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Friday, April 20, 2012

Meanwhile In Kentucky, Let's "Try a Little Therapy For Special Session."

Editorial | Try a little therapy for special session Amid the current morass in Frankfort, Senate President David Williams has seized on a possible solution that might help lawmakers successfully wrap up the special legislative session that began Monday. This would be the session that’s costing taxpayers $60,000 a day. Friday brings the tab to $300,000. Williams, the Republican from Burkesville, on Wednesday proposed a way to end the war of words between him and his Democratic arch-enemy, Gov. Steve Beshear, who recently reminded us that he “whooped” Williams in last year’s governor’s race. “I think the governor needs to seek some counseling for his hate for me,” Williams said. Possibly. But the dysfunctional family in Frankfort clearly could benefit from help in other areas, such as: Agoraphobia, defined as the morbid fear of being in open spaces. How else to explain why legislative leaders spend hours holed up in their corner offices behind closed doors while the rest of the state’s 138 legislators mill around waiting to be called into action? (Remember, at a cost of $60,000 a day.) Grief counseling. This could help Williams, mourning the loss of road projects whacked from his district by the Governor’s veto pen. It could help Beshear get over the death of his gambling bill. It could ease lawmakers’ sorrow over the many worthy bills killed each session by partisan bitterness, the special interest lobby or sheer neglect. A skilled counselor could lead politicians through the stages of grief: denial, anger, depression and, finally, acceptance and hope. Unfortunately, Williams and Beshear seem stuck at stage two as the taxpayers spend $60,000 a day hoping the session will end with results. Group sessions. This novel approach would bring all legislators together in large chambers helpfully provided at the state Capitol, where they could openly discuss their dreams and desires for Kentucky. They could debate how best to achieve them through legislation that hasn’t been cooked up in a back-room deal by a few lawmakers and lobbyists. Instead of adjourning with blame and recrimination, lawmakers could end the session with a big group hug. Sure, therapy and intervention might cost a little money. But not $60,000 a day.

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