FRANKFORT — State House Republicans have proposed legislation that would require lawmakers to give up their pay during a special session if they are unable to pass a budget during the regular session of the General Assembly.
The House GOP also wants any bill that raises taxes or spends tax dollars to be made available to the public at least 48 hours before a vote on it.
About 20 House Republicans and about 20 others who are vying in the Nov. 2 general election to become House Republicans held a news conference Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda to outline their agenda for the 2011 General Assembly that begins in January.
"By making this commitment to the commonwealth, it's time that we in the House Republican caucus take back control and make government more accountable to the people who elect us," said House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown.
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Democrats outnumber Republicans in the House 65-35.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, did not seem impressed with the House Republican news conference.
"Kentucky has lost well over 100,000 jobs in the Republican recession, so I'm proud the House Democrats took steps this year to help as many as 25,000 families get back on their feet. No one else stood up for them," Stumbo said in a statement.
Hoover said House Republicans will pre-file bills Tuesday dealing with legislative pay and a 48-hour notice before voting on bills dealing with tax dollars.
He said a constitutional amendment might be needed to require lawmakers to forfeit their pay during a special session that is called to pass a budget.
Gov. Steve Beshear had to call a special session last May for legislators to craft a budget after they failed to produce one in the 60-day regular session.
Hoover acknowledged he and most House members accepted pay during this year's special session on the budget but noted Republicans were not in control at the time.
House Republicans in the next few weeks will profile additional bills for the 2011 General Assembly, Hoover said.
They include closing pension loopholes for all state elected officials, requiring all state construction contracts to go through an open, competitive bidding process, requiring all state agencies to put online every expenditure and contract related to tax dollars and streamlining the state Medicaid system.
This year's General Assembly enacted a bill requiring more online information about state expenses.