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Record Snow Disrupts Kentucky General Assembly

Nearly halfway through the session, record snow has nearly brought the Kentucky General Assembly to a halt.

Leadership in both chambers canceled all committee meetings and full meetings of the House and Senate on Tuesday and Wednesday, after having Monday off for Presidents Day. The Kentucky House has called off the rest of the week after concerns that lawmakers from remote areas wouldn’t be able safely to travel to Frankfort.

“Several members have expressed concern about leaving their families in these conditions, and major highways like I-65 have seen closures because of accidents,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.  “Therefore, we think it is more prudent to be safe than sorry.”

The deadline to file bills in the House was originally scheduled to be Thursday. The House has extended the filing deadline to Monday.

The Senate's deadline was last Friday.

In a statement, Stumbo said the session calendar won’t be altered beyond that extension.

“We have more than enough time to complete the work before us,” Stumbo said.

The full state Senate still plans to convene on Thursday and Friday. In a statement, Senate President Robert Stivers criticized the House's decision to skip two legislative days.

“The majority of our caucus members were here on Wednesday prepared to do the people’s work and the rest are on their way,” Stivers said in the statement. “We understand the hardships associated with current weather conditions, but there are plenty of businesses staying open throughout the Commonwealth and the Senate feels inclined to stay open for business as well.”

The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. Thursday and the House will convene  at 4 p.m Monday.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.