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Williams Preparing For 2011 General Assembly

By Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeigh and Brenna AngelNow that the election’s over, Kentucky Senate President David Williams says he is ready to start work in the 2011 General Assembly.  That was the main thing on his mind when Williams sat down with Frankfort reporters Wednesday.Senate President David Williams says budget tweaks, Medicaid, public pensions, school reforms, and possibly redistricting are among the issues facing lawmakers in January.  Williams is already running for governor and could face a challenge from Sen. Julie Denton for his leadership position.  Will those distract him, or prevent him from working with Gov. Steve Beshear? "I won’t be distracted.  I wonder if he’s been distracted over his three year campaign to take control of the Senate.  I don’t know whether that’s distracted him, but that distraction ended last night,” he said.Post-election, the Senate now has 22 Republicans, 15 Democrats and one independent.  Budget chairman Bob Leeper, the lone independent, caucuses with the Republicans.Gov. Steve Beshear said the new makeup won't change how he works with lawmakers.“I have always said that campaigns are one thing, elections are one thing, they’re partisan in nature. But once they’re over with and now that this election is over with, it’s time that we put aside the partisan differences and sit down together and find that common ground that it takes to move this state forward. And I’m going to use that same approach in the upcoming General Assembly,” he said.

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