Once again, the Republican majority in Frankfort is railroading a bill through the legislature. And once again, their actions are the perfect example of back-room deals and strong-arm tactics, the public be damned.
This whole special session is obviously a setup between Matt Bevin, the Republican governor, and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. Various Republicans indicated they knew days ago that this was coming. The resolutions and bills were prepared ahead of time, but not shared with the Democrats even when brought to the floor. David Osborne, the speaker-elect in the House, moved the bills from committee to committee in record time, saying “So ordered” without even taking votes. Robert Stivers in the Senate had his manueuvers held up for a moment by lack of a quorum, but soon was able to carry out his part of the charade.
The Democrats tried to object, but were ignored. Rocky Adkins, the floor leader for the Democrats in the House, stood and objected multiple times to Osborne, calling the process “illegal” and warning that the House was going down the same path as before. Each time, Osborne would say “Duly noted” and proceed to ignore Adkins and gavel through another bill or motion without a vote.
Assuming no Republicans peel off to support the motion to adjourn immediately that was put forward by Jeff Hoover and Adkins, this railroaded pension bill will fly down the tracks and get passed in record time. Once again, the Republicans in Frankfort will have rammed through a bill with no input from anyone else. And once again, we will no doubt wind up in court, having wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars in a show of force by the Governor and the Republican leadership.
This pre-planned railroading of the Republicans is obvious and odious. The train whistles could be heard as soon as the session started. The only thing missing were engineer’s caps for Osborne, Stivers, and Bevin. While they keep their hands on the throttles and drive this misbegotten shamble of a train down the tracks, the rest of us, powerless to stop it, can only mutter “this is no way to run a railroad … or a state.”