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GAARD Bill Put On Hold

Even after being revised, legislation creating an investigative arm of the Kentucky General Assembly is being put on hold.Among those expressing concerns about creation of the General Assembly Accountability and Review Division, or GAARD, were Governor Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway and State Auditor Crit Luallen.Among their concerns…costs, duplication and secrecy. Responding to the criticism, House Speaker Greg Stumbo revised the bill, making GAARD reports and findings subject to Open Records laws. But Stumbo says he won’t seek passage of the measure this session. "I thought the suggestions were good. I thought the debate was good. And I think that whenever we get around to acting upon this, assuming that we do, that it will be a good piece of legislation," Stumbo said.The bill got a thorough airing before the House State Government committee, but the committee took no action. Speaker Stumbo says he will ask lawmakers to fine-tune the bill during the upcoming interim, for consideration in a later session.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.