Kentucky's lone Independent state senator says his record as budget chairman is the reason he should be the next state Senate president.
Originally a Democrat, Leeper made the switch to the GOP in 2000, before becoming an Independent later that decade. He may be the one state senator who can say he has literally worked with each side of the aisle in Frankfort.
Now, he's hoping to convince Senate Republicans to make him the next president of the chamber, because he has been a loyal GOP caucus member and budget chairman.
The Kentucky Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee approved a $4.5 billion transportation budget but not before inserting language that would restore nearly $50 million for road construction projects previously vetoed by Governor Steve Beshear. The spending measure now advances to the Senate floor for a planned vote today. Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Bob Leeper cited a "fit of conscience" for his push to put the $50 million in road projects back into the transportation budget.
After hours of closed-door meetings, the Kentucky Senate approved budgets for the three branches of state government Thursday night.
The House previously approved its own versions of the budgets. The Senate kept the House's legislative plan intact but modified the executive and judicial budgets. The two chambers must now form a conference committee to work out the differences.