And So It Begins...
The Kentucky General Assembly will convene today at Noon to begin the 2018 Regular Session. In addition to the hundreds of bills they will consider, this sixty-day session promises to be one where legislators grapple with two significant issues facing the Commonwealth: Pension Reform & the Budget.
Much of the interim session was focused on public employee pension reform, and while a special session was never called, we anticipate that legislators will consider pension reforms in the early part of the session. A final proposal has yet to be publicly vetted, but leaders from each chamber seem to be closer to an agreement.
Due to its impact on the state budget, pension reform and the passing of a new two-year spending plan for the state are inextricably linked. With very little revenue growth is anticipated in the General Fund and an estimated $1 Billion in new funds needed for the pension systems, legislators have a difficult task in front of them. The Road Fund is in a similar situation with a shortage of funds to pay for needed improvements and maintenance across the state. Tax reform has been discussed as a solution to these revenue troubles, although it's unknown whether there will be time for a comprehensive discussion in the next sixty days.
Legislators will also look to address workers compensation reform, essential skills legislation, additional criminal justice reforms, and various bills to place constitutional amendments on the ballot in November.
All of this under the political backdrop of a tense relationship between House Republicans and the Governor and a House Republican caucus that has yet to name an official Speaker, an act that is anticipated to occur today.
REMINDER - Please join us tomorrow evening at Government Strategies for our annual Welcome Back to Frankfort Legislative Reception from 5-7!
You will receive a weekly summary covering general highlights and specific issues of interest, along with bill tracking documents. As always, we will communicate immediately as needed as issues of importance arise. We welcome your feedback, please don't hesitate to let us know what we can do to make this information more useful!
You can access the complete session calendar HERE
Jan. 2 - General Assembly convenes
Jan. 15 - Legislative Holiday (MLK Day)
Feb. 16 - Last day for bill requests
Feb. 19 - Legislative Holiday (Presidents' Day)
Feb. 26 - Last day for new House bills
Feb. 28 - Last day for new Senate bills
Mar. 27 & 28 - Concurrence Days
Mar. 29 - April 9 - Veto Recess
April 13 - Sine Die