This past week, both the Kentucky House and Senate met to introduce bills and handle organizational requirements. At this time, a pension reform bill has not been introduced in the House or Senate. The House adopted rules that differed from last year by including a process to establish a bipartisan committee to investigate charges filed by any two members against another member. This rule change was taken advantage of by 8 members who immediately filed charges against House Speaker Jeff Hoover, alleging inappropriate conduct. Last week, Hoover announced he would stand aside from his leadership position until the Legislative Ethics Commission completes its investigation into the same allegations. House Speaker Pro-Tem David Osborne (R-Prospect) continues to serve as the acting Speaker of the House.
It is yet to be seen if the internal issues in the House will impact the progress of legislative priorities, such as pension reform, tax reform and regulation reduction. Governor Matt Bevin is expected to deliver both the State of the Commonwealth and his budget address on January 16.
In 2018, all 100 state House seats and 19 Senate seats will be up for election. The filing deadline for candidates is January 30. Frequently, controversial legislation is not considered until after the filing deadline.
Other priority issues for Commerce Lexington this session include: workers compensation system reforms, medical liability reforms to improve the healthcare economy and essential skills legislation to encourage soft skills development in schools.
Commerce Lexington will be monitoring legislation and providing regular email updates throughout the session to keep you informed about the issues impacting the business community. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact Andi Johnson, CLX Chief Policy Officer, at 859-226-1614 or by email.