Monday, February 6, 2017

General Assembly Set to Return


The Kentucky General Assembly will end their January recess and reconvene for "Part 2" of the 2017 Regular Session on Tuesday, February 7. After a productive first week that ran from January 3-7, the legislature will come back to Frankfort and begin work on their currently scheduled final 25 legislative days before adjourning on March 30. We say "currently scheduled" as there has been significant talk of the General Assembly "saving" five legislative days to accommodate a special session sometime later this year to address pension reform and tax reform.

After passing 7 key priority bills the first week of the session, we expect they will come in and get to work on several notable issues that lawmakers hope to accomplish this session, including:

- Medical Liability Reform;
- Enabling charter schools;
- Reforms to education standards, teacher evaluations, and school accountability systems;
- Higher education board governance; and
- Criminal Justice reforms.

The Governor will lay out his agenda during his State of the Commonwealth speech to a joint session of the General Assembly on the evening Wednesday, February 8. That is likely to coincide with the key priorities of the General Assembly.

All are predicting a packed agenda, but hopefully not the quick pace that was seen during the first week of the session in January. The top issues alone are enough for a 25 day session, but this doesn't account for the secondary and tertiary issues that will arise once legislators get back to town. We expect heavy bill filing this week and will keep you updated as new legislative proposals are introduced. In addition, we are expecting most legislative committees to meet this week to consider legislation some of which will see floor action by the end of the week. It may not be as fast paced as Week 1 of the session, but we do expect there will be a lot of legislative action this week.

Looking Ahead
The legislature will return on February 7 for the remaining 25 days of the regular session. Due to the addition of Saturday, January 7 as a legislative day, the session legislative calendar was amended and March 9, originally a legislative day, will now be a recess day. The amended legislative calendar and committee meeting schedule can be viewed online, but here are a few dates of interest:

February 7th - Regular Session convenes

February 8th - State of the Commonwealth Address by Governor Bevin

February 17th - Last day for new Senate bills

February 20th - Legislative Holiday (Presidents' Day)

February 21st - Last day for new House bills

March 16th - 27th - Veto Recess

March 29th & 30th - Final two legislative days before Sine Die Adjournment.


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