Acting Kentucky House speaker says special session on pension re - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Acting Kentucky House speaker says special session on pension reform still likely

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Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- David Osborne, the acting speaker of the Kentucky House, said Monday that a special session on pension reform is still likely, but he first must deal with the sexual harassment scandal that rocked the Capitol.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover resigned earlier this month after admitting to settling a sexual harassment complaint from a female staffer. Three House committee chairmen have also been removed.

House leaders hired a law firm to conduct an investigation into the scandal, and Speaker Pro Tem Osborne said he expects a report soon.

“Obviously, the holiday is going to slow that down just a little bit," he said. "But I think within the next few days, we will have a preliminary report back."

Osborne said he will decide next week whether to turn the probe over to the independent Legislative Ethics Commission.

“It's something that I think that we are more than willing to do, but at the appropriate time that we know that the liability of any potential workplace problems are resolved,” he said.

The scandal temporarily derailed the effort to build support for Gov. Matt Bevin's pension bill. But Osborne believes a special session is still possible, though time is running out.

“I still think it can happen, and I still think it's likely to happen,” Osborne said. “I've talked to the governor several times. He is still committed to it.”

But Osborne said there will be changes to the bill Bevin proposed. Teachers, in particular, have been vocal in their opposition.

“There will be some changes, and I think that they will be perceived positively by a lot of the interest groups,” he said.

As the House GOP leadership moves beyond the scandal, Osborne will not say whether he's interested in assuming the Speaker's role permanently.

“The constitution's put me in this role right now, and I'm going to do everything I can to get us through it as efficiently and professionally as I possibly can,” Osborne said.

Osborne's comments came following a meeting of Greater Louisville, Inc., in which the Louisville Chamber outlined its priorities for the coming session. GLI’s agenda includes tax reform, passage of the local option sales tax, increasing funds for economic development and expanded gaming.

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