Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting.
Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the 2013 session may have been his proudest in more than a decade.
"I think that history will not have seen the chaotic events of the last day but it should record that this was a very successful session," he said.
Senate President Robert Stivers says the success of the session doesn't rest on any one person's shoulders, but collectively on the legislature.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear doesn't know if he will allow hemp legislation to become law. In a last-minute deal, House and Senate leaders agreed Tuesday night on a compromise bill to license farmers to grow hemp. Licensing would be done by the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which is under the control of the state agriculture department. Beshear told WKU Public Radio he can't say yet if he will veto the legislation or sign it into law.
"It was like 11:45 last night and we didn't have a copy of it, so I haven't really seen it yet," explained Beshear. "We're going to take a good objective look at it. I'll talk with state police and see it this bill strike a better balance."
Law enforcement has been against legalizing industrial hemp because the crop closely resembles marijuana. Police fear it could hamper eradication efforts.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has announced that he won't pursue expanding the state's Medicaid program to help cover the uninsured as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Haslam told a joint session of state lawmakers Wednesday that he decided not to do that because he prefers a third option to use federal money to subsidize private insurance. The federal government hasn't accepted that proposal.
Expanding TennCare, the state's Medicaid program, had been estimated to cover roughly 140,000 of Tennessee's nearly 1 million uninsured residents and bring in $1.4 billion in federal money.
Haslam is among the last of the Republican governors to declare a decision on expansion. Both the health care program and President Barack Obama are widely unpopular in the highly Republican state.
Kentucky's legislative leaders have passed two bills to shore up the state's underfunded pension systems, effectively staving off a special session on the issue.
The new plan would reduce a personal tax credit of $20 to $10, generating roughly 33 million in revenue that would go to General Fund, but lawmakers would use for pensions. It would also use revenue from technical changes in the state's tax code, as well as money from federal tax changes.
Overall, the plan would generate $96 million in the 2015 fiscal year and $100 million in 2016 fiscal year.
In a news conference with legislative leaders after the bill passed, Governor Steve Beshear said the process will work as a template for other states.
"This is a good solution to a thorny problem. A solution that other states around the country will be looking at as they look at options to solve their own crises," Beshear said.