Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, D-Lexington, has challenged Williams previously on Senate office improvements. Scorsone publicly mocked Williams last year for installing a new 60-inch plasma-screen television in his office -- part of an earlier, $639,000-round of renovations -- and Williams ordered Scorsone off the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Kentucky Senate is renovating its offices at the state Capitol Annex in Frankfort, while public health programs, law enforcement, education and other state services face cuts.
On Tuesday, the state requested bids for construction on the Annex's second floor to build new Senate offices, caucus rooms with kitchens, a press conference room and a Senate lounge. The 5,250 square feet of space previously was used by executive-branch agencies, which are slowly being evicted as the General Assembly claims more space in the Annex. New furniture, appliances and electronics will be purchased.
Senate President David Williams said he won't know the project's cost until bids are opened next week. But lawmakers can afford it. While the legislature this winter told Gov. Steve Beshear to cut $230 million from the executive branch's $9.1 billion
budget, it awarded itself 13 percent more over two years, taking it up to $55.6 million in 2010. It tucked about $1.4 million for capital projects into this year's budget...