District 1 State Rep. Steven Rudy, R-Paducah, has been tapped by the Kentucky House majority caucus to serve as temporary floor manager while State Rep. Bam Carney, floor leader, recovers from illness.
Carney, of Campbellsville, has been hospitalized since late December with pancreatitis and has had two surgeries, according to his family.
Speaker Pro Tem David Meade and Speaker David Osborne made the joint announcement regarding Rudy on Thursday afternoon. Meade had been initially handling the floor leader duties in Carney's absence.
However, Osborne said, "Now that bills and resolutions are beginning to move through the legislative process, I need him (Meade) back in that position where he can assist me with day-to-day operations and fully focus on the caucus' priority issues."
Rudy is close friends with Carney, and sits behind him in the House chamber. The two also room together during the session.
The west Kentucky representative said while he was "honored" to be given the task, "I hate that I'm doing it because of the situation we're in. They asked me to serve in this role and I agreed to do so on behalf of my friend."
As temporary floor manager, Rudy will be responsible for opening daily proceedings and handle the introduction and reading of bills on the House floor.
"There's a lot of procedural motions and things," Rudy said. "My friend Rocky Adkins, who used to serve in that role when the Democrats had the majority, said it's the point guard of the House floor. Of course he played (basketball) at Morehead State."
According to Rudy, in discussions about the temporary floor manager position there was some concern about his ability to take on the additional responsibilities given that he is also the chairman of the House appropriations and revenue committee.
"By and large most of the legislation that we pass revolves around the budget anyway," Rudy said. "There's some things that don't, but the big stuff typically does. And, I was going to have to be involved in that anyway behind-the-scenes.
"It's a bad situation, we're just tying to make the best of it. We will get the people's business done and get through this."