10:19 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Louisville Council Approves Rules Change Allowing Limited Debate

The Louisville Metro Council has passed rules that could limit full-council debate on proposed ordinances with a simple majority vote.

The council passed an ordinance introduced by Brent Ackerson, D-26, that allows the council to limit debate to 90 minutes.
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, introduced the change this week.  It was quickly dismissed by Republicans as being restrictive on the minority.  

The change, would allow a majority of council members to call for debate to end after 90 minutes.

Thursday night’s 15 to 9 vote was mainly along party lines in the Democratic controlled council.

But Democratic councilman Tom Owen, D-8, voted with the minority, and points to debate earlier this year around the city’s landmarks ordinance, which wasn’t divided along party lines.

“Unless you protect the right of the minority on an issue to fully express themselves and to probe the issue that might lead to amendments, I just think its good policy," he said.

The Courier-Journal's Dan Klepal reported this week that some Democrats argue that the move could save taxpayers money and say most of the debate should take place on the committee level.

In a written statement Thursday night, Republicans denounced the decision and say it would silence the minority voice.