House Majority Whip Joe Barrows, who represents a portion of Franklin County, may find his leadership position in question after shocking some of his colleagues Thursday by announcing construction on Rupp Arena in Lexington would be part of the House budget plan.
Barrows, D-Versailles, revealed on the House floor that he put $1.4 million for Rupp Arena construction into the budget, unbeknownst to any other legislator, leaving House members, including fellow Democrats, baffled.
The budget proposal, scheduled to be voted out of the House today, now will have to wait until at least Tuesday before coming to a vote by the full House. The Appropriations and Revenue Committee will meet after the House session today to vote out a substitute bill.
Barrows - who helped present the budget to the Appropriations and Revenue Committee Wednesday without even mentioning Rupp Arena - had a draft of a floor amendment, which he waved before him during his floor speech, to delete the Rupp Arena funding if House members so desired.
Barrows said there was nothing sneaky about what he did. To the contrary, he said he was being more open than some legislators are about the budget, while at the same time funding an important project.
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