Ramsey admits to playing politics with authorizer bill to push vouchers

It was no secret Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey held hostage House Speaker Beth Harwell’s bill to create an alternative charter school authorizer last year when the lower chamber killed his bill rejiggering judicial redistricting.

But he played politics with Harwell’s bill again this year, too, he told reporters Thursday, saying he this year delayed passage of Harwell's bill already in the Senate queue to encourage the House and the governor to keep school vouchers from falling by the wayside.

“I told Beth that this is the way things work, and that’s what happened. I hate that, but that’s just life and that’s (the) political process," Ramsey said about last session's hostage situation he carried over to this year. “I wanted to make sure we got some kind of a compromise on vouchers. I’m not sure that we’re there yet, to be perfectly honest, but it had been held up long enough, so to speak.”

Ramsey had originally said he’d take the authorizer bill up early in the session, but bottled the it up until this week even though he said vouchers may still be a few votes short to get out of a House committee. The Senate passed the charter authorizer bill 20-13 Thursday.

“I’m not sure they have the votes but I’m convinced in my mind the Speaker of the House and the governor are making legitimate effort to try to get that bill out. That’s all we need,” said Ramsey.