KYGA18 day 47 begins today! Pension focus intensifies. 

With Pension Reform stalling in the Senate on Friday, Day 47 begins with weather challenges matching a tough climate in Frankfort.  The Senate put the pension bill, SB 1, back into committee where it had already been approved, instead of a vote by the full Senate.  Prominent columnist Ronnie Ellis/Frankfort Files described the circumstances of this as of now, read here.  Leading business organizations are pleading for a “pension fix” as the only way out, meaning changes to the pension benefits.  Public employees are arguing for full funding, no changes, having planned a Capitol steps rally for today.
The pension and the state budget matter most. The legislature ends on Friday, April 13 as it stands. The constitution sets April 15 as the final day, however this year April 15 is a Sunday.  The constitution forbids the legislature to meet on a Sunday.

Quote of the Week

“Seriously, how fun is this?” Governor Matt Bevin 

Since 1972, the Capital Plaza Tower has stood tall above Frankfort, serving as a state office building for multiple agencies. On Sunday afternoon, the tower was imploded. In a live spectacle attended by many, it came tumbling down right on cue and exactly where and how demolitions experts said it would. The building’s condition had been deteriorating for years. Finance Cabinet Secretary William Landrum said on Sunday that plans are in place to have the area re-developed by 2020. The new development will create a modern, safe workspace for thousands of state employees and will be an excellent opportunity to revitalize the area near downtown. In order to have some fun and raise money for a good cause, Governor Bevin auctioned off the opportunity to push the ceremonial detonator or “plunger.” A Shelbyville man and his wife who run school programs that provide vision assistance for children placed the highest bid at $15K. State Senator and drone operator Whitney Westerfield used his drone to capture the moment Frankfort skyline was forever changed, watch it here.

 Recently in the News

Article: Pearse Lyons, who built a $3 billion company and brought the world to Kentucky, dies.’

Article: CATS WIN SEC: Kentucky sends message to NCAA Tournament foes’

Week in Review March 5-9

HB202 The House passed a two-year Road Plan that would invest $2.4 billion in bridges, repaving, and other highway necessities through 2020. Transportation Chair, Representative Sal Santoro (R-Florence) placed emphasis on replacing bridges in 103 of the 120 Kentucky counties.

SB48 The “Child Bride” bill that was introduced at the beginning of session was heard in committee this week after some revisions. This bill bans marriage for those under 17. Currently, a judge can approve marriages for those 16 or younger if a pregnancy is involved. After a vote on the bill was delayed twice, and got widespread attention from many local and some national media outlets.

Big note: SB48 was voted out, of committee and the Senate floor 34-3 and is now in the House.

SB95 Medically Necessary Fertility Preservation called “Melissa’s Law” enables children and young adults who battle cancer to preserve options for a biological family after chemotherapy and radiation treatments. SB95 passed the Senate floor on Tuesday by a vote of 34-3. It’s now on to the House for consideration. 

Here’s a look at what’s coming up 

March 27-28 Concurrence only days —  House and Senate finish regular business
March 29 Veto period begins
April 6  Opening day of Spring Meet at the historic, iconic Keeneland Race Course
April 9 Veto period concludes
April 12-13  Complete all action, Days 58 and 59 of Session
April 13  SINE DIE

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.