The Kentucky General Assembly got the 2012 Session underway today in Frankfort, completing the first of 60 legislative days. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn by early-April, but must complete their work by April 15 per the constitution.
Generally, the sessions begin rather slowly and end with a flourish. The ending will be much the same I predict, usually with blearly-eyed legislators leaving the Capitol after a marathon of recesses and impromptu committee meetings that takes us right up until the final hour of midnight on the last legislative day in mid-April.
The beginning of this session feels a little different than the norm, however. Legislators have acknowledged that there are many important issues to tackle in the days and weeks to come, and although there is plenty of room to negotiate or disagree on issues like: the budget, expanded gambling, comprehensive drug legislation, public employee pensions, etc. The leadership of each Chamber seems interested in trying to accomplish something this session.
That being said legislators will turn to their own internal politics over the next couple of weeks as they prepare a redistricting plan for the House, Senate, Judicial, and Congressional districts. These internal politics will preoccupy the leadership over the next couple of weeks until the Governor delivers his budget address on January 17. Speaking of the Governor he will further lay out his priorities not just for the 2012 Session, but for his second term as he gives his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday evening, January 4.