Happy Presidents Day! The House and Senate will not gavel-in today due to the holiday. Tomorrow will begin day 33, and the week during which Republican Floor Leader Thayer (R-Georgetown) and Speaker Pro-tem Osborne (R-Prospect) are optimistic that a pension bill will be introduced.

More than halfway through the 60-day “long” session with major decisions on pension debt and the two-year state budget are still pending. Also looming somewhere on the horizon is tax reform, a tough but necessary process. With just seven legislative days remaining in February, this means we’re in store for an arduous March.

Presidental Quote of the Week

“When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.” – Thomas Jefferson 

In today’s political climate, Jefferson might say “a thousand.”

Bob in the News

Article: “Mitch McConnell predicts Republicans will lose seats in the midterm elections”

LEX18 interviewed Bob this morning on Leader McConnell’s midterm predictions. You can either watch that interview tonight at 5:30 or 6, or watch our live feed of the interview here.

Week in Review February 5-9

HCR 35- requests that Congress remove hemp from the definition of marijuana in the federal Controlled Substances Act. If Congress would remove hemp from the definition, this could stimulate Kentucky’s agricultural economy. HCR 35 passed the House 93-2, and it now heads to the Senate for consideration.

SB2is before the Senate for consideration on the floor tomorrow. The bill is a constitutional amendment that enables the legislature to address tort reform and eventually enact limits on liability claims.

SB110 sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Higdon (R-Lebanon) would write into state law the current quota system that determines how many liquor licenses are issued in cities and counties throughout Kentucky. As it stands, liquor license numbers are tied to a community’s population.  This bill places Senator Higdon / the Kentucky Association of Retail Beverages and Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) at odds. KY ABC proposed new regulation for the cabinet that would not limit licenses available based on population. Instead, licenses would be dictated by “market forces.” Several amendments to the bill were made on the Senate floor this week, and it now moves to Rules for further consideration.

 

Two groups, the Kentucky Academy Physician Assistants (KAPA) and Everytown / Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, had a significant presence in Frankfort this past week. Kentucky is the only state in the country that doesn’t give PAs prescriptive authority of scheduled drugs. Everytown/Moms Demand Action held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda. Among the speakers was a victim injured in the Heath High School shooting. The recent tragedy that struck Marshall County High School plus the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, shortly after the Capitol rally concluded have thrust this issue into the state and national spotlight.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up

February 20  Special election to fill House District 49- Dan Johnson’s seat. Rebecca Johnson, the 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.

March 7 Northern Kentucky Day in Frankfort. Our firm is a cosponsor for this event.

Resources 

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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