tea Party mantel Williams also seeks.
$60,000 on Monday; $60,000 on Tuesday, $60,000 on Wednesday, $60,000 on...soon it adds up to real money.
I'm just sayin'...