Covering Kentucky

Dec 14, 2013 8:22 AM

Mountain Lawmakers Wield Power In Legislature

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Lawmakers from the Appalachian region have major clout in Frankfort, occupying six of the top leadership positions in the Legislature.

That influence is on display at every meeting of the Legislative Research Commission, which pulls together the top brass from the Senate and House.

The co-chairmen of that panel are Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg and Republican Senate President Robert Stivers of Manchester, both of whom represent mountain districts.

Other Appalachian lawmakers on the panel include House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins of Catlettsburg, House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover of Jamestown, Senate Republican Whip Brandon Smith of Hazard and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Johnny Ray Turner.

And the districts of two others leaders on the panel - Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer and House Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Sannie Overly - reach into the federally designated Appalachian region, even though they live in the Bluegrass area.

No other part of the state has as many lawmakers in leadership.

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