September 1, 2014

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Legislative perspective on Kentucky General Assembly

The General Assembly returned to the Capitol last week, kicking off another legislative session as it always does in odd-numbered years: electing House and Senate leaders and establishing membership of the various committees for the next two years.

I’m proud to say that I will have the opportunity to serve again as chairman of the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee, which gives me a strong voice in setting the state’s policy in these two areas.  I will also serve on the Local Government and the Tourism Development & Energy committees, both of which have a major impact on our communities, as well as the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee and the Tobacco Task Force.  On budgetary matters, I am also a member of the Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance and Public Protection.

Traditionally, these opening four days are just set aside for organizational matters, with no bills being voted on.  That is handled instead when the General Assembly returns in early February to complete the session’s remaining 26 days.

Although it is too soon to say what will become law, there is a growing agreement on what needs to be discussed.  That includes possible tax and public pension reforms, which were studied extensively last year, and seeing what tweaks may be needed to last year’s law designed to crack down on prescription drug abuse.