Conservatives waiting for House Republicans in Frankfort to assert themselves in the 2013 General Assembly may have missed the quiet signal of a shift in the last ten days.
In that time, House Republicans have filed discharge petitions on two bills. Senate Bill 5, which would levy enormous fines on doctors who fail to perform an "informed consent" ultrasound on a pregnant woman prior to performing an abortion, on February 27. On Thursday, March 7, a discharge petition was filed on Senate Bill 129, which seeks to limit federal efforts to infringe on 2nd Amendment rights of Kentuckians.
The purpose of discharge petitions is to force a bill past an attempt by a chamber's leadership to bottle it up in committee. House Democrats have procedural tools available to them to beat back a discharge petition, but Republicans have absolutely nothing to lose by expanding the fight to other crucial bills like the ObamaCare repeal bills -- SB 39 and SB 40 -- and turning up the volume.
In what remains of the 2013 General Assembly, let's hope so. Meanwhile, intransigent House committee chairs Tom Burch and John Tilley deserve to be bombarded with telephone calls.