Today marks 100 days until the May primary elections and day 28 of KYGA18.

“What about the pension bill?” is the most frequently asked question around the halls in the Capitol Annex and throughout the state of Kentucky. A group of key business leaders made strong suggestions over the weekend, which prompted vigorous responses from pension program participants. There is agreement on this: the new state budget depends on the pension plan fix to determine spending.

Quote of the Week

There is no such thing as Brooklyn Bourbon.” – Leader McConnell to Leader Schumer, as Schumer presents him with a bottle of NY bourbon. The two were together this morning at the McConnell Center on UofL campus for the Distinguished Speaker Series. CSPAN recap here.

Week in Review February 5-9

HB3Essential Skills, sponsored by House Floor Leader Jonathan Shell (R-Lancaster), passed through committee and is awaiting further action on the House floor. 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 students, a Work Ethic certificate would encompass areas of demonstrated leadership, achieving 25 hours of service learning, and submitting to voluntary random drug testing.

HB227Net metering, sponsored by Representative Gooch (R-Providence), passed through the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee last week. You’re probably seeing HB227 circulating in the news because it pits coal and solar in a fight. The technical name for this is net metering, so if you want to follow the fight, “net metering” will be the keywords.

HB312 sponsored by Representative Fleming (R-Louisville) is an attempt to update the Angel Investment Tax Credits system. For every $1 in tax credits, $4 is generated. The new guidelines would remove the $40 million lifetime cap of investment. According to Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Gill, Kentucky ranks 39th nationally in entrepreneurial activity. The goal of this update is to spur job creation in innovative small businesses throughout the state, especially in eastern Kentucky. Bob was the lobbyist in the original AITC approval.

Joint Education Committee: It is highly unusual for House and Senate committee meetings to meet together during the regular session, however, this week the Education meeting will take place jointly on Thursday to discuss the critical issue of school safety. This, of course, was prompted by the recent Marshall County tragedy.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up

February 16 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 defeated by Dan Johnson 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.

Recently in the News

Article: “Are Frankfort Republicans ready to risk it?” by Ronnie Ellis 

Article: Lexington TV News anchor Jennifer Palumbo was stalked by a viewer. She wants Constitution amended to protect victims. (Marsy’s Law)

Resources 

Governor Bevin released a February Newsletter, watch it here.

The Session Calendar and the Committee Schedule are great to bookmark. We’ll monitor Committees for you as bills pertaining to your issues come through.

Our team will continue to send weekly reports to share top stories and any information that may be helpful. See our Facebook and Twitter pages for real-time updates.

Kentucky Legislative Weekly Wrapup video.

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