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Kentucky GOP making good on its promises early in 2017

By DANIEL ELLIOTT

State Representative

Today is truly a historic time for the people’s House. For the first time since 1921, Kentucky elected a Republican majority to the state House of Representatives.

The newly elected majority made a commitment to Kentuckians to focus on economic growth, prosperity and legislation that respects life. We heard you in November and I am so honored to be your voice in Frankfort. For the duration of the time you allow me to serve here, I will always legislate with your best interests in mind. The House looks forward to doing the people’s work and pursuing a better Kentucky.  

The times ahead will be challenging but we have the leadership that it takes to be successful. I am extremely proud to announce the newly elected Speaker of the House, Jeff Hoover. Hoover has worked tirelessly over his long career in public service to bring conservative principles and fresh ideas into fruition. I am proud to have cast my vote for Hoover in the leadership elections and I look forward to working with him.  

This past week, we began by passing House Bill 2. This legislation, dubbed the “Ultrasound Informed Protection Act,” aims to give women all of the necessary medical information before undergoing an abortive procedure. Our caucus shares my belief in not only this principle, but also that our unborn children are the most defenseless among us; they deserve the chance to pursue the same livelihood that every Kentuckian does.

I am proud to report that my first vote this session as your representative in Frankfort was a vote to respect the sanctity of life. The House passed this bill 83-12, a testament to the bipartisan consensus that our new majority has brought.

The House is dedicated to use the session as an opportunity to create a more pro-business climate in our state. With that sentiment, most Republicans supported House Bill 1. House Bill 1 will make Kentucky a right-to-work state; this means that a worker in our state cannot be forced to unionize as a condition of employment.

I want my constituents to understand that I am not casting an anti-union vote, but a pro-worker vote that restores financial liberty and choice to the hardworking people of Kentucky. Right to work immediately makes Kentucky more attractive to the very job creators that struggling Kentuckians need the most. This legislation passed the House 58-39, and I am proud to report that after Senate passage and the governor’s signature, the commonwealth is officially a right-to-work state. Kentucky is now open for business.

In accordance with our commitment to protecting the taxpayers of Kentucky, we enacted House Bill 3, which will eliminate the prevailing wage on public construction projects. The current policy provides for above-market wage rates, which inherently leads to us having less money to spend on basic government services. The government has shown us countless times that, gone unchecked, our tax dollars are spent irresponsibly and unnecessarily.

This measure passed the House 57-40, and has been signed into law by the governor. Eliminating the prevailing wage in Kentucky is a critical step in spending taxpayer dollars wisely.

One of the most inspiring aspects of our new majority is the restoration of honesty and transparency that we all have been searching for in Frankfort. Senate Bill 3, also passed by both chambers and signed by Governor Bevin, provides the general public with access to the retirement plans of both current and former legislators. Kentuckians deserve to know the size of the legislative pensions that their tax dollars are funding, and this bill ensures that they will. The overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of approval, even as the bill couldn’t even get a floor vote last session, shows that this common-sense idea is a good one.

We are in exciting times, friends. Gone are the days of bloated government that does not work for you. Gone are the days of a government that does not spend tax dollars wisely or hold itself accountable. Our commitment to you is to bring a transparent, fiscally responsible, and efficient government.

The people in this state deserve good government.  You asked us to open Kentucky for business, protect life, protect rights, and serve you adequately. We will continue to work towards policies that achieve these goals.

I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues impacting our Commonwealth during the 2017 Regular Session.  I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at (800) 372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at daniel.elliott@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.