Kentucky Lawmakers Refuse to Return to Capitol for Governor's Special Session

Kentucky lawmakers in the state House are refusing to return to the Capitol for a special session on an energy bill, despite pleas from Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Leaders in the Democrat-controlled House claim Fletcher, a Republican, called the session because it would help his chances of being re-elected in November. They claimed a special session is too expensive,and debate on the bill can wait until the Legislature reconvenes in January.

"There was no foundation laid for this session, and it was bound to fail from the get-go," House Speaker Jody Richards said.

Richards says it's over and the governor can't compel them to return. The governor says there are constitutional issues involved. But Senate President David Williams has said he has no intention to push the issue further, though the Senate was still meeting as scheduled Monday.

The governor wants lawmakers to act on an energy bill that passed the House earlier this year but died in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bill would provide financial incentives to companies that build plants to convert coal to alternatives forms of fuel.

Fletcher said he was disappointed by the House's decision and compared its members to labor union employees out on strike.

Gubernatorial election-year politics, not differences over policy, were to blame for the impasse, Fletcher said.