NewsCovering Kentucky


'Politics stop at the water's edge': Kentucky politicians head toward special session after flooding

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 17:40:47-04

SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After visiting eastern Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knows the repairs will be expensive.

"Horrendous problem that's going to take a very long time to get on top of it," he said after a visit to Georgetown on Monday.

And McConnell knows while FEMA will ultimately pick up 80% of the cost to rebuild things like schools, it won't provide that money upfront. Since FEMA is a reimbursement group, the state will need to provide the upfront cash to start rebuilding.

That means a special session is coming.

"We're very close on the details of a bill," said Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer.

Thayer explained that the goal is to hold the session this Wednesday through Friday, but it could be pushed back to next week because some lawmakers want to tackle more than just flood relief.

"There are some members who don't want to wait until January and want to get a couple of issues on the call, and leadership is discouraging that," said Thayer. "We want to keep it to eastern Kentucky - get in, get out, and get this money shipped down to eastern Kentucky as quickly as we can."

Thayer wouldn't say what the other issues being pushed are, but he emphasized it's best to just focus on flood relief. And the bill they're working on will send "hundreds of millions" of dollars to eastern Kentucky.

"In a situation like this, when there's a natural disaster, politics stop at the water's edge," he added.

Governor Andy Beshear will ultimately set the agenda for the special session. The agenda will be revealed through his official call.