A judge will rule "as soon as possible" on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange that Governor Steve Beshear created last year by executive order.
Beshear said the Health Benefits Exchange would help uninsured Kentuckians arrange insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Tea Party activist David Adams filed a lawsuit claiming that Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams is asking Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd to order work on the exchange to cease. Shepherd held a hearing on the issue Monday morning in Frankfort.
Attorneys for Beshear asked Shepherd to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Adams and others who filed it lack legal standing to do so.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has offered a Senate redistricting plan in hopes of speeding up what's become a drawn out process.
Stumbo said Monday that delaying legislative redistricting makes it more likely that judges will step in to realign political boundaries in the state. Two federal lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks; one seeking to force lawmakers to take action and another asking for a panel of judges to redraw political lines.
House Republican leader Jeff Hoover said Kentuckians may be better off having federal judges draw a redistricting plan that would place people above politics. That, Hoover said, would also eliminate the need for Governor Steve Beshear to call lawmakers back into a special session that would cost $300,000 a week.
A Warren County lawmaker says he agrees with Governor Steve Beshear on the need to get legislative redistricting maps done before the 2014 General Assembly.
Bowling Green Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio he hopes House and Senate leaders can come to an agreement on new maps ahead of a possible special legislative session this fall.
"I hope that everybody gets together, and that we do a five-day session, which is the quickest you can possibly do," said Richards. "We don't need to get up there and argue. Everything needs to be settled before we go."
Richards says two lawsuits filed against the state over the lack of a redistricting plan are adding to the urgency lawmakers feel about getting new maps passed. Those lawsuits were filed by a group of county clerks in northern Kentucky and the state chapter of the ACLU, and accuse the state of violating federal law by not having in place new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data.