Local/Regional News
3:46 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Lawmakers Tackle Rupp, Roads, And Juvenile Justice As Session Nears End

Two outstanding issues – the state’s two-year road plan and Rupp Arena funding – remain in limbo as the 2014 legislative session winds down.

Credit Josh James / WUKY

Lawmakers did approve an overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system in the waning hours of the session Monday evening. The amended version of Sen. Whitney Westerfield’s Senate Bill 200, which aims to steer young “status” offenders away from the court system and into community-based treatment programs, now heads to the governor’s desk.

But with only hours to go, several unresolved issues remain on legislators’ plates.

House leaders continue to has out the details of a bill that would stiffen penalties for heroin dealers. The Senate produced a last-minute version of the bill Monday afternoon.

Following a meeting of Senate leaders, along with Lexington and University of Kentucky officials Monday, Gov. Steve Beshear says he’s still optimistic the General Assembly could move on an updated financing plan for the Rupp Arena redesign.

Asked if he would consider bringing lawmakers back to pass Rupp funding, Beshear responded, “I haven’t really thought about a special session for anything except possibly a road plan. Obviously if we don’t pass a road plan, there will be a special session. I can guarantee you that. But I don’t think that will be necessary now because hopefully we’re going to have a road plan. And I’m hopeful that we’ll get something done on Rupp Arena before the end of the day today.”

Despite a general mood of collegiality as the session comes to a close, House and Senate leaders have sparred over the details of the multi-billion dollar, two-year road construction plan, blaming each other for delays.

The session ends Tuesday at midnight.