The first month of #KYGA18 is complete! Today begins day 23!
House Speaker Osborne says the revised pension debt plan may be ready for review. It’s by far the largest problem the state faces, pushed to center stage by the Governor, numerous lawmakers and business groups, all framed by the reality of an estimated $43 billion funding shortage.
Week in Review January 29 – February 2
Three key legislative proposals took shape last week.
HB1– concerns child welfare, adoption, and foster care. Rep. David Meade (R-Stanford), the House Majority Caucus Chair, is the sponsor joined by 14 legislators across the political spectrum. A new House committee will guide major changes if the bill becomes law. A new House Committee will measure success on the goals, while a new office in the Health Cabinet will drive progress. A key aspect is financial and services support for “relative caregivers” who nurture children, like an aunt and uncle for a niece and nephew.
HB3– Rep. Jonathan Shell (R-Lancaster), the GOP House floor leader, and three Democrats introduced HB3 concerning Essentials Skills (ES), a buzzword for the future. Around the nation Essential Skills are lacking — work ethic, being on time, being drug-free. Under the new law, middle schoolers could get an Essential Skills certificate for meeting several ES indicators. For high school student, a Work Ethics certificate would encompass areas of demonstrated leadership, achieving 25 hours of service learning, and submitting to voluntary random drug testing.
HB229– From the old files is expanded gaming, highlighted last week by a news event led by GLI, the Louisville Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The reason: revenue. The state budget is out of balance come July 1, unless major cuts kick in to create savings. The pension demand has a major impact on state spending. Bipartisan voices jumped in with support for the bill sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller (R-Louisville). It takes a vote of the people by way of a constitutional amendment. Polling has often shown a high percentage in favor of putting gaming on the ballot. Required for success: the House and Senate leaders in near-full support.
Key takeaways from filing deadline
Louisville has some hot dynamics. In a surprise move the Cabinet for Health and Family Services secretary, Vickie Yates Brown Glisson jumped into the Congressional race against current Congress Member John Yarmuth, first elected in 2007, after defeating a GOP incumbent.
Mayor Greg Fischer goes for a third term against Angela Leet, a city council member.
Another surprise: two top women decided to leave the House this year. Rep. Sannie Overly (D- Paris) was the first woman in Democratic leadership and former state Democratic chair decided to not file for re-election after 9 years. Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Florence), who chairs Health Committee withdrew her papers in the final hours. Overall there will be a number of new faces in the House given the list of open seats. Some 300 Kentuckians are seeking to join the legislature, 93 are women. Filings also include a record number of teachers.
The sixth congressional district that includes Lexington has a significant race for Congress with Mayor Jim Gray challenging Congressman Andy Barr.
Lexington has a competitive mayoral race with a field of seven. Those in the running include the former mayor, Teresa Isaac, former vice mayor, Linda Gorton, along with Council member-at-large Kevin Stinnett and the former police chief, Ronnie Bastion. Two move on to the Nov. 6 finals. The race is non-partisan.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up
February 6 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast at Alltech Arena.
February 16 Legislative Calendar- Last day for bill requests
February 20 Special election to fill House District 49- Dan Johnson. Rebecca Johnson, a widow of Dan Johnson (who passed away in December), is the GOP nominee for her late husband’s seat. She is running against former Representative Linda Belcher, a Democrat whom Dan Johnson defeated in 2016. Belcher ran also as a widow of the prior office-holder. Her late husband, Rep. Larry Belcher, died in a car accident in 2008.
February 22 Lexington Night in Frankfort at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort. Our firm is a cosponsor for the event.
February 27 Special election for House District 89- Marie Radar who resigned for health reasons. Representative Rader served her district since 1997 and was Chair of the Transportation Committee.
February 27 Deadline to file House bills
March 1 Deadline to file Senate bills
Check out the Kentucky Legislative Weekly Wrapup for another good recap.
Bob / Julie / Lauren / Willard